Bahram Qassemi

Iran urges resumption of talks to solve Cyprus conflict

Press TV – The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says the Islamic Republic supports the integrity of Cyprus, stressing the importance of the resumption of negotiations to solve the island’s decades-old conflict.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s approach concerning the issue of Cyprus since its beginning until now has been based on a principled and fixed stance and has supported its integrity,” Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.

The latest round of talks in a decades-long effort to reunify the two Cypruses collapsed on Friday as the conflicting sides failed to narrow their differences and reach a compromise despite an 11th-hour bid by the UN chief to salvage them.

The talks started in the Swiss Alpine resort of Crans-Montana on June 28 and were regarded as the best chance to end the island’s 40-year division.

The failure to reach an agreement follows more than two years of UN-backed efforts to reunify the island and end one of the world’s longest-running political crises.

Qassemi said Iran has been scrutinizing the recent talks and all those held over the past two years and gave the opposing sides “consultative standpoints” while hearing their arguments.

He added that Iran presented a proposal last year to host the talks in Tehran which was welcomed by the sides.

The Iranian spokesperson hailed efforts made by leaders of the opposite sides, the United Nations and senior officials of the European Union and expressed regret that the latest round of the reunification talks failed to bear any fruits.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the sides’ agreements reached over the past two years on different issues have the adequate capacity to lead to the continuation of negotiations until the achievement of a final agreement and that this [capacity] should not be overlooked,” Qassemi said.

He called on the three Guarantor Powers – the UK, Turkey and Greece – and the international community to resume negotiations to help establish peace and stability in the region through the continuation of efforts to reach a deal on the Cyprus issue.

“The final solution to this age-old predicament must be based on established international principles and an agreement among the sides and preservation of all citizens’ rights while respecting the island’s cultural diversity,” the Iranian spokesman pointed out.

He expressed confident that interaction among the opposite sides with the purpose of setting up a political and security structure proportionate to international developments would resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Qassemi once again expressed Iran’s readiness to help solve the conflict and said win-win talks would be the best solution to such issues.

There are currently two Cypruses, the Turkish Cyprus and the Greek Cyprus, and the two are being ruled separately. Numerous rounds of talks and generations of diplomats have attempted but failed to resolve the matter, and Cyprus has earned the nickname “the diplomatic graveyard” as a result.

The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey, one of the three guarantor powers of Cyprus, carried out a military operation in the island and later occupied its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.

Turkey maintains tens of thousands of troops in the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.