The Greek Cypriot administration leader should work on ways to realize a two-state solution and institutional cooperation on the island, said the Northern Cypriot president on Aug. 29.
In a statement, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar criticized the Greek side for trying to shoot down the proposed solution that was discussed for the first time during the 5+UN Geneva conference this April.
Rebuffing Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ suggestion that Turkish Cypriots should return to the constitution of decades ago before ethnic strife wracked the island, Tatar said Anastasiades should instead focus on starting result-oriented negotiations based on the vested rights of both sides and the current reality of the island.
“It is time for reconciliation, cooperation, and action for stability. The path to realistic and sustainable reconciliation is through taking brave steps forward, not backwards, in accordance with the changing conditions of our island, region, and the world,” said Tatar.
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
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Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan plan to end the longstanding dispute.
A UN-led unofficial Cyprus conference was held in Geneva this April to seek common ground to negotiate a lasting solution to the decades-old conflict.
Guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK also took part in the meeting.
Hurriyet Daily News