'TRNC does not expect much from UN for Cyprus resolution'

UN chief plays for time as he knows there is no common ground, says TRNC foreign minister.

'TRNC does not expect much from UN for Cyprus resolution'

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) does not expect much from the UN in efforts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, the country’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

“We do not expect much from the UN. It is obvious that the UN has not solved any political problem so far,” Tahsin Ertugruloglu said in Washington after a meeting between UN chief Antonio Guterres, TRNC President Ersin Tatar, and Nicos Anastasiades, leader of the Greek Cypriot administration.

He pointed out that Guterres said after this April’s informal talks in Geneva that there was no common ground between the parties and a second meeting was to be held to explore more possibilities.

It has been almost six months but there has been no meeting, Ertugruloglu told reporters.

“In my opinion, this is a tactic of the UN secretary general; he plays for time as he knows that there is still no common ground,” he added.

The TRNC official said the Greek Cypriot administration has shown no signs of flexibility, so Guterres should inform the UN Security Council “as soon as possible” that there is no common ground and the council should take a decision.

‘A problem of status’

“They should know that there is no question of starting negotiations as long as the Greek Cypriot administration is treated as a state and we are treated as a society,” Ertugruloglu asserted.

“They may not recognize the TRNC, but not recognizing the TRNC does not mean that the TRNC does not exist.”

UN officials approach TRNC representatives in a way that they tell us “you are right, but you don’t have much to take,” he added.

“The Cyprus problem is a problem of status,” the TRNC foreign minister said.

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

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

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.

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 Turkey, Greece, and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan plan to end the decades-long dispute.