Turkish Cyprus expresses concern over deployment of 3,000 additional troops by Greek side

Published 11.06.2016 14:04

The foreign ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) expressed concern over the decision of Greek Cyprus to deploy 3,000 additional troops as the negotiations to solve the decades old problem of unification are ongoing.

The statement released by the ministry on Friday said that the decision to deploy 3,000 additional specialist soldiers is not in line with the intense negotiations by the leaders of two administrations, who previously expressed that a solution to the Cyprus problem could be achieved within this year.

The statement reminded that the negotiations foresee that a future union, based on political and sovereign equality of the two communities, would not possess an armed force, while Turkey's guarantorship would continue.

Noting that it was hard to comprehend the Greek Cypriot Administration's attitude of increasing its armed forces during the negotiations, the statement said this decision caused the Turkish Cypriot side to question Greek side's sincerity for a peaceful resolution.

The statement also added the Greek side should remind itself of its expected partnership and cooperation during the negotiations process and avoid actions that could hamper the peace process.

Reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island resumed in May 2015 when newly-elected Akıncı met with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades. Previous negotiations were stalled in October 2014 in a row over gas exploration.

The island has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the northern third and Greek Cypriot administration in the south since a 1974 Greece-backed military coup on the island was followed by Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power.

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