New Cyprus talks should begin with 2 states, not communities: Erdoğan

New Cyprus talks should begin with 2 states and not two communities, Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said. 

Erdoğan made the statement on Saturday, May 22 when speaking virtually at the opening ceremony of an irrigation tunnel in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

If there are to be new talks on Cyprus, these should no longer be between the two communities, but between the two states, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said via live video link to the site of the event in the TRNC.

Underlining that the equal status and sovereign equality of Turkish Cypriots must be confirmed before fresh negotiations could begin, Erdoğan said the latest Cyprus talks held informally in Geneva last month had been inconclusive due to the "intransigent attitude of the Greek side, detached from the facts on island."

Noting that Turkey has delivered an annual 75 million cubic meters of water to the TRNC via undersea pipeline, he said Ankara was determined "not to leave Turkish Cyprus in need of others," with its projects to eliminate the risk of water shortage.

Our aim is for the TRNC to develop and strengthen for the Turkish Cypriot people to have a more prosperous future, he added.

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