‘Turkey never intended to commit to a Cyprus solution’ (updated)

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Turkey never intended to commit to a solution allowing Cyprus to be truly independent and sovereign, Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday.

While briefing parliament in Athens over the latest developments regarding the Cyprus issue, Tsipras underlined that a just and viable Cyprus solution implied the abolition of intervention rights and guarantees, as well as the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops.

Speaking about the Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana, Switzerland between June 28 and July 7, the prime minister of Greece noted that it might have been the first time that Greek and Cypriot positions over a settlement on the island coincided to such a degree with those of the international community.

The fact that we were able to persuade with regards to our intentions is equally important, Tsipras added.

He went on to say that the Greek side did not attend the conference to waste time or engage in a blame game but “we truly fought for a solution that could benefit the Cypriot people in their entirety,” while ensuring that the security of one community would not be to the detriment of the other.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday the Greek Cypriot side’s only desire and criterion at the conference was to have zero troops on the island and Turkey’s ties to the country to be completely severed.

He said the Turkish side could not accept such a “silly proposal.”

“When silly demands are submitted then certainly we reject them,” the Turkish minister said. He claimed that during the conference Turkey was three steps ahead of everyone else.

“We went to the conference with a very constructive approach,” he added. “For the past 15 years we have always been a step ahead of everyone else for a bizonal solution, fair, permanent, based on political equality.”

The Turkish foreign minister rejected that his country was to blame for the collapse, suggesting the statements were made for domestic consumption.



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