A joint declaration adopted at the end of the meeting of foreign ministers of the Southern European Union Member States (Med7) has “no value and merits” for Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“The one-sided and biased approach repeated every year by this body, which advocates the maximalist claims and policies of Greek Cypriot-Greek duo on Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean, can by no means contribute to peace and stability and enhance cooperation in the region,” said a statement issued by Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic.
The statement said that a genuine cooperation environment cannot be achieved in the region without Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
“We would like to remind once again on this occasion the proposal of H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, for a regional conference on Eastern Mediterranean,” it added.
Late last week, France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Greece, and the Greek Cypriot administration, plus Portugal, released the joint declaration calling on Turkey to abstains from “unilateral actions in breach of international law.”
At the meeting of the countries in Athens, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis rejected the possibility of a two-state solution to resolve the Cyprus dispute, saying: “No EU country will even discuss a two-state solution for Cyprus.”
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long struggle between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year, which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.