British Prime Minister Theresa May told visiting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades she wants to swiftly end her country’s role as one of the guarantors of security on the divided island, with Turkey and Greece being the others.
Turkey has been unlawfully occupying the northern third since a 1974 invasion. Greece also wants to end its role as a guarantor while the United Kingdom, the former Colonial ruler, still has a military base there.
After Anastasiades met her at Downing Street in the British capital, he said they had talked about the guarantors and the failure to reunify the island with the last round of negotiations in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana collapsing over Turkey’s demand to keep an occupying army and wanting the right to militarily intervene again.
They also discussed the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, scheduled for March 29, but with uncertainty whether there would be a delay after the British Parliament voted down her transition plan.
“I hope that by the next European Council, on March 21, ways will be found to secure, in one way or another, a smooth exit for Britain,” Anastasiades added, the Cyprus Mail said in a report on his visit.
Regarding the Cyprus problem, Anastasiades said that May reiterated Britain’s unchanging position, namely the support for a solution based on UN resolutions, as well as on EU principles and values, diplomatic code traditionally used to avoid saying anything substantial or taking any positions.
“Most importantly, however, she reiterated the position that Britain would not wish to continue its role as a guarantor power,” he added. He had offered an international police force to replace the guarantors and a United Nations peacekeeping force.