Erdogan proposes a two-state solution on the island of Cyprus, which has been divided for nearly 50 years


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday it was time to discuss a realistic proposal for a two-state solution on the divided island of Cyprus, saying the parameters of the ongoing talks were not sustainable, Reuters reports. The self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (RTCN) is recognized only by Ankara.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when the Turkish army invaded the northern part of the island in response to a Greek Cypriot coup attempt to annex Greece.

In 2014, the European Union admitted Cyprus, represented by the internationally recognized Southern Greek Cypriot government.

The self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (RTCN) is recognized only by Ankara.

The latest attempt at reunification failed in mid-2017, with the two sides blaming each other.

Speaking Monday at a joint press conference with newly elected Turkish Cypriot “president” Ersin Tatar in Ankara, Erdogan said that the Greek Cypriot approach blocked previous attempts to find a solution.

“It must be clear that no results can be achieved with current parameters following a negotiation process that has lasted more than half a century,” Erdogan said, according to Agerpres.

“At this stage, we believe that initiating talks based on a federation will be a waste of time. Therefore, we believe that a two-state solution must now be proposed, with a realistic proposal,” he continued.

Turkey has previously said a two-state mechanism is needed to resolve the Cyprus issue, but accused the Greek Cypriot government of not entering into negotiations.

At the press conference, Ersin Tatar said Turkey’s proposal to hold an informal meeting with the participation of Turkey, Northern Cyprus, Greek Cypriots, Greece and the United Nations is the “last chance” for an agreement.

Nationalist Ersin Tatar surprisingly won the “presidential” elections in October in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. He supports the solution with two sovereign states on the divided island, while former “president” Mustafa Akinci was in favor of the reunification of Cyprus in the form of a federal state.

In a decision criticized by the UN, Greece and Greek Cypriots, Northern Cyprus partially reopened access to the coastal town of Varosha, banned by the Turkish army after the invasion of the north of the island by Ankara 46 Years ago.

Erdogan also said he was visiting northern Cyprus on November 15 and wanted to attend a picnic in Varosha.

“I think it will be useful to have a picnic there all together. Let’s see on TV how it is, but we want to hear it personally. By God’s will, we will,” said the Turkish president.

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