United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will attend Friday’s third day of the UN-backed Cyprus talks in Switzerland, which, according to Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias Thursday, had so far not broken any ground with regard to the pivotal and thorny issue of security.
“The Turks are repeating positions they’ve held for the last decade and they think that they’re new,” Kotzias said. Security negotiations were to resume Thursday evening.
For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the talks at the Crans-Montana resort were the “final” negotiations. Speaking to reporters, he said, “We cannot continue negotiating forever.”
Meanwhile, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades submitted a 16-page paper outlining Nicosia’s positions on security in response to three questions tabled by UN Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman – how the two sides see the day after a solution, how the concerns of both communities with regard to security will be addressed, and how its implementation would be monitored.
Security is considered one of the keys to breaking the deadlock. Greek Cypriots want the withdrawal of all 35,000 Turkish troops stationed there since the Turkish invasion in 1974. The Turkish Cypriots say they want Turkish troops to stay in order to protect them. Cavusoglu reiterated Thursday that Ankara cannot accept a full withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island.