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Troops Won't Leave Cyprus Under Peace Deal, Turkish Minister Says

Αssociated Press

FILE - Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, reacts during a new round of the conference on Cyprus under the auspices of the United Nations, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Friday, June 30, 2017. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)

NICOSIA (AP) — Turkey's foreign minister says Turkish soldiers will remain on Cyprus under any agreement to reunify the ethnically divided island.

Mevlut Cavusoglu says 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.

He told reporters after a morning round of talks at a Swiss resort Tuesday that anyone "dreaming" of removing all Turkish troops from the island has "to wake up."

Cavusoglu says abolishing military intervention rights in an envisioned federal Cyprus is a "non-starter" for Turkey and the nation's breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

Cyprus has kept more than 35,000 troops on Cyprus since 1974, when it invaded in the wake of a coup mounted by supporters of union with Greece.