Oktay Kayalp, Mayor of Famagusta and his self-appointed counterpart Alexis Galanos have issued a joint statement expressing their strong support for the immediate start of the process for returning the fenced off area of Varosha/Maras to its former owners and inhabitants, under the supervision and control of the UN.
The statement was read out and signed by Kayalp and Galanos during a joint press conference they gave today for Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot media.
It said that Famagusta port should be opened to international maritime traffic under the supervision of EU, and the walled city of Famagusta should be placed on the UNESCO watch list in order to become registered as a World Heritage Site.
“We believe such a development will create real conditions for economic development for the whole area and island wide by significantly improving the current difficult conditions experienced by both communities,” the statement continued.
Kayalp and Galanos also expressed the hope that the leaders of the two communities would agree to resume talks on the Cyprus problem without delay. “We look ahead to a reunited Famagusta which will be an example and symbol of a reunited Cyprus,” the joint statement said.
Kayalp said the plan was to redesign their city and bring together all the people of Famagusta to create a common future.
Galanos said he agreed with Kayalp and expressed the belief that the joint statement would give an impetus, create prospects and send the message: ‘no to division’.
“We are very near to make or break. We want to make,” Galanos said.