Varosha [nid:109354]

“Turkey's plans to “open” the fenced-off area of Varosha under conditions of occupation must be strongly condemned. They are another attack on regional stability, an infringement on the sovereignty of an EU Member State, and a violation of international law. Varosha must be returned to its rightful inhabitants”, said leading EPP Group MEPs ahead of today’s plenary debate on Turkey.

“Unfortunately, instead of de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, we see continuous provocations from the Turkish leadership. The time for words has passed. With President Erdogan’s visit to Varosha, Turkey has again shown that it is not interested in conflict resolution. Even worse: it shows that Erdogan is trying to permanently divide an EU Member State in half. Turkey must understand that its actions have consequences, and that all EU Members stand with Cyprus”, said Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group.

"Turkey has continued increasing its provocations and aggression against the Republic of Cyprus, violating once again international and European law. Turkey's shameful and illegal opening of the fenced-off area of Varosha, under conditions of occupation, goes against UN Resolutions, the Security Council and the European Parliament, and must stop now. It is time for the EU to impose tough sanctions on Turkey”, added Lefteris Christoforou MEP, Head of the Cypriot Delegation of the EPP Group.

“Turkey’s growing departure from EU standards and values have brought EU-Turkey relations to an historic low. We must now re-define Europe's strategy towards Turkey for the short, mid and long-term”, commented Kris Peeters MEP, who negotiated Parliament's position on Turkey on behalf of the EPP Group. “A combination of well-targeted measures and dialogue must lead to a solution that serves the Cypriots”, he added.

The Turkish-led plans for Varosha will gravely undermine the prospects of a solution of the Cyprus problem. They also add to Turkey’s other destabilising actions, including illegal drillings in Greek and Cypriot waters, a bilateral agreement with Libya trying to change maritime borders, or the escalation of the situations in Nagorno-Karabakh and in Syria.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States

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