ISTANBUL

The Turkish foreign minister on Tuesday stressed the importance of negotiations based on sovereign equality to resolve the Cyprus issue.

Negotiation on sovereign equality is required in resolving the Cyprus issue, “if there is sovereign equality, then there can be two states,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar in Lefkosa.

Cavusoglu said that half of the Eastern Mediterranean issue would be solved if they can find a solution for sharing revenues of natural resources in Cyprus.

On Monday, Cavusoglu met with Turkish Cypriot authorities as part of a two-day visit.

He was first received by TRNC Parliament Speaker Onder Sennaroglu and later by Prime Minister Ersan Saner to discuss issues on “the common agenda, particularly the Cyprus issue”.

The island of Cyprus has been divided into the TRNC in the north and the Greek Cypriot administration in the south since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation of the island was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK. The TRNC was founded in 1983.

Turkey has recently stressed that efforts for a “federal” solution to the divided island of Cyprus have proved hopeless and any future talks must focus on two separate, sovereign states on the island.

Last month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he intends to convene a meeting with Cyprus parties in early March.

The meeting will be informal without pre-conditions to allow the parties to see that there is a change in administration in Northern Cyprus, Guterres said during his first news conference in 2021.

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