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Turkey insists two-state solution only option

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday the only way to end division on Cyprus is for a two states solution, and an UN-backed federation would not be on the agenda of upcoming talks.

On Monday Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said they would only accept a peace deal based on UN resolutions, rejecting the two-state formula supported by Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

United Nations-backed five-party conference to restart Cyprus talks is planned for next month.

The UN is set to invite Cyprus’s two communities and foreign ministers from the three guarantor nations – Greece, Turkey, and Britain – to discuss how to move forward.

U.N. resolutions call for Cyprus’ reunification under a two-zone federal umbrella.

Erdogan said statements by Greece and Nicosia showed they were disregarding Turkish Cypriot authorities, recognised only by Ankara, adding that there was no point discussing proposals that failed before.

“There is no longer any solution but a two-state solution. Whether you accept it or not, there is no federation anymore,” he told lawmakers.

“Only under these conditions can we sit at the table over Cyprus. Otherwise, everyone should go their own way.”

Though peace talks are based on reuniting Cyprus as a federal state, Turkey and Turkish Cypriots have called for a confederation or two-state union.

Nicosia refuses to discuss this formula as it implies Turkish Cypriot sovereign authority.

On the back burner for three years, the dispute has been brought into focus by energy exploration in the East Mediterranean and a dispute between Turkey and Greece over maritime boundaries.

The two countries resumed talks last month, but Erdogan said on Wednesday he could not meet Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“Mitsotakis challenged me. How can we sit down with you now? Know your limit first. If you really seek peace, don’t challenge me,” Erdogan said.

Greece’s Prime Minister said on Monday in Nicosia that it’s unlikely “substantial” talks to reunify Cyprus could resume if Turkey and Turkish Cypriots insist on pursuing a two-state accord that defies a UN and European Union-endorsed framework for federation.

Mitsotakis said that in their public statements, the leaders of Turkey and the breakaway Turkish Cypriots are “outside the framework” of an envisioned federation.

He said the Turkish side “must be aware that a resumption of a substantial dialogue is possible only within the existing and binding margins.” (source agencies)