Kasoulides slams Turkish side for lack of progress on Cyprus issue

Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has slammed Ankara and Turkish-Cypriot officials for lack of progress on reunification talks suggesting that their real objective is to upgrade the illegal state in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island.

Speaking to Cyprus’s state broadcaster RIK, Kasoulides said that the Greek-Cypriot administration in Nicosia has intensified efforts for a peace settlement between the two sides.

“[The government] only has one plan: to end the occupation and reunify Cyprus,” he said while criticizing the Turkish side for the impasse.

“Those who claimed to have assurances of a good will gesture from [Turkish President Recep] Tayyip Erdogan should ask Ankara to clarify whether it wants a solution,” he said.

The UN’s goal of helping Greek and Turkish Cypriots form a bizonal, bicommunal federation suffered a blow last week when newly-elected Erdogan insisted that the only solution is for the island to be split into two states.

Meanwhile, the UN secretary general’s envoy on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide was expected to hold separate meetings with the negotiating teams of the Greek and Turkish-Cypriot sides on Monday as he continued his first round of contacts on the island.

The Mediterranean island has been split since a 1974 Turkish military invasion, dividing the north from the south after a brief Greek-Cypriot coup engineered by the military then ruling Greece.

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