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NGO Urges Biden to Oppose Turkey’s “Two State Solution” for Cyprus

Biden on Two State Solution for Cyprus
US President Joe Biden. Credit: White House

A US-based organization advocating for a solution to the decades old division of Cyprus called on President Joe Biden to push Turkey to abandon its call for a “two state solution” on Thursday. 

The organization, known as the International Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus, also known as PSEKA, issued a statement congratulating Biden for his recognition of the Armenian Genocide on April 24. 

PSEKA said that it hopes that the action will pave the way for “holding Turkey accountable” for other human rights abuses. To that end, they added that a call for the administration to recognize the human rights violations committed by Turkey after invading Cyprus in 1974.

“It’s time for Turkey to recognize its human rights violations including the ethnic cleansing of 200,000 Greek Cypriots as a result of the illegal, brutal invasion of July 20, 1974,” read the statement.

PSEKA went on to urge the Biden administration to push Turkey to abandon its call for a two state solution on Cyprus as a starting point. 

“We call on the Biden Administration to hold Turkey accountable and to abandon its demand for a two-state solution.  For 47 years Turkey has made a mockery of the UN sponsored peace process with increasing demands and ignoring all UN resolutions and European Union proposals,” they urged in the statement. 

Turkey demands a two state solution for Cyprus in Geneva

Turkey endorses the stance of the government in occupied northern Cyprus for a permanent division of the island and repeated this at United Nations-led talks in Geneva this week.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had hoped to find “common ground” for the two sides to make progress, but conceded none was found on Thursday. He pledged to continue seeking a compromise. 

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remarked on Friday that he did not expect any results from more talks on Cyprus. He said that he “doesn’t trust Greek Cypriots” for what he says has been a perceived lack of honesty.

“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.”

That mistrust was returned by Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades, who placed the blame for the failed negotiations 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.

Biden administration committed to Cyprus talks

In March, Biden’s secretary of state Antony Blinken said that the administration takes talks on Cyprus’ division “very, very seriously”.

“We strongly support a comprehensive settlement that reunifies Cyprus in a bi zonal, bi-communal federation.

“We will engage in the effort to advance that prospect, including supporting the critical role of the United as well direct American engagement in that effort. So I think you’ll see American diplomacy fully engaged,” he told the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee.

The United States, however, is not a party to the P5+1 talks that took place in Geneva this week. A representative from Washington was not present for the UN-led meeting as a result. 

As a presidential candidate last year, Biden shared his “manifesto for Greek-American relations” under his administration. Included were pledges to work diplomatically to bring a resolution to the Cyprus question” and continue “opposing the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus”.

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