Cyprus remains stuck in a decades-long rift between Greek and Turkish Cypriots despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to members of the press after performing Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey on April 30, 2021.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to members of the press after performing Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey on April 30, 2021. (AA)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lambasted Greek-administered Cyprus after informal talks with Greek Cypriot leaders in Geneva ended without a breakthrough.

The United Nations has been trying to negotiate a deal ending a decades-long dispute over the divided Mediterranean island, but the first talks since 2017 broke up in Geneva on Thursday without making progress.

READ MORE: Informal Cyprus talks end with ‘no common ground’ 

 "I don't trust or believe Southern Cyprus. They have never acted honestly," the Turkish leader said referring to the the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus 

"Now the talks have been pushed back two or three months and I again, don’t know that anything will be achieved, because they never spoke truthfully," he added.

After the talks, Turkish and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) leaders told how Greek Cypriot administration officials pushed for discredited models for solving the island’s problems and also tried to deny how they had derailed previous negotiations.

UN talks fail

The informal 5+1 talks – including both sides on the island, plus the guarantor states of Turkey, Greece, and the UK plus the UN – were meant to break the stalemate on the island and pave the way for future talks.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday, the last day of the talks, that there is “no common ground yet” to resume formal negotiations on resolving the decades-old Cyprus problem.

Following the three days of informal talks, he added that he will convene another round of 5+1 talks to move the process forward.

READ MORE: Cyprus sides hold informal talks in Geneva 

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between 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 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.

The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004.

That same year, Greek Cypriot voters overwhelmingly rejected a UN reunification plan approved by Turkish Cypriots in a simultaneous referendum.

Turkey has enough Covid-19 vaccines

Talking about the coronavirus crisis, the nation’s president also told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul that Turkey currently has enough Covid-19 vaccines, and said that no difficulties are expected in vaccine supplies. 

In addition to current and incoming supplies of the Chinese Sinovac and European/US BioNTech shots, talks with Russia “are ongoing currently." 

"Hopefully, the Sputnik vaccine is coming, it will come," Erdogan added.

On additional supplies of the BioNTech shots, Erdogan also reaffirmed that German firm BioNtech – which partnered with the US’ Pfizer on the vaccine – had made a promise and that the jabs would be delivered to Turkey.

READ MORE: Turkey signs deal for 50M Sputnik V vaccines – latest updates 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies