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Cyprus Talks

Army service cut will not weaken military, says president

President Nicos Anastasiades visiting an army camp in Nicosia on Wednesday

This could possibly be the last year the island would go through the suffering caused by Turkey’s invasion and occupation in 1974, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday, referring to the ongoing reunification talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Speaking during a visit at a Nicosia army barracks ahead of the Easter holiday, the president said a recent decision to cut military service from 24 to 14 months by 2017 would not weaken the armed forces in any way.
“On the contrary, it means reinforcement, and of course I hope it would be the last effort to maintain troops to defend the Republic of Cyprus,” he said.
“And I say this in light of the ongoing dialogue, the prospects or the hope created, that possibly this year would be the last we go through” the suffering caused by the invasion and occupation.
The president said the most important objective is to rid the country of occupying forces, reunify it and create the conditions for a solution that would be fair to both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

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