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Politics

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Says No Federation for Cyprus, Wants Two States

December 17, 2020

ANKARA — After meeting United Nations Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated that Turkey no longer has any interest in agreeing to a reunification of Cyprus and wants a two-state solution.

Only Turkey recognizes the northern third seized in an unlawful 1974 invasion, occupied almost exclusively by Turkish-Cypriots while the Greek-Cypriot government is a member of the European Union Turkey has been trying to join fruitlessly since 2005.

Cavusoglu talked with the American diplomat, the latest in a long line over the decades to fail to make any progress in the stalemate and he tweeted that Turkey considers the “federation project” favored by the international community a no-go.

In a post on Twitter referring to his meeting with UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute, Cavusoglu said that the “Turkish side promotes two-state settlement based on equal sovereignty,” and added that, “common ground should be reached for new negotiation process.”

The newly-elected leader of the occupied Turkish-Cypriot side of the divided island, Ersin Tatar, earlier also said that he wants only two states and will reject any idea of a bizonal, bi-communcal federal solution to reunify the island.

Tatar, a hardline nationalist, had said he would follow the direction of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey doesn't recognize the legitimate Cypriot government and bars its ships and planes.

In an interview with Kathimerini, Tatar called for “a border adjustment” between the two sides without explaining what he meant or if he wanted a territorial grab although the dividing lines have been in place for some 46 years.

The bizonal federation basis for a deal was agreed in 1977 between Cyprus’ internationally recognized government and the Turkish-Cypriot side that's a self-declared republic unrecognized by any other country in the world.

Tatar declared that talks for a federation that began 43 years ago were dead in the water and had “completely collapsed” during negotiations at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana in July 2017 “due to the attitude of the Greek-Cypriot side.”

He didn't mention that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades walked away from the table at talks brokered by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres because Erdogan and then Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said they would never removed a 35,000-strong army on the occupied territory and wanted the right of further military intervention.

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