Erdogan visits northern Cyprus, says ‘two-state deal’ is the only way forward

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The only route to lasting peace on ethnically divided Cyprus is through the international community’s acceptance of two separate states on the east Mediterranean island nation, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Monday.

Erdogan said that a “permanent and sustainable solution” to the country’s division “can only be possible” by taking into account that there are “two separate states and two separate people.”

“The international community will sooner or later accept this reality,” Erdogan told Turkish Cypriot lawmakers in Cyprus’ breakaway north before celebrations to mark the 47th anniversary of a Turkish invasion that split the island along ethnic lines.

Erdogan giving his speech during a visit to occupied Cyprus.

Turkey’s 1974 invasion came in the wake of a Greek junta-backed coup that aimed at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognises a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and keeps 35,000 troops there.

READ MORE: On This Day in 1974: The first Turkish invasion of Cyprus was launched.

In a 1983 resolution, the U.N. Security Council denounced the Turkish Cypriots’ secessionist move as legally invalid and called for its withdrawal. The European Union has also ruled out a two-state deal.

European Commission President, Ursula Von der Leyen, said in Nicosia earlier this month that the 27 member-bloc which Cyprus joined in 2004 would “never, ever” accept such an arrangement.

Photo: Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool.

READ MORE: Von der Leyen: EU will ‘never, ever’ accept two-state deal on Cyprus.

But Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots say a two-state deal is the only way to peace because nearly five decades of negotiations based on forging a federation have led nowhere. They fault Greek Cypriots’ unwillingness to “accept the realities” and see Turkish Cypriots as “equal partners.”

Cyprus’ internationally recognised government seated in the island’s Greek Cypriot south says there can be no deviation from a 1977 deal to reach a formal peace accord by negotiating a federation made up of a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot zone.

But the majority Greek Cypriots object to Turkey’s demand for a permanent military presence on the island amid fears that it would turn the island into Ankara’s “protectorate.” They also push back against a Turkish Cypriot demand for veto rights, fearing Ankara’s meddling in Cypriot internal affairs.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said Erdogan’s remarks were “an expected repeat of Turkey’s unacceptable positions.”

READ MORE: PASEKA calls on Australian Government to continue push for territorial integrity of Cyprus.

Erdogan unveils plans for Turkish Cypriot ‘government’ complex:

During the same speech, Erdogan also promised Turkish Cypriots that Turkey would build a new government complex to symbolise the Turkish-occupied “state” of northern Cyprus, which he said the world would “sooner or later” recognise despite near universal opposition for now.

“The project work on the TRNC presidential complex has been completed and we will start construction soon, God willing,” Erdogan said, adding that the complex would include a new parliament.

“This is the expression of being a state. By realising this project some people must see what sort of a Northern Cyprus state there is.”

Source: AP News.

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