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Turkey blames Greece for talks failure

Turkey on Wednesday blamed Greece for the failure of reunification talks in Switzerland to yield any positive results, after Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias suggested on Monday that Turkey had held an uncompromising stance.

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hüseyin Müftüoğlu, said in a statement that Kotzias’ comments were unacceptable.

On Monday, Kotzias suggested that Turkey had displayed an uncompromising attitude during the Conference on Cyprus, held in Crans-Montana between 28 June – 7 July 2017.

“As we have previously emphasized, Turkey attended the Crans-Montana session of the Conference on Cyprus with the goodwill and constructive attitude we had been displaying since the very beginning of the negotiation process, with the aim of reaching a just and sustainable comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue. In any case, all participants would be aware of who did and did not behave constructively,” Müftüoğlu said.

The Turkish diplomat said Ankara was not surprised by Kotzias’ unfounded allegations and engagement in a blame game.

“Those who know that their approach is unconstructive and wholly devoid of the spirit of compromise, are prone to voicing baseless and untrue allegations so as to be able to blame those who display good faith and constructiveness, contrary to themselves,” Müftüoğlu said.

“As the one responsible for the inability of the Conference on Cyprus to produce results either in Geneva or in Crans-Montana, Greek Foreign Minister Mr Kotzias’ useless efforts to place the blame on Turkey are actually an attempt to disguise the fact that the negotiations failed because of the lack of good faith and political will on the part of his country and the Greek Cypriot side.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said great progress had been achieved in the first year of the talks, but that the Greek Cypriot side gradually started to change its position after September 2016.

“Instead of a military force of a few hundred, it was preferred to keep 40,000 troops,” Akinci said on Tuesday of the failed talks.

He said clear signals had been given that reviews could have taken place as regards security and guarantees.

Reunification talks in Crans-Montana collapsed in the early morning hours last Friday with both sides accusing the other of being responsible for the failure.

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