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EU will ‘never accept’ two states on Cyprus

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Brussels would “never accept” a two-state solution for Cyprus that Turkey advocates as a condition for United Nations-backed peace talks to resume.

“I want to repeat that we will never, ever, accept a two-state solution, we are firm on that and very united, and this is what Cyprus can expect,” von der Leyen told reporters on her visit to Cyprus.

“The most precious part is unity in the EU and the knowledge that we all 26 member-states at the European level are standing by your side,” she added.

She made the comments at a joint news conference with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on the approval of the Cyprus National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

In April, a UN summit in Gevena failed to broker a deal between Cypriot leaders to resume stalled Cyprus talks since 2017 to resolve the decades-old division.

The summit also involved guarantor powers for the island’s sovereignty – Turkey, Greece and the UK.

The UN is trying to mediate a deal for the eastern Mediterranean island, nearly six decades since it first deployed peacekeepers.

Greek Cypriots argue the stumbling block is the insistence by the Turkish side for Cyprus to become two separate states, tantamount to partition.

Nicosia backs reunification based on a federal model as foreseen in UN resolutions.

A federal solution is backed by Brussels, Washington, Greece and the UK.

Von der Leyen said a recent summit of EU leaders sent “very clear messages” to Turkey.

“I want our neighbours (Turkey) to know that if they speak to one of our member-states, like, for example, Cyprus, in whatever tone, they speak to the EU.

“We are united on that we stand by your side, and I have been clear on that too in my phone call with (Turkey) President Erdogan, so rest assured that you have the backing of the whole EU.”