NICOSIA -- The hardline leader of the Turkish-Cypriot occupied side of the divided island repeated his push for recognition and equality as part of a demand for two states, not reunification that eluded a long line of diplomats for decades.
Ersin Tatar, who ousted moderate Mustafa Akinci in October, 2019 has already pledged to follow the line of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in abandoning the idea of unity.
Tatar said a meeting later this winter between the two sides along with the official guarantors of security on the island - Turkey, Greece and the former Colonial ruler the United Kingdom, which has military bases there - should consider two states.
He said any official negotiation process on the Cyprus issue can only be started for a solution based on sovereign equality, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency said as reunification hopes seem to be slipping away.
Turkey has occupied the northern third since an unlawful 1974 invasion and the last round of reunification talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Akinci and Erdogan said they would never remove a 35,000-strong army and wanted the right of further military intervention - invasion.
Tatar said decades of failed talks proved that the island won’t be brought together as he appeared to be casting out for some hope that the self-declared Turkish-Cypriot, unrecognized by any country other than Turkey, would gain equality and recognition.
He said, however, that the European Union - to which the legitimate government of Cyprus belongs but not his side, not Turkey, should not be a party to negotiations after imposing soft sanctions for Turkish drilling for energy offshore.
“The UN participates in these meetings within the framework of goodwill missions. If technical information is requested, this information can be requested from the EU, but the EU is not a party to these meetings. It should not be," Tatar also said.