Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu reiterated support for a two-state solution for Cyprus in a visit to Lefkosa, capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

"In line with our common vision, we will continue to defend together our national cause," Cavusoglu said. (AA)

Türkiye continues defending the rights of its citizens and the Turkish Cypriots’ within the framework of its “entrepreneurial and humanitarian foreign policy,” Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

It is “impossible” for Ankara to “neglect the TRNC and its people,” Cavusoglu told his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Tahsin Ertugruloglu on Monday during a visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Referring to the negotiation process on the island, Cavusoglu said Ankara reiterates its stance on every platform, including the UN, and with other stakeholders.

Türkiye and the TRNC will also evaluate the steps they can take on the diplomatic and political level, Cavusoglu said, adding that there are “intensive efforts to increase the visibility and status of the TRNC on the international platform."

“We have intensified our contacts in order to open new representative offices in the countries that the TRNC deems appropriate,” the Turkish foreign minister recalled.

"In line with our common vision, we will continue to defend together our national cause," Cavusoglu said in a tweet.

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Ankara reiterates support on two-state solution

Cavusoglu also reiterated Türkiye's support for a two-state solution in Cyprus, emphasising the need to launch talks between the two sides as equal sovereign states.

"A two-state solution in Cyprus is needed. Negotiations need to start between two equal sovereign states,” Cavusoglu told a joint press conference later on Monday in the capital Lefkosa following a meeting with Ersin Tatar, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

On the eastern fenced-off coastal area of Maras, Cavusoglu said the Greek Cypriot administration wanted to return the town under its control, "but it belongs to Northern Cyprus."

Maras had virtually become a ghost town as it remained cut off from the world for 47 years. A portion of the region -- just about 3.5 percent of its total area -- was reopened in October 2020. Turkish and TRNC authorities have repeatedly urged Greek Cypriots and other citizens who own assets in Maras to apply to the Immovable Property Commission.

Cavusoglu said Greece is "engaging in demagoguery and dishonest rhetoric," adding that it had proven unable to provide a legal response in the face of Ankara's stance.

The island has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

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 Türkiye'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 Türkiye, 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. The status of the island remains unresolved.

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Source: AA