By Tasos Kokkinidis
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community to recognize the international status of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus during a speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
He said that “a fair, lasting and sustainable solution to the Cyprus issue is possible only through a result-oriented, realistic approach. While the leader of one of the two peoples on the Island, which the United Nations considers as equal, can address you, it is not fair that the other leader cannot make his voice heard on this platform.”
Erdogan calls for equal status for Turkish Cyprus
He added that Turkish Cypriots are the co-owners of the Island, and that “for a solution, it is necessary to reaffirm the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot people.”
Erdogan also spoke about the security situation in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, warning the international community that Turkey, which he claimed has the longest coast in the Mediterranean, cannot be ignored.
“The continuation of the calm environment in Eastern Mediterranean is in our common interest. We hope that the problems regarding maritime boundary delimitation will be resolved within the framework of international law and good neighbourly relations,” he said.
He added, however, that “for this, it is necessary, first of all, to abandon the understanding whereby Turkey, which has the longest coast in Eastern Mediterranean, is ignored in the region. Our proposal to organize an Eastern Mediterranean conference, in which all actors in the region will take part for dialogue and cooperation, is still on the table.”
On the disputes with Greece on the Aegean Erdogan stressed the need for bilateral dialogue.
New ideas put forward by Anastasiades on Cyprus issue
Earlier on Tuesday, Cyprus president Anastasiades said that his meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had taken place in a creative atmosphere.
He added that new positions and ideas were raised over how a dialogue could be reignited ahead of a lunch with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and Guterres due to take place in New York on September 27.
“We have listed the views, positions over how a creative dialogue without prerequisites can be restarted. I have developed some positions and ideas and we have agreed that everything related to the Cyprus issue will also be discussed during the lunch we will have on the 27th, with Mr. Tatar,” he said. “Let us hope that everything will go smoothly, so that there is a new outlook for Cyprus.”
However, as Greek Reporter reported on Tuesday, Anastasiades is not as optimistic as he would like to be about the informal tripartite meeting.
Anastasiades pointed towards comments made from the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot camp – specifically, proposals for a two-state solution and recognition – as a black mark on the peace process.
“I’m not as optimistic as I would like to be in the face of repeated statements by either (Turkish President Recep) Erdogan, or (Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut) Cavusoglu, repeated by Tatar,” the president said.
He also criticized what he argued is a “Neo-Ottoman” agenda by Turkey, saying it impacts not only Cyprus but also Greece, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Armenia.