Greek Cypriots swiftly reject proposed ‘two-state solution’ at UN talks

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The Turkish Cypriot delegation to U.N.-sponsored talks proposed a two-state solution for Cyprus on Wednesday to end the conflict with Greek Cypriots and put the island’s two communities on an equal footing, but it was swiftly rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, who serves as president of the island’s internationally-recognised government, said that the proposal was a “great disappointment”.

“Of course I have told the Secretary-General that our attempt was to create a positive climate, without provocations, without any references to whatever unacceptable (things) we heard. I have also told the Secretary-General that we will submit, in writing, our own positions,” he said in a statement.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a news conference after a 5+1 Meeting on Cyprus at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland April 29, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The proposal was presented at informal talks with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Geneva, who had urged both sides to “be creative” after a four-year stalemate in peace negotiations.

Guterres said a new round of informal talks are planned, possibly in the next two to three months.

“The truth is that in the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem,” Guterres said. “But I do not give up.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a news conference after a 5+1 Meeting on Cyprus at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland April 29, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

He summarized the two sides’ positions: The Turkish Cypriots believe that decades of efforts to ensure a “bi-zonal, bicommunal federation” have been exhausted and they now deserve “equal international status” like that enjoyed by the Nicosia government run by Greek Cypriots in the south.

The Greek Cypriots held to their position for a federation “with political equality on the basis of relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Guterres said.

“As you can imagine, this was not an easy meeting,” he said. “To square the circle is an impossibility in geometry, but it is very common in politics.”

Sourced By: AP News

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