Turkey staunchly backs the vision Turkish Cyprus laid out in an informal meeting held in Geneva on the future of the island, the country's foreign minister said on Wednesday.
"In #Geneva stated strong support for Turkish Cypriot side’s vision of sovereign equality amp; equal intl status amp; its proposal to this end," Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) explained during the meeting why a federal solution, involving a single state with the current Greek Cypriot administration, would not be possible, said Cavusoglu, adding that a "fair, permanent and sustainable solution" could only be achieved "based on realities" on the island.
During the five-plus-one meeting between the two sides, guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and Britain, Cavusoglu also met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and discussed the solution on Cyprus.
"Met w/ #UNSG@antonioguterres, who’s hosting Informal 5 UN meeting. The solution on Cyprus should be based on international equal status and sovereign equality of two sides. Peace and stability for whole region can only be possible w/cooperation of two States on island," he said in a separate Twitter post.
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long struggle between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
The island has been divided since 1964 when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power. The TRNC was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the EU in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year, which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.