President Nicos Anastasiades said Friday it was high time to get rid of the curse of the presence of third parties or those who want third parties controlling Cyprus, as he criticised those who blamed the Greek Cypriot side too for the failure of the talks.
Speaking at a farming festival in Paralimni, Anastasiades said he was truly saddened when people tried to assign blame on the Greek Cypriots.
“Who can argue that we could have accepted a solution with the continuation of Turkey’s rights of intervention but also worse, a permanent military base and permanent presence of a Turkish army division in Cyprus?” he said. “There are things you can be flexible and things that go beyond the boundaries of tolerance and acceptance.”
It was the first time Anastasiades made reference to a division in relation with Turkey’s demand for troops to remain on the island.
To date, the understanding was that Turkey wanted to keep 650 soldiers, whereas a division may comprise between 10,000 and 15,000 men.
Asked about this on Twitter, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said Turkey’s position was for a force of 1,800 troops plus officers.
It remained unclear however if the reference was a mistake.
In his speech, Anastasiades reiterated that Turkey bore the responsibility for the deadlock in the talks, insisting in positions that were impossible for any Greek Cypriot to accept.
“Because what we need, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, is confidence and security, and one’s security cannot constitute a threat to the other,” he said.
The latest round of reunification talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana took place between June 28 and July 6 but again ended in deadlock over disagreements on security and guarantees.
Both sides have since blamed each other for the collapse, while the Greek Cypriots have also censured UN special adviser Espen Barth Eide, accusing him of being biased and a liar.
Anastasiades said various problems throughout the years had been caused by Cyprus’ guarantors.
“It is high time to get rid of the curse of the presence of third parties or those who want third parties.”
“We are a European state. Let us utilise the European principles and values to create conditions of growth for everyone in this country.”