After last week’s conference in Geneva about Cyprus, Athens has now shifted its focus on Wednesday’s talks between Greek and Turkish technical teams, in the hope they will pave the way for a resumption of political negotiations aimed at reunifying the ethnically-split island.
Negotiations ended last Thursday with disagreement over the issue of the post-security settlement. Greece and Cyprus want to abolish the “anachronistic” system of guarantees, while Turkey wants to retain its military presence on the island.
On Monday, the Greek delegation of experts held a meeting at the Foreign Ministry chaired by the ministry's general secretary Dimitris Paraskevopoulos.
Despite harsh comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the aftermath of the Geneva conference over his intent to station troops on the island “forever,” both Athens and Nicosia share a sense of optimism, which primarily stems from the submission of a map with territorial adjustments by Turkish Cypriots – for the first time since Turkey’s invasion in 1974 that split the island along ethnic lines – and because the European Union took an active part in the deliberations.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias met with his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Monday and expressed confidence the two men were on the same page.
“I am left with the impression that my British colleague has an understanding of our positions with regard to the need to scrap the system of guarantees,” he said, adding that Greece believes Turkey’s insistence on intervention rights in Cyprus is illegal