UK fails to fulfil its duties as guarantor country: Turkish Cypriot president

‘UK remained a spectator as conditions in Cyprus occurred in favor of Greek Cypriots but against Turkish Cypriots,’ says Ersin Tatar.

UK fails to fulfil its duties as guarantor country: Turkish Cypriot president

The UK, a guarantor country for the Cyprus issue, has been a “mere spectator” to the situation on the island, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has said.

“I regret having to say this, but I find it disappointing that a guarantor nation, which witnesses so much injustice and must be neutral, continues to act in such a careless manner,” Ersin Tatar told Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

“The UK remained a spectator as the conditions in Cyprus occurred in favor of the Greek Cypriots but against the Turkish Cypriots. It has not moved a finger, because they have bases in the south, they have their own interests,” he added.

US' lifting of Greek Cypriot arms embargo ‘unacceptable’

Tatar also criticized the US decision to lift the arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration for the 2023 fiscal year, calling it “unacceptable.”

He said the decision would exacerbate the anxiety and tension in the region with the island to be armed more.

The Turkish Cypriot president urged the US to review its decision, saying: “If they deliver these arms to (Southern Cyprus), it would really cause some undesired tensions in Cyprus.”

No tripartite meeting in New York this year

Tatar said there will be no tripartite meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiadis in New York this year, as the Greek Cypriot side will hold elections in February 2023 and Anastasiadis will not run for the leadership.

He said he will hold a one-on-one meeting with Guterres later on Saturday and will tell the UN chief that an independent, sovereign state in Northern Cyprus is the only solution to the issue which cannot be solved without Türkiye.

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 led to Türkiye's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 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 Türkiye, Greece and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan plan to end the longstanding dispute.