NEWS

UN ‘will not give up on Cyprus,’ as talks fail to find common ground

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A clearly disappointed Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thuersday following the conclusion of the informal five-party meeting in Geneva on the Cyprus issue that any attempt by Turkey to create new realities will be a reason for his non-participation in future United Nations efforts to reunite the war-torn island. 

“We will continue to work with the same consistency to find a solution that will reunite our country on the basis of the bizonal, bicommunal federation,” he said. He stressed that the Turkish proposal for a two-state solution is a violation of UN resolutions and will never be accepted. Echoing similar sentiments, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stated that no common ground was found due to the attitude of the Turkish-Cypriot side.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, under whose auspices the informal conference was held, said there was no common ground that would allow the resumption of formal talks about Cyprus. Guterres admitted the conference was not easy but insisted “we will not give up.” He added, however, that they did agree to a new five-party meeting.

Through its representative Peter Stano, the European Union welcomed Guterres’ announcement of a new five-party summit.

Anastasiades read a 13-page statement, which was not submitted in writing, referring to a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as a historic compromise on the Cyprus issue after the Turkish invasion of 1974.

Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar insisted that he would not back down on the proposal for a two-state solution, while Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the Greek Cypriots did not submit a proposal.

According to the document seen by Kathimerini, Tatar insisted the goal of negotiations should be the sovereign equality of the two sides as the Turkish-Cypriot community, he said, is one of the parties that founded the Cyprus Republic in 1960. If this is ensured through a UN resolution, then the Turkish side will agree to negotiations under the auspices of the UN secretary-general. 

For the Greek side, the two-state solution would validate the1974 Turkish invasion of the Republic of Cyprus and the results of Ankara’s illegal military occupation of more than a third of its territory. The 1974 invasion displaced some 150,000-160,000 Greek Cypriots and around 40,000-50,000 Turkish Cypriots.