The Greek Cypriot side is trying to dilute negotiations on the Cyprus issue by repackaging and selling the issues they brought to the agenda as “confidence-building steps or measures,” Türkiye’s foreign minister said Sunday.
Mevlut Cavusoglu along with Türkiye’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Interior Minister Ziya Ozturkler met with Turkish Cypriots in the town of Lapta in the coastal city of Girne.
Cavusoglu said Turkish Cypriots are "precious" to Türkiye and it has never left them and the TRNC alone and will never do so.
Emphasizing that he had fruitful meetings with representatives of non-governmental organizations as part of their visit to the TRNC, Cavusoglu added that he will meet with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Tahsin Ertugruloglu, TRNC President Ersin Tatar and the negotiation committee to evaluate the latest developments in Cyprus.
"Ahead of Crans Montana, we said 'we are negotiating for the federation for the last time. After that, there is sovereign equality, not political equality. So the two-state solution," Cavusoglu underlined.
The initiative in Crans-Montana, Switzerland in July 2017 under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece and the UK ended in failure.
"Two states that will live side by side can cooperate with each other in any way. This is quite natural. We are working to make everyone accept the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots," he added.
Noting that Türkiye proposed the 5+1 Cyprus talks held in Geneva last year, Cavusoglu said they also clearly expressed their stance of a two-state solution in these talks.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Türkiye's intervention as a guarantor power.
The status of the island remains unresolved, in spite of a series of negotiations over the years./aa