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21 April, 2024
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'TRNC' leader's Russian meeting significance for Cuellar's visit

Turkish Cypriot leader asserts sovereign equality at Antalya Forum

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

The Antalya International ''Forum'' in Turkey provided a significant platform for Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, to underscore the principle of sovereign equality for Turkish Cypriots, a crucial step towards resolving the deadlock in Cyprus talks. Tatar's participation in the forum, an annual event hosted by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, preceded the forthcoming visit of the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, Maria-Angela Olguin Cuellar, to Cyprus next week.

During the forum, Tahsin Ertugrouloglou, the "Foreign Minister" of the self-declared TRNC, engaged in a series of bilateral meetings with counterparts from various nations in attendance in Antalya. Noteworthy among these were discussions with Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister, Jean-Marie Traore, South Sudan's Foreign Minister, James Pitya Morgan, and Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister, Jayhun Bayramov.

Additionally, the "TRNC" Prime Minister, Unal Ustel, held talks with Burundi's Prime Minister, Gervais Dirakobucha, and officials from Turkey's ruling parties (AKP) and Azerbaijan, namely Zafer Sarikaya and Tahir Bugadov, respectively.

Throughout these interactions, the conversations revolved around the recognition of the "TRNC" and efforts to alleviate the isolation faced by Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriot leadership reiterated the importance of sovereign equality as a cornerstone for resolving the Cyprus issue, advocating strongly for a two-state solution.

Regarding relations with Russia, a consistent focus in Tatar's discussions, the Turkish Cypriot leader met with Rustam Minnikhanov, the head of Russia's Autonomous Region, Tatarstan, during the "Antalya Forum". Tatar emphasized "the historical ties between Tatars and Turkish Cypriots" during the meeting with Minnikhanov, who has faced nominal Western sanctions due to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

Notably, Minnikhanov holds a significant position as the highest-ranking representative of the Russian Federation, given the constitutional autonomy of Russia's regions, with Kazan serving as the capital of Tatarstan. This meeting underscores the ongoing engagement between Russian officials and Turkish Cypriot counterparts, even amid the election process in the Occupied Territories for Russian nationals, who vote in advance of the upcoming Russian presidential election scheduled for March 15-17 on Russian territory.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  minister  |  TRNC  |  UN  |  Tatar

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