Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said yesterday that Turkish soldiers will remain on Cyprus under any agreement to reunify the ethnically divided island.
While Cyprus talks continue as the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides and the three guarantor countries, Turkey, Greece and the U.K., submitted their proposals for a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella, Çavuşoğlu indicated that Turkey won't accept a peace accord that would mandate the withdrawal of all of its troops from Cyprus — a key demand by Greece and internationally recognized Greek Cypriots.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed the ongoing talks in a phone call Monday.
According to presidential sources, the two leaders emphasized the importance of overcoming the bottleneck in the negotiations and achieving a fair, permanent and comprehensive solution for both sides.
The two leaders reaffirmed their determination to develop bilateral and economic ties as well as cooperation in the defense industry. They also pledged to strengthen collaborations in the fight against terror.
To that end, Erdoğan and May agreed to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 Summit in Germany.
On Monday, Cyprus' guarantor countries submitted their proposals to the U.N., laying out the security and guarantees issue while the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides submitted their proposals on all issues, confirmed a diplomatic source speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, according to Turkish NTV news broadcaster, the proposals recently presented by the Greek Cypriot side are not in accord with the frame determined by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
In the Greek Cypriot side's package, the statement, "rotating presidency cannot be accepted even in principle," stirred objection from the Turkish Cypriot delegation. After the U.N. special adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, indicated that the Greek Cypriot side's trespassing the frame formed by the U.N., the Greek Cypriot side had to make some changes to its proposal.
However, while the changes fall short in terms of complying with the U.N. frame, U.N. officials confirmed that the Turkish Cypriot side's package is accord with the U.N. frame.
The latest round of Cyprus talks began on June 28 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. The U.N. is expected to share the copies of the proposals with each of the five sides, who will then discuss them in the second meeting later Monday.