Greece aims to end its status as a guarantor power on Cyprus and push for the withdrawal of Turkish troops in a move that will open the way for a peace settlement on the divided island, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Tuesday following talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia.
“Today, this is considered an issue that must be addressed. Many international powers have accepted this position… and I think that this should not leave Turkey unmoved,” said Kotzias at the close of his three-day visit.
Britain, Greece and Turkey are “guarantors” of the island in the event of any disruption to its constitutional order. Cyprus and Greece want to abolish those guarantees, which have been used by Ankara in the past as a pretext for military intervention.
Kotzias said Athens stands by Nicosia’s efforts for a “fair settlement.” Asked about the progress of United Nations-brokered peace negotiations, he said, “Some are supporting the process, some are in more of a hurry than they should be, and others are just watching.”