Turkey's foreign minister met Monday with Turkish Cypriot authorities as part of a two-day visit.
Mevlut Cavusoglu was first received by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Parliament Speaker Onder Sennaroglu and later Prime Minister Ersan Saner "to discuss the issues on our common agenda, particularly the Cyprus issue."
Wishing Sennaroglu success in his position as the TRNC's new parliament speaker, Cavusoglu said that during his visit, he along with his delegation aimed to once again underscore Turkey's full support for the Turkish Cypriot people's expectations.
Recalling that Turkey has sent 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the TRNC, Cavusoglu told Sennaroglu that his country would continue to send the necessary vaccine doses to Northern Cyprus as Turkey continues to receive its supplies.
In his meeting with Saner, Cavusoglu recalled the UN Secretary General’s plans to conduct a 5+1 meeting on the matter of Cyprus.
"The UN Secretary General desires to hold such a meeting in March, if possible, in accordance with the COVID-19 situation in New York of course. We suggested that it could be held in Geneva, as the time is nearing," Cavusoglu said.
Turkey and the TRNC's joint stance to be displayed at the meeting and the steps to take are to be addressed during the meetings with Turkish Cypriot officials, he added.
TRNC Premier Saner said the reason for not being able to reach a solution on the island is due to the Greek Cypriots’ unwillingness to share anything with Turkish Cypriots throughout the history of the issue.
"The Cyprus matter is the only file that is the longest unsolvable for the UN," Saner said, while noting that Turkey's "active and actual" guarantor position in the Cyprus matter is of "vital" importance for the TRNC.
Following his meetings with Sennaroglu and Saner, the top Turkish diplomat met with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Tahsin Ertugruloglu and congratulated him on his new appointment to the position.
"We as Turkey always want to work in harmony with the TRNC...We will meet, decide and defend the rights of the TRNC and Turkish Cypriots together," Cavusoglu said during the meeting with Ertugruloglu.
Noting that a strong Turkey would mean a strong TRNC, Ertugruloglu expressed his happiness to host his Turkish counterpart.
He also commented on the informal UN meeting on the Cyprus matter.
"Details, ordinary topics and confidence building measures will not be discussed at the meeting. The goal of the 5+1 meeting is to determine whether there is a common ground," he said.
The island of Cyprus has been divided into the TRNC in the north and the Greek Cypriot administration in the south since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation of the island was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK. The TRNC was founded in 1983.
Turkey has recently stressed that efforts for a “federal” solution to the divided island of Cyprus have proved hopeless and any future talks must focus on two separate, sovereign states on the island.
Reporting by Muhammet Ikbal Arslan in Lefkosa, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Writing by Merve Aydogan