Turkey’s Erdogan says it’s time for two-state solution in Cyprus


Ankara (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday it was time for a realistic proposal about a two-state solution on the divided island of Cyprus to be discussed, and added that the parameters of the current talks were not sustainable.

Cyprus was split after a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. The European Union admitted the island into the bloc in 2004, represented by the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government in the south.

Its north is a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state only recognised by Ankara.

The latest attempt at reunification between the two Cypriot sides collapsed in disarray in mid-2017. Both sides blamed each other for the collapse, and Ankara accuses the EU of violating laws by only admitting Greek Cypriots.

Speaking at a news conference with Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar in Ankara, Erdogan said the approach of Greek Cypriots had blocked previous attempts to find a solution.

“It must be understood that no result can be achieved under the current parameters following a negotiation process that has lasted more than half a century,” Erdogan said.

“At this stage, we believe starting talks on the basis of a federation will be a loss of time. Therefore, we believe a two-state solution must now be brought to the table with a realistic proposal.”

Turkey has said before a two-state mechanism is needed to solve the Cyprus issue, but has accused the Greek Cypriot government of not engaging in talks.

Tatar said a Turkish proposal to hold an informal meeting between Turkey, Northern Cyprus, Greek Cypriots, Greece and the United Nations was “the last chance” for an agreement.

Earlier this month, Northern Cyprus partially reopened the beach town of Varosha, a fenced-off resort area abandoned in no-man’s land since 1974, a move criticised by the United States, Greece and Greek Cypriots.

Erdogan, who said he would visit Northern Cyprus on Nov. 15, said he wanted to have a picnic in Varosha.

“I believe it would be beneficial to have a picnic there all together,” he said. “We are watching from our screens here, but we want to experience it in person. God willing, we will do that too.”

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