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Erdoğan slams Cyprus after UN talks fail

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lambasted Cyprus on Friday after talks with Greek Cypriot leaders in Geneva ended without a breakthrough, Agence France-Presse reported.

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.

Cyprus has been split since 1974, when Turkey occupied the northern third in response to a coup by an Athens-backed junta seeking to annex Cyprus to Greece.

The latest talks collapsed after Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said they could only move forward if the northern third is accepted as a state.

The breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is recognized only by Ankara.

“I don’t trust southern Cyprus. I don’t believe them. They have never acted honestly,” Erdoğan said, referring to the Republic of Cyprus, which is also a member of the European Union.

He expressed skepticism over plans to hold new talks in two to three months.

“I don’t really deem it likely that it will achieve any result because they’re (Cyprus) not honest,” he told reporters in İstanbul.

Frustration has built on both sides as attempts for resolution fail.

In 2004, Greek Cypriot voters overwhelmingly rejected a UN reunification plan approved by Turkish Cypriots in a simultaneous referendum.

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