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France Calls Turkish-Cypriot Move on Ghost Town a ‘Provocation’

PARIS/ISTANBUL—France on Wednesday criticized as a “provocation” a move by Turkish Cypriot authorities to partially reopen an abandoned town in Cyprus for potential resettlement, in the latest critique from the West that Ankara has dismissed. Turkish Cypriots said on Tuesday that part of Varosha would come under civilian control and people would be able to reclaim properties—angering Greek Cypriots who accused their Turkish rivals of orchestrating a land-grab by stealth. Varosha, an eerie collection of derelict high-rise hotels and residences in a military zone nobody has been allowed to enter, has been deserted since a 1974 war split the island. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed the matter with his Cypriot counterpart on Tuesday and will raise the topic at the UN, a spokesperson for Le Drian’s ministry said. Cyprus is represented in the European Union by an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government. France presides over the UN Security …

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