A senior Turkish Cypriot official said Thursday that the reopening of the abandoned town of Maras — empty for decades — was progressing and now at the final stage.

According to Turkish News Agency-Cyprus TAK, Deputy Prime Minister Kudret Ozersay of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said field efforts were at their last stage as part of an agreement signed with the Eastern Mediterranean University.

The statement by Ozersay, who also serves as the TRNC’s foreign minister, came while he visited the mayor of the eastern city of Gazimagusa, Ismail Arter.

Maras is currently a ghost town where entry is forbidden, except for Turkish military personnel stationed in the TRNC.

Abandoned after the passage of a 1984 UN Security Council resolution, Maras’s reopening was announced June 18 last year by Turkish Cypriot authorities.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all failing.

The latest, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece, and the UK — came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.

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