The federation project on the island of Cyprus is no longer sustainable, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Wednesday, adding that common ground should be reached for a new negotiation process.
"In line with realities on the Island, the Turkish side promotes a two-state settlement based on equal sovereignty," Çavuşoğlu said in a meeting with U.N. special envoy to Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute.
President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ersin Tatar and Turkey have frequently said both sides should have equal sovereignty and see a two-state solution as a viable alternative to the federation.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has instructed Lute to begin consultations with all involved parties to determine whether preconditions exist to convene an informal 5+1 summit to end the island's division, which spans decades. As part of the effort, Lute met Tatar and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades earlier this month.
Lute is also in consultation with the three guarantor powers, Britain, Greece and Turkey, on convening a five-way meeting on finding a way for formal talks to resume.
There have been no official U.N.-sponsored negotiations on the island's future since a conference in Switzerland, also involving Britain, Greece and Turkey, collapsed in July 2017.
Britain, Greece and Turkey act as guarantors of the island's sovereignty under the treaty that gave Cyprus independence from British rule in 1960.
The island of Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south since a 1974 military coup aimed at Cyprus' annexation by Greece. Turkey's military intervention stopped the yearslong persecution and violence against Turkish Cypriots by ultra-nationalist Greek Cypriots.
The TRNC was established in 1983 on the northern tier of the island and is only recognized by Turkey. The country has faced an ongoing embargo on commerce, transportation and culture ever since.
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