Federation no longer on table for Cyprus: Turkish envoy
Talks for federation ended with 2017 talks in Crans-Montana, says Turkey's ambassador to Lefkosa
GUZELYURT, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Negotiations for a federal model on Cyprus ended with the failed talks in Crans-Montana, Switzerland in 2017, Turkey's envoy to Lefkosa said on Thursday.
"The federation subject was closed in Crans-Montana," Ambassador Ali Murat Basceri said in a groundbreaking ceremony in the Guzelyurt district of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
There will be no federation talks on Cyprus anymore, talks will be held on how the two states will live side by side on this island, Basceri said.
Stressing that it had been Greek Cypriot side that abandoned talks in Crans-Montana, he said the Turkish side had continued its diplomatic work in the Swiss town under the leadership of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
He underlined that the security, survival, and welfare of Turkish Cypriots was a "red line" for Turkey and added that Greek Cypriots were trying to create an impression that Turkey stepped back from this commitment in Crans-Montana in 2017. "Such claims are inconsistent with the reality," he said.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Turkey's intervention as a guarantor power.
The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of negotiations over the years.
The initiative in Crans-Montana, Switzerland in July 2017 under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK ended in failure.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar