Greek Cypriot peace negotiator, Andreas Mavroyiannis, has said that President Anastasiades remains insistent that Maras/Varosha, a fence-off area of Famagusta be returned to the South.
Speaking to the House of Representatives Committee on Refugees-Enclaved-Missing-Adversely Affected Persons on Wednesday, Mavroyiannis stressed that the proposal on Famagusta is more than just a confidence building measure.
The proposal, he pointed out, could kick start the Cyprus talks and could return hope to the people on the island that a solution is achievable.
Giving more details on the proposal, which he said could be seen as a package proposal, that includes the fulfilment of Turkey’s EU obligations – such as the implementation of the Ankara Protocol. This in turn, would pave the way for the opening of the eight EU – Turkey accession negotiation chapters, which the South froze in 2006 due to Ankara’s refusal to meet its obligations.
In addition, the proposal includes the lifting of the provision that no negotiating chapter can be closed, the return of the fenced off section of Famagusta to the UN and the use of the Famagusta port for trade with other EU countries.
When questioned by the members of the House Committee, Mavroyiannis confirmed that neither the UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor for Cyprus, Alexander Downer nor Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule had agreed to convey to Turkey the South’s proposal concerning Famagusta.
He added that there was insufficient support by the EU and the UN as regards the proposal of the government and the overall process for the solution of the Cyprus problem. The EU and the UN appear unwilling to play their institutional role, he pointed out.
The once vibrant holiday town of Maras/Varosha is the fenced off section of Famagusta, often referred to as a ‘ghost town’. It remains to this day deserted, abandoned to the elements.