21:19 GMT28 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a phone call with his Cypriot counterpart that the latest reopening of Varosha by Northern Cyprus is "provocative" and not consistent with efforts to conduct settlement talks, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Friday.

    "Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister [Nikos] Christodoulides discussed actions taken by the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ to reopen a part of the fenced-off area of Varosha", Ortagus said. "The Secretary expressed deep concern and noted such a move was provocative and inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolutions 550 and 789 and not conducive to a return to settlement talks."

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking on 6 October in Ankara at a joint press conference with Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ersin Tatar, announced the opening of the Varosha embankment. This is a tourist quarter at the southeast coast of Cyprus, which has been closed to the public since 1974 after the occupation of part of Cyprus by Turkish troops and the partition of the island. Varosha is protected by a 1984 UN Security Council resolution.

    The decision has been condemned by many members of the international community, including Russia, and the matter was discussed by the United Nations Security Council this past Friday. The UNSC called on Turkey to reverse the decision to reopen the coastline area in Varosha.

    Tags:
    Turkey, Pompeo, Cyprus
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