Russian office in Lefkosa should not be interpreted as recognition: Turkish Cypriot foreign minister
‘Russia wants to open office, provide consular services for Russian citizens living in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,’ says Tahsin Ertugruloglu
By Busra Nur Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) – Russia's decision to open an office in Lefkosa to provide consular services to its citizens should not be interpreted as "recognition" of the country, said the foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Wednesday.
"Russia wants to open an office and provide consular services for Russian citizens living in the TRNC," Tahsin Ertugruloglu told TRT Haber.
“This should not be interpreted as Russia recognizing the TRNC,” he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian news agency TASS reported that the Russian Embassy on the Greek Cypriot side of the island will provide consular services to over 50,000 Russian citizens living in the TRNC.
- Cyprus issue
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece's annexation of the island led to Türkiye's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece, and the UK.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the longstanding dispute.
Türkiye fully supports a two-state solution on the island of Cyprus based on sovereign equality and equal international status.
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