Cyprus Mail

Tatar meets Tatarstan head

tatar tatarstan
Ersin Tatar with Tatarstan head Rustam Minnikhanov

Turkish Cypriot Leader Ersin Tatar on Saturday evening met with Tatarstan head Rustam Minnikhanov.

The pair met at the Antalya diplomatic forum in Turkey, with Tatar and Minnikhanov emphasising “historical ties” between the Turkish Cypriots and the Tatars and discussing the “development of relations and cooperation opportunities”.

The Republic of Tatarstan is a constituent Republic of the Russian Federation, which is home to around four million people. Its capital city is Kazan.

Earlier in the day, Tatar had spoken at a panel discussion, telling the international community to “wake up” to the “inhumane and unlawful isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people”.

He added that the north is “at least as sovereign as the Greek Cypriot state in the south” and said, “the Turkish Cypriot side will not invest in an exhausted, dead and buried solution model.”

He also touched on the ongoing crisis in Gaza, saying “the Turkish Cypriots are deeply concerned about the loss of life in Gaza and the humanitarian tragedy which is the death of around 30,000 people.”

“Nothing is more important than the lives of innocent people, babies and children,” he added.

At the same forum, the north’s ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu held a series of bilateral meetings with foreign ministers present in Antalya.

He met with Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Jean Marie Traore, South Sudan Foreign Minister James Pitia Morgan, and Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov.

Meanwhile, the north’s ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel met with Burundi Prime Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca, Azerbaijan’s ruling New Azerbaijan Party deputy leader Tahir Budagov, and Turkey’s ruling party the Ak Parti’s foreign relations chief Zafer Sarikaya.

Ustel said he wants to “develop relations” between the north and African countries, and pointed out that nearly 400 Burundi citizens study at universities and colleges in the north.

His wife Zerrin Ustel and Ersin Tatar’s wife Sibel Tatar also attended a panel entitled “Women, peace, and security”, which was hosted by Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan.

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