New Cyprus talks should begin with 2 states, not communities: Turkish president

GUZELYURT, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus/ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s president on Saturday spoke virtually at the opening ceremony of an irrigation tunnel to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), commenting on the Cyprus issue.

“If there are to be new talks on Cyprus, these should no longer be between the two communities, but between the two states,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said via live video link to the site of the event in the TRNC.”

Underlining that the equal status and sovereign equality of Turkish Cypriots must be confirmed before fresh negotiations could begin, Erdogan said the latest Cyprus talks held informally in Geneva last month had been inconclusive due to the “intransigent attitude of the Greek side, detached from the facts on island.”

Noting that Turkey has delivered an annual 75 million cubic meters of water to the TRNC via undersea pipeline, he said Ankara was determined “not to leave Turkish Cyprus in need of others,” with its projects to eliminate the risk of water shortage.

“Our aim is for the TRNC to develop and strengthen for the Turkish Cypriot people to have a more prosperous future,” he added.

– New irrigation system

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said the TRNC’s territory, which have long been in need of water, would become fertile with the new sprinkler system and trickle irrigation.

Economic and development cooperation between the two countries will contribute to the rise of the sovereign TRNC that can stand confidently on its own feet, Oktay said.

Source: Anadolu Agency