Iran FM: We Are Working with Saudi Arabia on Stability of Region

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian speaks during a news conference in Tehran, Iran March 19, 2023. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian speaks during a news conference in Tehran, Iran March 19, 2023. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
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Iran FM: We Are Working with Saudi Arabia on Stability of Region

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian speaks during a news conference in Tehran, Iran March 19, 2023. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian speaks during a news conference in Tehran, Iran March 19, 2023. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian revealed on Sunday that he will hold a meeting “in the near future” with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah.

The Iranian government has proposed to Saudi Arabia three locations for the meeting, he revealed, citing the latest messages with Riyadh since the countries agreed to re-establish ties.

Amirabdollahian told a news conference in Tehran his country had agreed to such a meeting, although he did not list the three locations or say when such a meeting might take place.

Moreover, he added that ties with Riyadh had returned to normal after five rounds of talks in Baghdad.

On the Yemen crisis, the FM said the issue “is an internal Yemeni affair. We are working with Saudi Arabia on ensuring the stability of the region.”

“We will not accept any threat against us from neighboring countries,” he went on to say.

Amirabdollahian revealed that he will visit Moscow next week to discuss regional and international affairs.

He said Tehran had requested concrete evidence from Ukraine that proves that Iranian drones have been used in the war with Russia.

On relations between Iran and Egypt, he said: “We welcome the development of ties with Egypt as it plays an important role in the Arab world.



Erdogan Dampens Hopes for Restarting Talks on Cyprus' 50-year Ethnic Split

A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front-L) and Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar (front-R) laying wreath to monument of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during their meeting in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, 15 November 2020. EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT
A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front-L) and Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar (front-R) laying wreath to monument of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during their meeting in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, 15 November 2020. EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT
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Erdogan Dampens Hopes for Restarting Talks on Cyprus' 50-year Ethnic Split

A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front-L) and Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar (front-R) laying wreath to monument of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during their meeting in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, 15 November 2020. EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT
A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front-L) and Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar (front-R) laying wreath to monument of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during their meeting in the Turkish-administered northern part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, 15 November 2020. EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT

The Turkish president on Saturday put a damper on hopes for a quick resumption of talks to heal a half-century of ethnic division on Cyprus, reaffirming his support for a two-state deal that Greek Cypriots dismiss as a non-starter.

Speaking ahead of a military parade to mark the 50th anniversary of a Turkish invasion that split the island along ethnic lines, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out a peace deal based on a United Nations-endorsed plan for federation.

Although Erdogan has previously rejected the federation plan, Greece and the Greek Cypriots had hoped he would soften his position.

The anniversary is a festive occasion for Turkish Cypriots in the island's northern third, who view the invasion as salvation from the Greek-speaking majority's domination. The invasion followed a coup that aimed at a union with Greece, which was backed by the Junta then ruling in Athens, according to The AP.

In the south, the howl of air raid sirens at daybreak began a solemn day marking what Greek Cypriots remember as a catastrophe that left thousands of people dead or missing and displaced a quarter of the Greek Cypriot population.

Erdogan’s remarks may further complicate UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ effort to get both sides back to the negotiating table. His personal envoy, Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, has spent the past six months scoping both sides out.

“We will continue to fight with determination for the recognition of the TRNC (breakaway Turkish Cypriot state) and the implementation of a two-state solution," Erdogan told throngs of Turkish Cypriots lining the parade route in scorching heat in the northern half of the divided capital, Nicosia.

“A federal solution in Cyprus is not possible, this is what we believe. ... The Turkish Cypriot side, as equals with the Greek side, are willing to negotiate and are ready to sit down and negotiate. If you want a solution, you need to recognize the rights of Turkish Cypriots."

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar reiterated that Turkish Cypriots reject “domination” by the Greek Cypriot majority and seek “equal national status” for their breakaway state they unilaterally declared in 1983, which is only recognized by Turkey. He added that there's now “no common ground” for a return to peace negotiations.

Referring to a recent resolution in the Ankara parliament calling for a two-state solution, Tatar said it “will help us and our cause incredibly.”

The island's Greek Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides urged Türkiye and the Turkish Cypriots to re-engage in reunification talks if Ankara genuinely seeks regional security and stability and to nudge closer to the European Union.

After numerous failed rounds of peace negotiations, many Cypriots on both sides — although jaded — still hold out a glimmer of hope for a peace deal.