Athens has described yesterday’s statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in relation to the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus as a “blatant distortion of historical truth” and an “insult to the memory of the victims.”

Addresing an iftar dinner with Turkish soldiers and military personnel, Erdogan claimed that the whole of Cyprus could be under Turkish control today, if Turkish forces that invaded the island in the summer of 1974 went further south.

Greek diplomatic sources stressed that the statements come at a time when an effort is underway under the auspices of the United Nations to resume talks for a Cyprus settlement, within the framework of UN Security Council resolutions.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

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