The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, suggested that the UN Security Council recognize two independent and equal states on the divided island of Mediterranean Cyprus, as part of his participation in informal discussions in Geneva under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General.
Cyprus has been divided since the Turkish army invaded its northern third in 1974, in response to an attempted coup aimed at annexing the island to Greece.
In 2004, the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union, whose gains are limited to the southern part of the island inhabited by Greek Cypriots and governed by an authority that is the only recognized in the United Nations. In the north, only Ankara recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Tatar published a two-page document which he delivered earlier to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
This document contains six points and is entitled “Turkish Cypriot proposals for a permanent agreement.”
The first point calls on the Secretary-General “to take the initiative in order for the Security Council to adopt a resolution that guarantees equality in the international status and the sovereignty of the two parties as a new basis for establishing a relationship of cooperation between the two states.”
The document details the steps following the passage of this resolution in the Security Council – which is unlikely to happen – and calls for the start of “time-limited” negotiations under the auspices of Guterres.
These negotiations will focus “on the future relationship between the two independent states, ownership, security and border adjustments, in addition to relations with the European Union,” according to the second point of the document.
The negotiations will be supported by “Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom, and an observer from the European Union as well, if necessary.”
Points 5 and 6, respectively, suggest mutual recognition with support from the three guarantor countries, and a referendum in each of the two countries.
Greek and Turkish Cypriots will meet from Tuesday to Thursday in Geneva for “informal talks” on the island’s future under the auspices of the United Nations.
Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations Stephane Dujarric said during a press conference before the start of the talks that Guterres wanted to know whether the two parties have a “common vision for the future” of the Mediterranean island.