Sunday, May 19 2024
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Opening of Varosha beach under way ahead of official launch

The opening of the beach of Varosha, the fenced-off southern quarter of the city of Famagusta in Turkish-occupied Cyprus, was postponed for a few hours on Thursday amid reports that Turkish officials were planning to attend the ceremony.

Originally scheduled for 11 a.m., the controversial opening was pushed to 4 p.m., according to Kathimerini’s Cyprus Edition, which cited media in the occupied north of the island as also reporting the presence of bulldozers, trucks and crews working in the area in preparation for the ceremony.

The opening of the beach is seen as planned to coincide with elections in the Turkish-occupied north on Sunday.

The move by Ankara was decried by Athens and other capitals, including Berlin and Moscow, on Wednesday.

Athens expressed its outrage at the plan again on Thursday, with government spokesman Stelios Petsas saying that if Turkey does no cancel the opening, the case will be brought by Greece and Cyprus to the attention of the European Union and EU leaders.

Greece urges Turkey to resume the process of exploratory talks, said Petsas, “but we will not allow provocations on the Cypriot issue to pass.”