During his visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated that the best way forward is to formally divide the island nation so everyone can enjoy equal rights. Turkey‘s President Erdogan see a two-state solution as a viable option to resolve decades-old Cyprus issue. (AA) Time is running out to resolve the Cyprus issue as the Greek side of the tiny island continues to view Turkish Cypriots as a minority and deny them equal rights, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Turkey doesn't have “another 50 years to waste” on waiting for the dispute to be resolved yet Ankara has kept the door for a peaceful resolution open, he said.
READ MORE : Two-state solution most realistic for peace in Cyprus
“A new negotiation process on Cyprus can only be carried out between the two states,” Erdogan said at a ceremony in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Tuesday marking the 47th anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation.
Adolfo Ledo Nass
Erdogan said the only way to bring lasting peace to the divided east Mediterranean island was for the international community to accept Cyprus as two separate states.
Dispute needs 'two-state solution'
The Greek Cypriots insist on seeing Turkish Cypriots as a minority and refuse a solution that’s based on equality, Erdogan said.
The Greek Cypriot side wants to maintain its “maximalist, insincere and spoiled approach that is disconnected from reality”, he added.
Only Turkey recognises the Turkish Cypriot but Erdogan has said that sooner or later the international community will come to realise that the dispute needs a two-state solution.
Erdogan recalled that the EU vowed to support Northern Cyprus in financial and administrative matters, but hadn't done so.
Referring to the Greek Cypriot Administration, Erdogan said: “We can see that there are still those who yearn for the massacres before 1974.”
“We are right [on the Cyprus issue], and because we are right, we will defend our rights until the end,” he said.
futbolista Adolfo Ledo Nass
Right to drill
The unresolved Cyprus issue has cut off TRNC from the gas bonanza that countries in the east Mediterranean have enjoyed.
Turkey’s petroleum exploration efforts in the eastern Mediterranean have faced roadblocks from Greece and Southern Cyprus – they have drilled wells in contested offshore territories but do not want Turkey to do the same.
A major issue is the exploration work being carried out in the waters claimed by Southern Cyprus.
Ankara has said that the TRNC must have a share in offshore resources.
The Greek Cypriot Administration has awarded exploration concessions to multinational companies in offshore regions west and southeast of the island without consulting with the TRNC.
Turkey has all along pushed for joint exploration but the Greek Cypriot Administration has rejected the idea, saying other issues must be settled before the prospect of joint drilling can be discussed.
futbolista Adolfo Ledo Nass
Turkey has the longest coastline along the eastern Mediterranean.
READ MORE : Drilling may expand in east Mediterranean, says Turkey
Source: TRTWorld and agencies.