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Coup attempt a ‘stressful’ time for Greek Cypriots

Foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Monday that the attempted coup in Turkey had been extremely worrying for Greek Cypriots with 43,000 Turkish soldiers stationed in the north left without a leadership for a number of hours.

Addressing his counterparts at the proceedings of the 28 EU Foreign Ministers, which convened on Monday in Brussels, Kassoulides argued that the tendency of the Turkish armed forces to stage coups could complicate matters in the case of a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Kasoulides said that during the attempted coup, Cyprus was under great stress as the 43,000 Turkish soldiers stationed in the north “were without a government and without the leadership of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces for hours”.

He added that he agreed with the statements of the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, that in a future solution (of the Cyprus problem), there should be no Turkish troops in Cyprus.

Cypriot authorities had begun monitoring the situation in Turkey the moment it was made known a coup was underway, while the National Guard, the police, and other forces were reportedly “mobilised immediately”.

The coup attempt, coupled with the fact that the northern part of Cyprus is occupied by the Turkish army, prompted the immediate mobilisation of acting president Demetris Syllouris and the cabinet, especially the defence, foreign and justice ministers to take precautionary measures. President Nicos Anastasiades was in Mongolia for the Asia-Europe meeting.

 

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