World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has urged for a final settlement in the ongoing “last” round of Cyprus negotiations that aims to reach an agreement over the reunification of the island.
Speaking with reporters in Crans-Montana on Friday, Cavusoglu said: "Turkish delegation and Turkish Cypriot have been acting in a constructive and sincere manner.
“This is the final conference, last conference and we need to reach a settlement, so to reach a settlement. We need to agree on all outstanding issues."
The foreign minister’s comments came after the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said: "The solution is very, very difficult to find," and that there was “no deadline” to finding a solution.
"There is still a lot of work to be done," Guterres added.
Earlier, on Thursday, Cavusoglu also said: "We cannot continue negotiations forever”.
The Cyprus peace talks in Switzerland had previously been called the "best, but not the last chance" to solve the long-standing dispute by the UN chief's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide.
Guterres on Friday participated in the Cyprus conference, meeting Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders plus the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece and the U.K.
In response to a reporter's question on whether Cavusoglu rejected a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Cavusoglu said he did not refuse to meet Kotzias and it was just that they could not arrange a suitable time for the meeting today.
After the reporter told Cavusoglu that he got this information from Kotzias, Cavusoglu said: "Did he tell you that l refused? [the journalist said yes] Then, he did not tell the truth. We just could not agree on time.
“Why l should refuse, he is my personal friend, very good friend, if he told you that l refused [to see] him he did not tell the truth or you are not telling the truth."
Meanwhile, according to a diplomatic source, European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said if there would be a federal Cyprus, there would be no issues in implementing equal rights for both Greek and Turkish citizens in the island.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said Timmersman's comments were noted in official documents of the UN-brokered Cyprus conference as the official EU position.
The UN is seeking a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella, which could also define the future of Europe’s relations with Turkey, a key player in the conflict.
The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.
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