Turkey always a step ahead in Cyprus settlement: Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu

Published 09.01.2017 00:00

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, leading up to Cyprus Reunification talks in Geneva, said Turkey has always been a step ahead regarding a settlement in Cyprus. "I hope the Greek Cypriot side and Greece will be on the same page with us and we will get a conclusive Cyprus conference that will take place on Jan. 12. This is the last negotiation and last window of opportunity. Hopefully we can get results out of this conference," said Çavuşoğlu at a press conference following a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kocias in New York over the weekend.

Responding to criticisms regarding the presence of Turkish troops in Cyprus, Çavuşoğlu said no one should to feel threatened by the presence of Turkish troops on the island unless they have any hostile intentions regarding the future.

Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders Mustafa Akıncı and Nikos Anastasiadis are starting off another phase of negotiations in Geneva today, which is scheduled to continue until Jan. 12. It is expected to be followed by a five-party Cyprus conference with the participation of the Turkish president as well as the Greek and British prime ministers.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the Cyprus issue with new U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Theressa May over the weekend.

Erdoğan and Guterres swapped notes on the negotiation process regarding the divided island of Cyprus as well as over the recent developments in Syria.

The Turkish president in his note reportedly said that Turkey supports a fair, permanent and comprehensive resolution of the Cyprus issue which would satisfy both communities. Erdoğan and Guterres both agreed the upcoming talks in Geneva could be an important opportunity for reaching a settlement to that end.

Meanwhile, after a phone call between Erdoğan and May, a Downing Street statement said Turkey and the U.K. have both agreed on the importance of reaching a settlement over Cyprus.

"They [leaders] agreed on the importance of reaching a successful resolution to the Cyprus peace talks in Geneva, noting that this was a real opportunity to secure a better future for Cyprus and to guarantee stability in the wider region," said the statement.

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