The European Union would “never, ever” accept a two-state solution in ethnically divided Cyprus, according to the chairman of its executive.
Ursula Von Der Leyen, who was visiting Cyprus, said the European Union spoke with one voice on the dispute, which has raged for decades and is a major stumbling block to Turkey’s membership ambitions.
“I’d want to reiterate that a two-state solution will never be acceptable to us. We’re adamant about it, and we’re pretty united on it “At a press conference, Von Der Leyen stated.
Cyprus was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek inspired coup. The south is run by an internationally recognized government which represents the entire island in the European Union, while the north is a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state recognized only by Ankara.
United Nations-led efforts which predate 1974 events have failed to unite the island. The present stalemate is steeped in disagreements of the form unification could take – a union of two independent states advocated by a new Turkish Cypriot leadership, or as a loose federation advocated by Greek Cypriots representing Cyprus internationally.
Talks on the subject in Geneva earlier this year ended in a stalemate.
Disagreement has also centered on rival claims to offshore energy assets, a disagreement linked to disputes between Turkey and Greece, the Greek Cypriots’ main supporter.
“Good bilateral relations are important to our neighbors. If this is the case, and we both desire strong bilateral connections, I want our neighbors to know that they are speaking to the European Union when they speak to one of our member nations, such as Cyprus “According to Von Der Leyen.