Turkey cannot renounce its rights as a guarantor state in Cyprus, said Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan’s remarks came during a live interview on private NTV channel on late Tuesday.
“I have to say clearly that we can never renounce our rights from being a guarantor state,” said Erdogan.
When he was asked if there may be some possibility for the EU replacing the guarantor countries, Erdogan said: “It is not a fair approach. It is not possible to accept this.”
“Here, three countries have the right to be guarantor states: Turkey, Greece and England. The EU has no such a right,” he added.
Previously, Erdogan said that no concessions will be made on Turkey’s policy concerning Turkish Cypriots. He also said that Turkey was a key country for utilizing and delivering the island’s offshore resources, which belonged to each resident.
Political tensions in the long-divided island have eased since full-fledged talks resumed on May 15, and Mustafa Akinci was elected as the new Turkish Cypriot president last month.
Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades met for an unprecedented tour of Lefkosa’s historical sites on May 23, and meetings will resume on May 28.
The Greek Cypriot administration had unilaterally suspended the talks last October after Turkey issued an advisory on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for seismic research off the coast of Cyprus.
The island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the northern third and a Greek Cypriot administration in the southern two-thirds after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by a peace operation of Turkey as a guarantor state in Cyprus.