Turkey's Çavuşoğlu reiterates Ankara’s support of two-state solution in Cyprus

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavuşoğlu on Monday reiterated Turkey’s support for a two-state solution to the ethnically-divided island of Cyprus as he accused Greece of seeking to rally international support against his country.

The country’s top diplomat made the remarks following talks with Turkish Cypriot officials in north of the island, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“If the Greek Cypriot side is sincere about wanting to treat Turkish Cypriots as equals, then it will recognize their political sovereignty and we will cooperate,” Çavuşoğlu said. “Our position is open and clear. There must be a two-state solution (in Cyprus). Talks must begin between two equal and sovereign states.’’

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey intervened after a brief Greek Cypriot coup orchestrated by the military junta then ruling Greece. Turkey justified its intervention by citing its rights to protect Turkish Cypriots, but the island has remained divided between the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC, which is only recognised as a state by Turkey.

U.N. resolutions call for a reunification of the ethnically-split under a two-zone federal umbrella, but the Ankara-backed Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, along with the Turkish government has insisted on a two-state solution.

“Two states existing side by side can cooperate between them in every possible way,” the Turkish foreign minister said.

Çavuşoğlu also condemned Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis over his remarks targeting Turkey during his visit to the United States in May, Voice of America Turkish reported.

“We do not expect the Greek prime minister to praise us at the U.S. Congress, but as two NATO allies, it is a matter of solidarity under the scope of the bloc’s security concerns,” Çavuşoğlu said.

It was “unacceptable” for the Greek leader to carry out lobbying activities regarding the F-16s, he said. 

Mitsotakis delivered a speech in Washington on May 17, in which he told Congress that Washington should avoid creating a new source of instability on NATO’s southeastern flank, Reuters reported.

The remarks prompted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to declare that he would stop talking to Mitsotakis and cancel a key meeting between their two governments, as he accused the Greek leader of antagonising Turkey.

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