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Turkish Cypriots will clarify their positions in New York

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said he would decide on any unofficial meetings with the Greek Cypriot side on the Cyprus problem after a possible meeting in New York with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, reports said on Wednesday.

According to Turkish Cypriot media, Tatar, who returned from Turkey where he held several  contacts, said he and his team were preparing ahead of his trip to New York next week for the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

Commenting of President Nicos Anastasiades’ proposal to the return to the 1960 constitution as a way out of the deadlock in the Cyprus problem process, Tatar reiterated he was against such a move.

He added he would assess the situation before his trip to New York on September 18.

“My chief negotiator and special envoy Ergun Olgun has had some contacts during this time. He had evaluations as a team at the Turkish foreign ministry,” Tatar said, adding that they would go to New York prepared to clarify their positions.

He also said that after a possible meeting there with Guterres, he would see whether there will be various bilateral contacts and an informal meeting with the Greek Cypriot side.

Anastasiades said this week that efforts by the UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute for a joint meeting of the two leaders in New York with Guterres were quashed by Olgun’s refusal to meet with Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, arguing there were no grounds for dialogue.

The president said he would brief Guterres on his proposal for a return to the 1960 constitution made in response to the UNSG’s call for pitching new ideas to break out of the stalemate. Anastasiades explained that it was not a call to return to a unitary state but rather a call to the Turkish Cypriot side to assume the positions it is entitled to based on the 1960 constitution so that a dialogue can start on territorial adjustments and other issues.

Tatar on Wednesday reiterated that with Turkey’s full support his position was clear that there could be an agreement on cooperation between two separate, equal and sovereign states existing side by side.

He said there was no question of changing his stand.

Tatar said he would travel to New York after assessing all of this in the best possible way and consulting with Turkey.

The Turkish Cypriot leader also said he had correspondence with the British foreign minister and asked him for a meeting in New York.

Anastasiades has reportedly asked for a meeting with US President Joe Biden.

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