Greek Cypriots dismiss two-state plan offered by Turkish Cypriots at UN talks

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar hoped his proposal would bring a 'new vision' to the talks

This handout picture taken and released on April 28, 2021 at the United Nations Office in Geneva shows (from L) Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Cypriot Leader Ersin Tatar posing prior to the opening of a 5+1 Meeting on Cyprus.  RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / UNITED NATIONS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS


 / AFP / UNITED NATIONS / HANDOUT / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / UNITED NATIONS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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The Turkish Cypriot delegation to UN-sponsored talks proposed a two-state solution for Cyprus on Wednesday to end the conflict with Greek Cypriots and put the island's two communities on an equal footing.

But the proposal was swiftly rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.

The Mediterranean island was split in 1974 between a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish north. Only Turkey recognises the breakaway state in Northern Cyprus.

The proposal was presented at informal talks in Geneva with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who urged both sides to "be creative" after a four-year stalemate in peace negotiations.

The foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and Britain are also taking part as guarantor nations in the two-day talks.

Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar told Reuters this week that he hoped his proposal for a two-state solution would bring a "new vision" to the talks, despite its earlier rejection by Greek Cypriots.

"The Turkish Cypriot proposal is aimed at establishing a co-operative relationship between the two states on the island based on their inherent sovereign equality and equal international status," the plan said.

It called on Mr Guterres to act, leading to the UN Security Council  securing the equal international status and sovereign equality of the two sides.

Negotiations would follow under his auspices on the future relationship between the two states, focusing on property, security and "border adjustment", it said.

Any agreement reached would be submitted for approval in simultaneous referendums in the two states, it added.

But Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who leads the island's internationally recognised government, said the proposal was a "great disappointment".

"Of course I have told the Secretary General that our attempt was to create a positive climate, without provocations, without any references to whatever unacceptable [things] we heard," Mr Anastasiades said.

"I have also told the Secretary General that we will submit, in writing, our own positions."