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‘I don’t trust Greek Cypriots’: Turkey’s Erdogan doubts UN-sponsored talks on divided island will yield any result

‘I don’t trust Greek Cypriots’: Turkey’s Erdogan doubts UN-sponsored talks on divided island will yield any result
The upcoming UN-sponsored talks on Cyprus are unlikely to yield any result, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, after the international body failed to kickstart the island’s long-stalled negotiations process.

Turkey does not hold high hopes over the new UN-sponsored meeting, expected to take place in two or three months, the country’s president signaled on Friday.

“I don’t trust or believe in Greek Cypriots. They have never acted honestly,” Erdogan told reporters. “Now it's been pushed back 2-3 months, but I again don't believe any result will be achieved, because they are not honest.”

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged that a three-day summit, led by the international body and attended by the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots had flopped. The foreign ministers of the three guarantor powers – the UK, Greece and Turkey – took part in the summit as well.

“The truth is that at the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations,” Guterres stated, promising to host a new talks attempt in “probably two or three months.”

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The large Mediterranean island of Cyprus has remained divided for most of its independent history after it became free from British rule back in 1960. The island was invaded by Turkey in 1974 following an attempted coup by ethnic Greek right-wingers, who sought reunification with Greece. Cyrus has remained divided roughly in half since the brief conflict, with its north controlled by the internationally-unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is heavily dependent on mainland Turkey.

Cyprus has been a major issue for Turkey’s foreign politics for decades, with the situation growing even more complicated in the early 2000s, when Greek Cyprus became a member of the EU. While de-facto only the southern part of the island joined, de-jure the whole of Cyprus is EU territory – another complex obstacle for Ankara’s proclaimed goal of joining the bloc at some point in the future.

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