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Erdogan Says He “Doesn’t Trust Greek Cypriots” After Talks Collapse

Erdogan cyprus talks
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he does not expect results from UN -led Cyprus talks. Credit: Turkish Presidency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he did not expect United Nations led talks on Cyprus will produce results, adding that he neither trusted in nor believed Greek Cypriots. 

“I don’t trust or believe in Greek Cypriots. They have never acted honestly,” Erdogan told reporters following Friday prayer services in Istanbul. “Now it’s been pushed back 2-3 months, but I again don’t believe any result will be achieved, because they are not honest.”

“Now the talks have been pushed back two or three months and I again, don’t know that anything will be achieved, because they never spoke truthfully,” he charged.

This week saw the latest round of negotiations for resolving the decades long division of Cyprus take place in Geneva. Following informal talks between the P5+1 countries’ representatives, there was no breakthrough, with both sides accusing the other of being responsible for the lack of progress.

UN chief has not given up, despite lack of progress

An informal meeting on Cyprus began in Geneva on April 27, with the U.N. chief seeking “common ground” for the resumption of talks to find a lasting solution to the decades-old dispute.

However, after meeting separately with leaders from Turkish and Greek Cyprus, Guterres conceded that there had been no progress toward that end. 

“The truth is that in the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem,” Guterres said. “But I do not give up.”

Guterres pledged to bring the parties back together for another round of talks at a later date.

Ersin Tatar, the leader of the northern Turkish Cypriot government, and Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades described their meetings with Guterres positively. This, however, did not prevent the collapse of the talks.

Erdogan demands two state solution; Anastasiades rejects it

Turkey endorses the stance of the 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 the island,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.

Tatar, a hardliner who became president with heavy support from Erdogan, repeated this position after his own meeting with Guterres. 

“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. 

In the aftermath of the talks’ failure to reach any common ground, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades put the blame flatly on Turkey’s two-state demand. 

“There is not one single chance of Turkey or the Turkish Cypriot side succeeding in this. This was something which was pointed out by the (United Nations) Secretary-General,” Anastasiades told reporters today in Geneva.

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