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Cyprus ‘Needs Two-State Solution’ Turkish Cypriot Leader Tells UN Chief

Cyprus two-state
Turkish Cypriots and Turkey press the UN to accept a tw-state solution in Cyprus. Credit: Yolanda Demetriou/CC1/wikipedia

The only realistic option for Cyprus is the acceptance of a two-state solution, the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said he told the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday.

Tatar, who heads a government recognized only by Turkey and a handful of other states, said that Cypriots’ decision to continue the current status quo on the divided island is unrealistic.

“The sole truth on the island is the acceptance of the equal sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot side and their rights from the past,” Tatar told the Turkish Cypriot BRT news.

Tatar said he told Guterres that the island requires a two-state solution and that comprehensive official negotiations could only start after the Turkish Cypriot’s side is accepted as an international actor.

He added that the Greek side’s suggestion to continue the Crans Montana talks is not realistic either and that the secretary-general knows the process well.

Tatar on Monday will attend a tripartite meeting and will meet with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades at a luncheon to be hosted by the U.N. secretary-general.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last held talks with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in April in Geneva, making a rare pandemic trip but concluding that there was little common ground.

“I never run away from talks. I am prepared to talk but to talk realistically about what is on the ground,” Tatar told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Solution for Cyprus should be based on “two equal, sovereign states”

“If you are going to really have a realistic chance of settlement, that settlement should be based on two equal, sovereign states.”

“We have so many things happening in the last 60 years that going back to 1960 is impossible,” Tatar said.

“I respect their people as a separate community. They have their own language, they have their own religion, they have their own culture. But I want this respect to be mutually recognized.”

He said that two separate states would have friendly relations, with cooperation in areas including energy and the environment, and mused that Cyprus could become “the Singapore of Europe in the Eastern Mediterranean” as a vital trade hub.

Tatar’s views echo the speech made by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the UN General Assembly.

He said that “a fair, lasting and sustainable solution to the Cyprus issue is possible only through a result-oriented, realistic approach. While the leader of one of the two peoples on the Island, which the United Nations considers as equal, can address you, it is not fair that the other leader cannot make his voice heard on this platform.”

Cyprus President “not optimistic”

President Nicos Anastasiades said last Monday that he is “not optimistic” about the talks.

Anastasiades pointed towards comments made from the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot camp – specifically, proposals for a two-state solution and recognition – as a black mark on the peace process.

“I’m not as optimistic as I would like to be in the face of repeated statements by either (Turkish President Recep) Erdogan, or (Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut) Cavusoglu, repeated by Tatar,” the president said.

He also criticized what he argued is a “Neo-Ottoman” agenda by Turkey, saying it impacts not only Cyprus but also Greece, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Armenia.

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