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Politics

Biden Tells Anastasiades: US Wants Cyprus Solution, Guterres Fiddles

WASHINGTON — Without commiting to specifics, US President Joe Biden has reportedly sent a letter Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, continuing to back the long-failed effort to reunify the divided island with Turkish-Cypriots.

Greece's state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency said Biden, who has strong sympathies for Greece and Cyprus, is closely following developments on Cyprus where Turkey has been drilling for oil and gas offshore and ratcheting up provocations.

The report said Biden told Anastasiades that the US continues to support a comprehensive solution for the Cyprus, under the aegis of the United Nations, based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

But the new leader of the Turkish-Cypriot side, Ersin Tatar said he goes along with Turkish President Recep Tayyip's insistence the UN and world recognize the occupied northern third.

That would bring permanent partition and two states and see Turkey keep a 35,000 strong standing army on Cyprus, which is a member of the European Union Turkey has been trying to join since 2005 while refusing to recognize Cyprus and barring its ships and planes.

Erdogan made the demand again during his address at the UN's General Assembly opening as did Tatar to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines as the Turkish-Cypriot side isn't a member.

Guterres, who was at the last round of failed talks in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana was accused by the Turkish-Cypriot's self-declared foreign minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu of playing for time with no answers.

Ertuğruloğlu told Turkey's pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah, which is a mouthpiece for Erdogan, that Guterres knows there is no common ground between the two sides.

"We do not expect much from the UN It is obvious that the U.N. has not solved any political problem so far," Ertuğruloğlu said in Washington after a meeting between Guterres, Tatar, and Anastasiades, who rejected any two-state idea.

leader of the Greek-Cypriot administration.

Ertuğruloğlu said that Guterres admitted there's no solution in sight after an inconsequential chit-chat session in Geneva in April that went nowhere and led to no blueprint to continue so far.

At that time, Guterres said that there is "no common ground yet" to resume formal negotiations on the settlement of the Cyprus problem and that stagnant position has held since, Ertuğtuloğlu told reporters.

"This is a tactic of the UN Secretary-General; he plays for time as he knows that there is still no common ground," he said, adding that Guterres should admit as much to the Security Council.

"They should know that there is no question of starting negotiations as long as the Greek-Cypriot administration is treated as a state and we are treated as a society," Ertuğruloğlu also said.

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