Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides on Monday dismissed claims made by the Turkish daily Milliyet that President Nicos Anastasiades had proposed an international military police force for the federal state to intervene in a crisis.
The paper said both leaders were also planning to conclude the guarantees issue in an international conference by the end of September or the first week of October, in which guarantors Turkey, Greece and Britain would participate.
Milliyet said it had obtained the proposal that both the Greek Cypriots and the US had submitted. Victoria Nuland, US Assistant Secretary of State, presented her thoughts to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during her visit to Cyprus, it said. Nuland told Akinci that the guarantees proposal had been improved after a series of contacts she had in Turkey and Greece.
According to Nuland’s proposal, the police forces of the constituent states would be backed up by a federal police force, and an international police force would also be deployed for a period of time made up of Greek and Turkish soldiers.
According to the paper, Anastasiades told Akinci that he did not accept Nuland’s proposal and had presented his own, suggesting an international military police force made up of 2,500 personnel from European countries along with Greeks and Turkish in a loose “friendly” alliance but whose commander would not be from either country, or from Britain.
Milliyet said Akinci did not view the proposal as positive and reportedly responded: “The Turkish Cypriot people do not rely on guarantees that will come from a country or institution except Turkey. These issues should be discussed in a meeting where the guarantor countries will participate”.
“In the framework of a solution, there cannot be presence of foreign troops in Cyprus or guarantee mechanisms from any other country,” Christodoulides said. “This position is clear and it has been communicated to the American side and to all our international interlocutors.”
He added that the discussion on guarantees will begin now, at the new round of intensified talks between the two leaders which begins on Tuesday. They are scheduled to have seven meetings until mid-September during which the guarantees issue will on the table.
“I cannot explain what expediencies the publication of such an article serves, a day before the talks resume,” Christodoulides said.