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Politics

Turkish-Cypriots Repeat – Again – Demand for Two States on Island

NICOSIA — Ahead of coming United Nations sponsored talks about trying to reunify Cyprus, the Turkish-Cypriot side that’s been unlawfully occupying the northern third again said they won’t accept that and want recognition.

Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the Turkish-Cypriot self-declared foreign minister, recognized only by Turkey in the world, said that, "Our perspective for resolution is the two-state model based on the principle of cooperation and co-existence of two sovereign states with equal rights.”

While Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades had already said that’s not acceptable and that he wouldn’t talk as long as Turkey keeps drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters, he relented and is willing to sit down to negotiate.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who was at the last round of talks that collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana after Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriots said they would never remove a 35,000-strong army, has called the two sides together for a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland April 27-29.

There are signs it’s doomed to failure already over Turkey’s insistence nothing else will be discussed except the two states demand and Turkey, along with Greece and the United Kingdom as guarantors of security on the island will also take part.

Ertugruloglu told Pakistani media outlets the Turkish-Cypriot side no longer will talk about a federal solution. "We instead should focus on a two-state solution that is in line with the policy of the TRNC's new President, Ersin Tatar,” he said, using the name for the occupied side no other country does.

"If negotiations fail once again, we will consult with motherland [Turkey] as we always do and draw up a new roadmap," he said, the hardline nationalist Tatar already saying he would do whatever Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells him.

Ertugruloglu also explained why they rejected a proposal by Nicos Anastasiades to include the European Union, which issued soft sanctions against Turkey’s drilling that have been ignored.

"Greek-Cypriots are part of the EU as a member state, and they are after maximizing their own interests through various mechanisms of the bloc. As such, the EU cannot act neutrally in the Cyprus issue. Against this background, the EU has no place at the 5+1 meeting,” he said.

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NICOSIA - A long line of diplomats who've failed to help broker reunification of Cyprus, split by unlawful 1974 Turkish invasions that saw the northern third occupied, will soon see another trying to broker an answer.

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