Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias reaffirmed that a settlement in Cyprus was conditional on the withdrawal of Turkish troops stationed on the island, whose leaders are trying to revive dialogue for reunification.
Any agreement to end the division of the island must include a “clause” providing for the departure of Turkish troops, said the minister on the Greek radio Alpha. He stressed that Athens did not require an “overnight” withdrawal, but within an “adequate” timeframe. He noted by way of example that the withdrawal of Soviet troops during the German reunification took “four years”.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are currently seeking to revive their dialogue after their failure to reach an agreement during ten days of negotiations in Switzerland under the aegis of the UN.
Greece, Mr Kotzias said, did not intervene in these inter-communal negotiations, which particularly affected the territorial division between the two entities. But it has a voice on the issue of the security of the island because of the regime in force since its independence granting a right of intervention to three “guaranteeing powers”, Britain as former colonial power , Greece and Turkey.
According to Kotzias, London agrees with Greece on the need to end the guarantor regime, judged “anachronistic” by Athens.
To clear the way for a settlement on this chapter, which must be submitted to a multilateral agreement, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed this week a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
No date has so far been fixed but Greece remains asking for such an appointment, Kotzias said. However, he said that since the failed coup d’état of 15 July, the Erdogan regime no longer demonstrates the “willingness to compromise” on Cyprus.
Cyprus has been divided since the invasion in 1974 by the Turkish army in the northern part of the island in reaction to a coup aimed at linking the country to Greece.
Stéphane © armenews.com