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Cyprus issue a problem of invasion and occupation, Greek FM says

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (left) and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu

It is accepted worldwide that the real problem in Cyprus is Turkey’s invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island’s territory, Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias has said.

In an interview on Greece’s state television, ERT, Kotzias said the fact that substantive problems like the occupation and Turkey’s intervention rights were on the table was a great success for Greek diplomacy.

“There is no one, including the UN, the EU, and other international players, all the members of the (UN) Security Council, who believes the dialogue can start without these two matters discussed and resolved,” Kotzias said. “It has become acceptable worldwide that solution of the Cyprus problem means the solution of the real problem, the invasion and occupation.”

For a new Cyprus conference to have substantive results, Turkey’s occupation and intervention rights must be discussed beforehand to determine whether there are convergences between the guarantor powers.

“(President Tayyip) Erdogan and (Foreign Minister Mevlut) Cavusoglu have accepted the need to have exploratory discussions on whether we can resolve them,” he added.

The latest round of reunification talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana took place between June 28 and July 6 but again ended in deadlock over disagreements on security and guarantees.

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