The Greek Cypriot administration is "violating the diplomatic code of ethics," the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said Thursday as it criticized the stance of the Greek side of the island on the planned United Nations-led tripartite meeting.
According to a statement by the TRNC Presidency, Elizabeth Spehar, the outgoing head of the U.N. peacekeeping force on the island of Cyprus, told Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar in a phone call that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was considering a possible invitation to a tripartite meeting in New York on Sept. 27.
The statement said that Tatar told Spehar that he could attend an informal trilateral meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Guterres if he received an official invitation from the U.N. secretary-general.
It said the Greek Cypriot administration pursued political maneuvering, adding that the Greek Cypriot leadership, which instantly leaked the consultations made by the U.N. officials to the press, once again showed that its real intention was to create a political maneuver and image besides violating diplomatic ethics, adding the Greek Cypriot side is breaking the rules.
If Guterres issues an official invitation, Tatar will participate in the tripartite informal meeting with goodwill and constructive understanding based on the proposal and the new vision (a two-state solution based on Cyprus' sovereign equality) that was put on the table in Geneva, it noted.
Tatar said last week that they continue to work for the recognition of the TRNC, adding that he will pay a visit to the United States on Sept. 18 along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who will both be in the U.S. to participate in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting.
The divided island has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the failed 2017 Crans-Montana Conference in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom and the latest U.N. 5+1 Cyprus talks in Geneva, which ended without any concrete result.
Diplomats in April had tried to make headway to end the decades-old conflict between rival Greek and Turkish Cypriots that destabilizes the Eastern Mediterranean and is a key source of tension between NATO allies Greece and Turkey.
However, Guterres said that there is "no common ground yet" to resume formal negotiations on the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
The island has been divided since 1964 when ethnic attacks 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. The TRNC was founded in 1983.
While Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration support a federation on Cyprus, Turkey and the TRNC insist on a two-state solution reflecting the realities on the island.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, even though most Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N. settlement plan in a referendum that year that had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.