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Washington shoots down Turkey’s two-state answer for Cyprus, as stand-off on disputed island intensifies

Washington shoots down Turkey’s two-state solution for Cyprus, as stand-off on disputed island intensifies

The US has rejected Ankara’s calls for for a separate Turkish state on the island of Cyprus, after Turkish Cypriot authorities introduced plans to defy Greece and the UN by reopening the northern border city of Varosha.

Sitting on the border between Greek and Turkish-held Cyprus, Varosha has remained deserted since Turkish forces invaded the island in 1974 to stave off a Greek Cypriot coup. Although inside Turkish territory on the island, Varosha has served as a buffer between that territory and the Greek sector of the island, which is acknowledged internationally as Cyprus.

After a go to to the island’s divided capital of Nicosia a day earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Wednesday that his authorities would solely settle for a two-state deal. “Now, the one demand of the Turkish Cypriots in worldwide negotiations is the popularity of the standing of a sovereign state,” he declared. “All affords aside from this have expired.”

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‘Provocation’: France slams Turkish-Cypriot resolution to reopen deserted city of Varosha

Nevertheless, he can count on little to no worldwide help. A senior US diplomat instructed Reuters shortly afterwards that Washington opposes such a deal, and Secretary of State Tony Blinken earlier condemned Turkey’s deliberate reopening of Varosha and referred to as on Erdogan to reverse his resolution.

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned earlier this month that the EU will “by no means, ever” settle for a two-state answer. Turkey is presently the one nation that acknowledges the existence of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Varosha was as soon as the hub of Cyprus’ tourism trade, and about 17,000 Gerek Cypriots lived there earlier than the Turkish invasion. It has since remained cordoned-off by barricades and barbed wire, and patrolled by among the 35,000 or so Turkish troops stationed in northern Cyprus. The UN’s place on Varosha is that it ought to fall underneath the management of worldwide peacekeepers, till Cyprus might be reunited as a federation or an influence sharing settlement is reached.

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A pictured shows the Greek Church of Saint George (R) and the Saint Nicholas' Cathedral (L) (Lala Mustafa Mosque) in Famagusta, in the eastern coast of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on April 9, 2021. © Birol BEBEK / AFP
Turkish coastguard fires warning pictures at Cypriot patrol vessel, police say as tensions mount

Although peace talks during the last 20 years have sometimes proven indicators of progress towards this finish, relations between Greece, Turkey, and their respective allies on Cyprus have taken a nosedive in recent times, attributable to competing claims to the energy-rich waters across the island. Greece has repeatedly warned Turkey away from exploratory oil drilling within the space, which Ankara has ignored, whereas claiming its personal territorial rights within the area. 

“A technique or one other…we’ll perform our oil exploration operations within the jap Mediterranean, Cyprus, and all these seas,” Erdogan mentioned earlier this month, regardless of opposition and threats of sanctions from the EU.

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