India worked closely with partners as UNSC condemns Turkey on Varosha issue

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi  Published: Jul 24, 2021, 12:12 PM(IST)

A file photo of logo of United Nations. Photograph:( AFP )

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United Nations security council slammed Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leaders on Friday over plans to open abandoned ghost town of Varosha issue. Since 1974, the town has been abandoned when Turkey invaded the island. It led to its division into the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) recognised only by Ankara

Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leaders on Friday were slammed by United Nations security council over plans to open abandoned ghost town of Varosha issue. The town has been abandoned since 1974 when Turkey invaded the island, which led to its division into the Republic of Cyprus and the northern Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) recognised only by Ankara. 

The statement by the president of UNSC that was adopted by the council said, "The security council condemns the announcement in Cyprus by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders on July 20 on the further reopening of a part of the fenced-off area of Varosha. The security council expresses its deep regret regarding these unilateral actions that run contrary to its previous resolutions and statements". 

The statement further explained," the security council stresses the importance of full respect and implementation of its resolutions including transfer of Varosha to UN Administration." 

At the high table, India worked closely with other delegations like the US and others to ensure that the Security Council speaks in one voice and expressed its collective concerns on the recent escalation. Remember India is a non-permanent member of UNSC for a period of two years starting January 1, 2021. 

Earlier in the week, India's envoy to United Nations TS Tirumurti expressed deep concern on the issue when the matter came to United Nations Security Council.  Tirumurti, in a tweet, pointed out that at the UNSC meeting on the issue India expressed "deep concern" on the "unilateral steps on Varosha contrary to UNSC resolutions" and said that "Cypriot-led, Cypriot-owned process on ‘bi-zonal bi-communal federation’ should be the basis." 

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Not only in New York, but the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi also commented on the matter. Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in response to a question at a weekly virtual presser on Thursday said, "This is an issue that the UNSC seized off. We are deeply concerned at the recent unilateral announcements with regard to the status of Varosha." 

Adding, "We have always advocated peaceful resolution of this issue in accordance with the UN resolution. Unfortunately, the voice of the UNSC as reflected in its presidential statement of October 9, 2020 has not been adhered to. We have consistently supported the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of the Republic of Cyprus." 

Globally, India joins the US, the UK, Russia, France, the UN, the EU, Norway, Israel, Greece and Germany in expressing concern over the issue. The move to reopen Varosha was announced by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and was strongly criticised by the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. 

Curiously, Pakistan has been silent on Turkey violating UNSC resolutions on Cyprus. In fact, Pak's all-weather friend China condemned Turkey over the issue. Pakistan and China had gone to UNSC after India removed the special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had commented in the backdrop of India removing special status, which has been one of the main reasons for the deterioration of ties between the two countries in the last two years. 

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