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Turkey, Turkish Cypriots Insist on Two-State Solution for Cyprus

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The Foreign Ministers of Greece and Cyprus consult on the sidelines of the Geneva meetings. Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Turkey endorses the stance of the Turkish Cypriot government in northern Cyprus for a permanent division of the island, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said from Geneva on Wednesday. 

“The solution on Cyprus should be based on international equal status and sovereign equality of two sides. Peace and stability for whole region can only be possible with cooperation of two states on island,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.

On Tuesday, representatives from Greece, Turkey, both governments in Cyprus and the United Kingdom met for a second round of talks in Geneva, Switzerland. The officials met to try and bring stalled negotiations back to life after being effectively frozen for years now.

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met separately with Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders on Monday. The UN chief made clear he is looking for “common ground” with these talks. 

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar called his meeting with Guterres “productive,” and said his side conveyed its views on the dispute to the U.N. chief.

“We explained our position (on a two-state solution) in the given time frame in detail and with justification,” Tatar told reporters after Tuesday’s informal meeting. 

Tatar, who was elected in October 2020, has consistently pushed for a “two-state solution” for Cyprus. He campaigned in Cyprus as a hardliner with the support of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and he is known for his closeness to his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Cavusoglu also met separately with UK foreign minister Dominic Raab in Geneva. He tweeted that he shared the same views addressed on the two-state solution with Raab as well.

Greece and Cyprus coordinate in Geneva

Those talks were followed by a meeting between Guterres and Nicos Anastasiades, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, at Geneva’s Intercontinental Hotel, not far from the UN’s European headquarters.

After the meeting, it was announced that Anastasiades’ meeting with Guterres was “a very useful one” and that the President had the opportunity to highlight the need to resolve the Cyprus issue within the parameters set by the UNSG himself.

Anastasiades analyzed in detail the vision for the Cyprus issue, stressing that the day after the solution ought to contribute, not only to the prosperity of all Cypriots, but also to security and stability in the region.

The Cypriot President stressed the need for a functioning and effective state within the European Union. He also stressed the need for the solution to create conditions of security in the country in such a way that the perception of the security of one community did not pose a threat to the other community.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met ahead of the Geneva meeting with Anastasiades and his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulidis. He also reportedly met with Cavusoglu on Tuesday amid the informal talks. 

Cyprus has remained divided in two since 1974. Turkey invaded the northern half of the island five days after a military coup overthrew the Cypriot government with the support of the then-military junta in Greece. 

Ankara intervened on the pretext of protecting Turkish Cypriots after the coup, but the invasion has left Cyprus cut in half for close to half a century now.  

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