LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar discussed the issue of Cyprus on Tuesday with the UN mission chief to Cyprus. 

Tatar received Colin Stewart, the UN Secretary General’s special representative in Cyprus and head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the TRNC Presidency said in a statement.

During the meeting, Tatar reiterated the TRNC’s commitment to a two-state solution on the island based on an equal international status and sovereign equality.

Tatar said the TRNC will continue its efforts to find a realistic, fair and sustainable solution to the crisis.

Speaking to Turkish News Agency-Cyprus (TAK) following the meeting, Stewart said he was always pleased to meet with President Tatar, saying today’s meeting was “excellent.”

Stewart said they have been making a great effort to create conditions that could pave the way for a final solution to the crisis on the island.

Decades-long dispute

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation of the island led to Turkiye’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.

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 Turkiye, Greece and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the longstanding dispute.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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