NICOSIA — Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has rejected out of hand a suggestion from United Nations Special Envoy for recognition of the Turkish occupied northern third of the island in an apparent bid to end an impasse over failed reunification.
American diplomat Jane Holl Lute had recommended the term “self-governed regions,” which would have indirectly accepted an occupied territory in a European Union country – the Turkish northern third is not a member.
She sent the idea to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who media reports said was leaning toward accepting it as a bargaining tool after Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said he wouldn't talk reunification, only two separate states.
That would recognition to the occupied land that was seized in two unlawful invasions by Turkey in 1974, with all efforts to try to reunify the island ending in utter failure.
Any attempt to use the term about self-governing regions would be considered “unfortunate and unacceptable,” Anastasiadis told reporters, said Kathimerin, citing a report in the Cyprus daily Phileleftheros.
Lutte first floated the idea to Anastasiadis during a visit to the divided island after she first spoke with Tatar, the report said, as she was said to believe kinder gentler wording would work, but it didn't.
The legitimate Cypriot government said any such reference would only encourage the leadership in the occupied north to insist on its position and continue rejecting proposals for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, Phileleftheros also had said.
“The information that is going around has been forwarded both to Ms. Lutte and to the Secretary-General, and I would like to believe that any such reference would be unfortunate but mainly unacceptable,” Anastasiades said.