France has accused Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan of 'provocation' after he called for a 'two-state solution' for Cyprus, on a visit to the Turkish-occupied north of the Mediterranean island.
“France deeply regrets this unilateral move which was not co ordinated and constitutes a provocation”, the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
“It undermines the restoration of the confidence necessary for the urgent resumption of negotiations for a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus question”, the statement continued.
On his visit to the island on Tuesday, Erdogan backed a two-state solution between the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government in the south of the island and the Turkish-occupied north, in a clear divergence from international efforts to re unify the island as a bicommunal federation.
France to raise issue at UN
France currently chairs the United Nations Security Council and the foreign ministry said Paris will raise Erdogan's comments in discussions on Thursday.
“France reaffirms its attachment to the framework endorsed by the UN Security Council, based on a bizonal and bicommunal federation, offering the two communities full guarantees of their political equality”, said the ministry.
The island is currently divided into the Greek-Cypriot island of Cyprus and the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Ankara.
Turkish forces seized the northern third of the island in 1974 in response to an aborted coup in Nicosia attempting to attach the country to Greece.
United Nations peacekeepers have been deployed in Cyprus since 1964.