Turkey will only join talks to resolve decades of dispute over Cyprus with a proposal to establish two states on the island, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Thursday, adding previous failed proposals should not be on the agenda.
On Monday, the leaders of Cyprus and Greece said they would only accept a peace deal based on U.N. resolutions, rejecting the two-state formula supported by Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. Talks under United Nations auspices are planned for next month.
The U.N. 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 on an issue that has stoked tensions between Ankara and Athens and complicated energy projects in the eastern Mediterranean.
U.N. resolutions call for Cyprus‘ reunification under a two-zone federal umbrella. Previous attempts have failed to unite Greek and Turkish Cypriots on the island, which was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday the only way to resolve the Cyprus dispute was a two-state solution, rather than a federation favoured by Nicosia, Athens, the U.N and EU.
Though the basis set by U.N. resolutions has been reaffirmed over the years, Turkey and Turkish Cypriots have called for a confederation, or two-state union.
Greek Cypriots – the island’s internationally recognised government and an EU member – refuse to discuss this formula as it implies Turkish Cypriot sovereign authority.