Turkish side stresses importance of guarantee system in Cyprus talks
Sevil Erkuş - GENEVA/ANKARAOn the first day of the key new round of Cyprus talks aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island, the Turkish side has stressed the vital importance of the “guarantee system” for security in a new, lasting partnership between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, a Foreign Ministry official has told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The Turkish side presented its view on the issues of security and guarantees on the first day of talks, the official stated.
“We emphasized that the justified worries of the Turkish Cypriots, which are arising from painful experiences in the past, are essential for the security and guarantee system to be put forward in the solution,” the official said.
However, the Turkish delegation has said the conference is not just an arena in which the topics of security and guarantees are addressed, because it is necessary to know how the constitutional order will be revealed during negotiations.
For this reason, the Turkish side has said it is necessary to reach progress in other issues addressed in the ongoing talks for the success of the conference.
The Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders, along with the representatives of the guarantor countries, started talks aimed at reunifying the country’s 43-year-long dispute at the U.N.-sponsored discussion in the Swiss Alps on June 28.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades met in the Swiss Alpine resort of Crans-Montana, joined by U.N. envoy Espen Barth Eide, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.
In the highest-level meeting in six months, discussions started on issues such as territory and governance and each side put forward its position on security and the future role of the guarantor countries.
Two particular issues are vexing: Turkish Cypriot demands for a rotating presidency and Greek Cypriot demands for Turkey to pull all its 30,000 troops off the island and renounce its intervention rights.
The island was divided along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkish troops intervened after supporters of the union with Greece led a failed coup.