BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the need to “negotiate a two-state solution” in Cyprus, noting that there are “two separate peoples” on the island.
On Sunday, Erdogan said, in a speech during a visit to the Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized by Turkey:
“Today, there are two separate peoples and two states on the island of Cyprus, and the two-state solution must be negotiated on the basis of equal sovereignty.”
The Turkish president stressed the impatience of Ankara and the Turkish Cypriots regarding what he described as the “diplomatic games” practiced by the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and Greece regarding the energy resources in the vicinity of the island, saying:
“The Turkish Cypriots have been neglected and their rights usurped for many years, and they are the only victims of the Cyprus crisis.”
The Turkish president continued that the Turkish Cypriots “live with their heads held high on their lands with freedom and dignity despite the targeting of their presence on the island.”
Erdogan declared that Ankara’s priority is to provide “a sustainable solution to the Cyprus issue in a way that guarantees the legitimate rights and security of the Turkish Cypriot people,” noting that it is no longer possible for any equation to achieve peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean without the participation of Turkey and the Republic of Northern Cyprus in it.
Erdogan renewed Turkey’s determination to continue seismic surveying and exploration in the disputed waters of the eastern Mediterranean “until a fair agreement is reached.”
The Turkish leader’s latest comments and visit come just a week after a ceasefire deal was established between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Karabakh region.
Turkey was the main supporter of Azerbaijan during the conflict, as they repeatedly criticized Armenia and demanded they withdraw from “occupied lands”.