At the UN-led meeting, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Ankara supports a two-state solution to the island with a sustainable settlement only achievable based on ground realities.

The three-day meetings in Geneva are aimed at gauging willingness to resume formal peace negotiations on Cyprus that have been stalled since 2017.
The three-day meetings in Geneva are aimed at gauging willingness to resume formal peace negotiations on Cyprus that have been stalled since 2017. (Reuters)

Turkey has backed the solution Turkish Cyprus laid out in an informal UN-led meeting held in Geneva aimed at gauging willingness to resume formal peace negotiations that have been stalled since 2017.

"In #Geneva stated strong support for Turkish Cypriot side's vision of sovereign equality & equal intl status & its proposal to this end," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. 

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) explained during the meeting why a federal solution, involving a single state with the current Greek Cypriot Administration, would not be possible, said Cavusoglu, adding that a "fair, permanent and sustainable solution" could only be achieved "based on realities" on the island.

During the 5+1 meeting between the two sides, guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and Britain, Cavusoglu also met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and discussed the solution of the Cyprus dispute.

READ MORE: Cyprus sides hold informal talks in Geneva

Crucial meetings

Earlier on Wednesday, Guterres made an opening speech at the closed-door meeting taking place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades followed Guterres in addressing the session.

President of the TRNC, Ersin Tatar, Turkish FM Cavusoglu, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab are scheduled to speak later. 

Guterres is set to hold bilateral meetings with FM Cavusgolu and other delegation heads, which is to be followed by an informal dinner in honour of the heads of delegations.

After arriving in Geneva late on Tuesday, Raab tweeted: "The UK will work for the resumption of negotiations aiming at a fair and lasting settlement to the Cyprus issue."

The talks will end on Thursday.

READ MORE: Turkish Cypriot president says Turkey is 'motherland, guarantor country'

Decades-long dispute

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

The island has been divided since 1964 when ethnic Greek attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power. 

The TRNC was founded in 1983.

The Greek Cypriot Administration, backed by Athens, became a member of the EU in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year, which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.

Huseyin Isiksal, a member of the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team, said he was "optimistic", stressing that the two-state solution offered benefits for Greek Cypriots such as access to Turkish air space and ports.

"We see our Greek neighbours as our partners, we don't see them as our enemies," he told Reuters news agency. "All we want is a solution for the island that benefits both communities."

READ MORE: Ex-UK foreign secretary proposes 'two-state solution' to Cyprus issue

Source: TRTWorld and agencies