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Abp. Chrysostomos Rejects Turkish-Cypriot Leader's Two-State Demand

Αssociated Press

FILE- The leader of Cyprus Greek Orthodox Church Archbishop Chrysostomos speaks to the media during a press conference in his office at the Archbishopric in Nicosia, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA -- As the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot occupied side of Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, demanded recognition, Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus said it's not going to be accepted.

Tatar said the only topic that should be discussed isn't reunification, that has failed for decades after a 1974 Turkish invasion that seized the northern third, but for the United Nations and world to accept the occupied territory.

The Archbishop said otherwise. "This cannot happen," he said, stressing that they cannot be granted rights equal to those of the Greek-Cypriots, said Kathimerini as the divide on the island has widened.

Chrysostomos said the hardline nationalist Tatar's predecessor, the moderate Mustafa Akinci, was more “Cypriot” because he didn't demand permanent partition and two separate states.

“We do not have such favorable relations with people who feel Turkish first and Cypriot second because they want a Turkish state in Cyprus," said the Archbishop.

The last round of reunification talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said  a 35,000-strong Turkish army wouldn't and as they demanded the right of further military invasion when they wanted.