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Keeping Turkey as a guarantor will have a negative impact on Turkish Cypriots as well – spokesman

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Christodoulides

Keeping Turkey as a guarantor power will have a negative impact on Turkish Cypriots as well as this will give it the opportunity to meddle into their affairs post-settlement, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Sunday.

Speaking to daily Phileleftheros, Christodoulides said that the post-coup developments in Turkey reinforce arguments that there is no need for guarantor powers when it comes to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

According to the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, Greece, Turkey, and Great Britain are all guarantor powers for the independence, territorial integrity and security of Cyprus.

The issue of guarantees is as thorny one, as the Greek Cypriot side and Greece want none but the Turkish side has set its guarantorship as a red line.

Following the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey the government’s stance has been that there cannot be military guarantees from Turkey or a Turkish army staying in Cyprus in the framework of a solution.

Turkish Cypriots, Christodoulides said, must choose “which future they prefer”; a reunited country which will be an EU member-state or one which includes Turkey “with the developments we experience today”.

The two leaders are to resume negotiations on Tuesday following the summer break. They are scheduled to have seven meetings until mid-September during which the guarantees issue will on the table. The seven meetings will determine where the talks are going, the government has said.

Evaluating regional developments, he said, it is even more important for Cyprus’ role as a pillar of stability and security not only to be preserved but reinforced.

Commenting on the visit of US Vice President  Joe Biden  to Turkey next week, Christodoulides said that the discussions will be dominated by US-Turkish relations, which are at the moment in a difficult phase.

He added that the Cyprus problem could also be a subject for discussion but that “the difficult phase in the relations of the two countries limits the ability of the US Vice President to put pressure on Turkey for Cyprus, as the main objective of the visit will be to improve US-Turkey relations”.

Christodoulides also said that within the framework of regional cooperation of Cyprus, tripartite meetings of Heads of State with Egypt and Greece are to take place in the first half of October in Cairo, and with Israel and Greece in the first week of December in Jerusalem .

On September 8 ,  he said, Jordan’s king Abdullah II is expected in Cyprus on an official visit.

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