Turkey, Europe

Turkey puts pressure on Greek side in Cyprus talks

Foreign minister says Ankara cannot accept having 'zero troops' in Cyprus

Turkey puts pressure on Greek side in Cyprus talks

By Fatih Erel

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday criticized Greek Cypriots for not showing "good intentions and flexibility" in reunification talks taking place in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

"If there is to be a solution, we should decide this week, because this is the last conference," Cavusoglu told reporters after a meeting in Crans-Montana, Switzerland with representatives from the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides and those from the other two guarantor countries, Greece and the U.K.

"We have shown good intentions and flexibility but, this should get a response. Unfortunately, we could not see any positive response from the other side. We also saw that some confidential documents were leaked despite promises," Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu said Ankara could not accept having “zero troops” in Cyprus.

He also addressed remarks made earlier in the day by Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades who said: "Turkey should get in line."

"This is an arrogant comment," said Cavusoglu. "What does 'Turkey should get in line' mean? Turkey has from the beginning acted within the framework that the UN secretary general has determined. Those who have put forward nonsense proposals from the beginning [...] do not have the right to say 'Turkey should get in line'."

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci added: "The Turkish Cypriot side as well as the Turkish side follow the parameters that have been set by the secretary general and we are working hard along those lines, and we hope that the coming few days will be productive."

Slower progress

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish Cypriot political parties called on the UN secretary general to return to the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana in order to speed up reunification talks.

The four party representatives issued a joint statement inviting Antonio Guterres to return to the Swiss Alps, saying progress was slower in the second week of talks than in the first.

Cavusoglu also said Guterres should return to Crans-Montana regardless of progress.

Guterres left the Swiss resort on Saturday after participating in the Cyprus conference, along with Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders as well as the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece and Britain.

He is currently in Lisbon, Portugal and is expected to return to New York Tuesday evening.

The latest round of Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana began on June 28.

On Monday, the UN received proposals from the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, as well as from the three guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece and the U.K.

The UN is seeking a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella, which could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey, a key player in the conflict.

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

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