Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has dismissed criticism over his handling of the failed Cyprus reunification talks in Switzerland in July, saying he could not accept the presence of Turkish forces on the island as part of a settlement as that would only perpetuate the problem.
“Adopting the Turkish position that Turkish occupation troops must remain is not internationalism, but servitude,” he said during a ceremony in New York where he received the Freedom Award from the Cyprus Federation of America on Thursday night.
He said a solution that would allow troops on the island and Turkish rights of intervention “is not a solution.”
He also reiterated his criticism of the former United Nations special envoy, Espen Barth Eide, claiming he had unfairly applied more pressure on the Greek Cypriots than on Turkey in his pursuit of a settlement.
“The attitude of Eide was not that of someone who wanted honorable compromises on the basis of UN decisions and international law,” he said.