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Kotzias: Turkish guarantee and troops would mean Cyprus issue really not solved

Greek FM Nicos Kotzias

Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias said it was necessary that a future Cyprus was able to forge relations with neighbouring countries without intervention from third parties, or the presence of foreign troops on the island.

In an interview with Politis on Sunday, Kotzias said that if Turkey acted as a force for peace and understanding, it would win more support than it would acting like a warring power.

Kotzias said a Cyprus solution should guarantee the rights of all citizens of the two communities and the three small minorities on the island, and that the solution must solve the fundamental problem and cause of the Cyprus issue – the occupation. “The Cyprus problem is not primarily a problem of disputes between two communities, but foreign occupation of part of the island and the occupation army’s presence in areas where Turkish Cypriots live,” he said.

The Turkish army has to leave in the context of a realistic scenario, he said.

“The theory that it must be left in Cyprus in order to guarantee a solution is actually proof that the Cyprus issue is not settled.”

Regarding Turkey’s European prospects, the Greek minister noted that if Ankara satisfied the prerequisites, it could belong to the European family. “More correctly, it should join. A democratic and European Turkey benefits our countries,” he added.

Kotzias expressed Greece’s full support for a Cyprus settlement and “backs, without a second thought, the positions of the government of the Republic… supports a just and viable solution, without the anachronistic system of guarantees and the presence of the occupying army.”

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