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Foreign Ministry slams Erdogan’s visit

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The Foreign Ministry condemned the illegal visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the occupied north and his statements on recognition as a condition for Cyprus talks to resume.

It said Monday’s visit was another “flagrant violation” of the UN Security Council Resolutions at a time when the Republic of Cyprus is making strong efforts to resume the peace negotiations to solve within the agreed UN framework.

“This rhetoric that serves Turkey’s policy of promoting the ‘recognition’ of the illegal entity in the occupied areas comes at the expense of any prospect for resolving the Cyprus problem,” said a ministry statement.

“In light of these illegal actions, the Foreign Ministry will take all the appropriate actions and steps.”

Fresh from his election victory Erdogan said the Turkish Cypriot side would only return to Cyprus negotiations on the condition the breakaway north is recognised.

Erdogan commented during a visit to the north of the divided island, his first overseas destination following his re-election last month.

He said: “No one can bear to waste another 50 years.”

He announced the Turkish Cypriot side would only return to the negotiating table if the ‘TRNC’ was recognised.

“If there is to be a return to the negotiating table, the way to do this is through recognition”.

Erdogan’s comments solidify a shift in Turkish policy on the Cyprus problem towards a two-state solution, clearly moving away from a bicommunal, bizonal federation that has underpinned previous UN efforts.

Although Erdogan comfortably won last month’s runoff, he lost to his secular rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu by 15 points in the north.

Numerous rounds of UN-backed talks to reunite the island under a federal roof have failed to yield results.

The last attempt occurred in the summer of 2017 in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana.