Greece welcomed the statement of the UN Security Council’s French presidency that condemns statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish Cypriot community leader Ersin Tatar on opening the closed-off area of Varosha in Famagusta, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

Speaking on behalf of the Security Council as its president in July, France’s permanent representative confirmed anew decisions 550 and 789 related to Varosha’s status which explicitly condemn these statements, the sources said.

The council calls for the overturning of all actions carried out since October 2020, and stresses that all unilateral actions against its resolutions must be avoided as escalating tension.

It reiterates that the resolution of the Cyprus issue must be found on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation, as its resolutions have outlined.


UNESCO statement on Hagia Sophia

Greek diplomatic sources on Friday welcomed a statement by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee expressing regret over Turkey’s decision to turn the world monuments of Hagia Sophia and Chora Monastery into mosques.

The committee, meeting for the 44the session online from China, also expressed regret that Turkey’s government ignored repeated calls by UNESCO to observe the guidelines of the organization on world heritage monuments. It also expressed its concern over the repercussions of these decisions on the monuments’ global nature, and called on Turkey to reveal its intentions and join in dialog before any other radical change.

UNESCO also asked Turkey to table a report on the two monuments’ maintenance by February 1, 2022 for discussion in the next World Heritage Committee meeting.