Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said that “differences were recorded” after his “creative meeting” on Monday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar in New York.
Anastasiades refrained from giving a detailed account of what was discussed at the approximately two-hour informal meeting hosted by Guterres for himself and Tatar.
“It was a creative meeting, of course the differences were recorded,” said Anastasiades, who was also marking his 75th birthday.
“Mr. Tatar developed the positions on sovereign equality and two independent states, and I developed our position which is fully in line with the UN resolutions, the mandate of the Secretary-General based on the resolutions, and we have developed various ways of moving forward to overcome the deadlock, but also to create prospects for resuming a creative dialogue,” Anastasiades added.
New UN envoy for Cyprus?
The Cypriot president also revealed that Guterres is leaning towards appointing a new UN special envoy on Cyprus to replace Jane Holl Lute, who would be tasked with not only discussing confidence-building measures, but also the possibility of finding common ground to resume the dialogue between the two sides.
Tatar said after the meeting that they spoke about various issues, and expressed hope to see progress, “but of course this was just lunch,” he told the Anadolu Agency.
He added that Guterres would make a statement about the meeting in a few days. Tatar said they tried to speak about everything.
“We believe that the Secretary-General can find new ways,” he added.
The Turkish Cypriot leader reiterated his position, that recognition of the north and sovereign equality were their rights.
“What we need to do now is to use every opportunity to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people and to discuss ways forward,” he said.
Tatar insists on two-state solution for Cyprus
Tatar, who heads a government recognized only by the nation of Turkey, said that Cypriots’ decision to continue the current status quo on the divided island is unrealistic.
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.
“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.
Last week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community to recognize the international status of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus during a speech at the UN General Assembly.