European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reiterated on July 6 that the European Union will never accept a two-state solution for Cyprus.
Von der Leyen said she had recently spoken on the phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ahead of his upcoming visit to Turkish Cyprus to convey the EU's firm stance on the divided island.
“I told him that we are very sensitive in this matter, that we will monitor the progress of this visit and that it is absolutely clear that the EU will never accept anything that refers to the two-state solution,” she was quoted as saying by Greek newspaper Kathimerini.
Von der Leyen made the remarks while addressing a press conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the occasion of the launch of the Slovenian EU Presidency.
She also reportedly said that Erdoğan is well aware of the EU’s position on this issue.
Turkish Cyprus and Turkey have been calling for a two-state solution on the island, but Greek Cypriots - who form the island's internationally recognized, EU member government - reject this as it implies Turkish Cypriot sovereign authority.
Weeks after United Nations-led talks in April failed to resuscitate negotiations to reunify the island, the Turkish Cypriot administration said that the U.N. process is dead.
During the talks, Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades said that Turkish proposals for a two-state solution are a clear violation of United Nations resolutions and will never be accepted.
Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar, backed by Ankara, came to power last October promising a two-state solution.
Cyprus was split after a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. The European Union admitted the Greek Cyprus into the bloc in 2004.
Its north is a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state only recognized by Ankara.