U.N. chief Guterres declines Northern Cyprus’ two-state proposal

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has declined a two-state model proposed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar during the Geneva-based Cyprus negotiations over the divided Mediterranean island’s future, Kıbrıs Postası reported on Wednesday.

Guterres invited Greek and Turkish Cypriot officials including the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom to resume peace negotiations that collapsed in mid-2017.

Discussions are expected to last three days and could pave the way for formal negotiations.

Before the meeting, Ankara-backed Tatar said that a two-state solution would bring a “new vision” to the discussions, which Greek Cypriots already rejected.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Tatar Turkey would “fully support” Tatar’s two-state proposal before he travelled to Geneva.

However, Guterres told Tatar that his two-state model could not be discussed within the U.N. mandate and the European Union did not endorse it.

Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded in 1974 in response to a brief Greek Cypriot coup aimed at uniting it with Greece. Numerous diplomatic efforts to reunify the Mediterranean island have failed.

The internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus controls the

southern two-thirds of the island and the TRNC, a self-styled state recognised only by Turkey, governs the remainder.