Greece says no Cyprus solution unless Turkish ‘occupation’ ends
GENEVA - There can be no solution to the four-decade division of Cyprus while Turkish "occupation" troops remain on the island, Greece's foreign minister said Friday after talks on the issue in Geneva.
"A just solution (to division) means, first of all, eliminating what caused it, namely the occupation and presence of occupation forces," Nikos Kotzias said according to a ministry statement as he left Geneva.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier stressed in televised comments that a full withdrawal of Turkish troops from northern Cyprus was "out of the question".
The precise detail of the pullout of around 30,000 Turkish troops, stationed on the island after invading in 1974 in response to a Greek-engineered coup, is highly sensitive in Cyprus.
Last month, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades told Greek state TV ERT he was seeking a "logical framework" for the departure of Turkish troops after a deal is struck, but did not give a deadline.
On Friday, Anastasiades said his government sought "to regulate the issue concerning the withdrawal of the Turkish army ... to discuss (with Turkey) the termination, the amendment, the departure of Turkish forces."