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Athens wants guarantees deal with Ankara before new Cyprus talks

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias

Athens wants a treaty to be in place with Ankara on security and guarantees before another international conference on Cyprus is held, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Greek radio station To Kokkino, he said the Greek government had wanted such an agreement between the two guarantor countries prior to the conferences held in Geneva and Crans Montana.

Kotzias said Turkey had initially accepted the need for an agreement between the two countries, but due to the then UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser – Espen Barth Eide – the appropriate preliminary work was not conducted.

“During a discussion the Prime Minister of our country [Alexis Tsipras] had with [Turkish President Tayyip] Erdogan in Beijing, he [Erdogan] accepted those things must be discussed,” Kotzias said.
He noted though that the agreement was not implemented and they went to Crans Montana without have done any substantial preliminary work.

Athens and Ankara discussed the issue anew before the Turkish elections held in June, Kotzias said, noting that he hoped the new Turkish government would maintain this initial agreement made after the Crans Montana talks last year.

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