Ankara wants lasting solution on Cyprus, says Turkish FM
NICOSIA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Aug. 31 that Turkey will continue to do its part for a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue.
Çavuşoğlu’s remarks came during a press conference in Nicosia alongside Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün.
“Turkey will support Cyprus peace talks as it always has,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that Turkey was closely following developments on the Cyprus issue.
Reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island resumed in May 2015 and expectations have been high for a resolution of the conflict by the end of this year with the formation of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal administration.
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot state in the south after a 1974 military coup aimed at unification with Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.
Çavuşoğlu also met the Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, followed by a joint press conference.
“We will continue to give support to a solution that would be accepted by both parts [of the island],” Çavuşoğlu told reporters alongside Akıncı.
Çavuşoğlu said the aim was to ensure a “permanent” peace and solution, adding: “We are ready to make any kind of contribution, including trust-building steps and measures.”
Akıncı for his part said they set this year as the target year for a solution.
Akıncı and Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades are engaged in a marathon of meetings until mid-September, during which they will meet seven times and try to resolve the remaining conflicting topics before a United Nations General Assembly by the end of September.
“This is the aim for us all. Turkey supports this aim all the way,” Akıncı said. “We strive for a solution that both sides can accept.”
For his part, Özgürgün said that Turkey and Turkish Cyprus were two states but one nation.
Referring to the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey, blamed by Turkish officials on the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), Özgürgün said the Turkish Cypriot administration recognized the group as a terrorist organization.
“Northern [Turkish] Cyprus will not tolerate any negative development in our ‘homeland’ Turkey,” he said, adding, “Because we know that a powerful Turkey means a powerful Northern Cyprus.”