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Cyprus says plan to re-open part of abandoned Varosha illegal

People stand against the background of Varosha, an area fenced off by the Turkish military since the 1974 division of Cyprus, during a celebration for Orthodox Epiphany Day for the fifth time in decades, in Famagusta, Cyprus January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus on Tuesday harshly criticised plans by a Turkish Cypriot politician to re-open parts of an abandoned holiday resort to the public, saying it ran contrary to international law.

Nicosia said it would seek recourse to the United Nations Security Council and raise it with its EU partners.

Earlier Tuesday Ersin Tatar, prime minister of breakaway northern Cyprus, said parts of the beach section of fenced-off Varosha would re-open after being sealed shut for more than 46 years.

Varosha was a predominantly Greek Cypriot suburb of the town of Famagusta on Cyprus’s eastern coast. It was abandoned by thousands in a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek inspired coup.

Reporting By Michele Kambas