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Health Minister Says Cyprus Still Wants Unity With Turkish Side

October 29, 2018

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, speaking at a church service marking Greece’s Oxi Day, said Cyprus wants to resume reunification talks with Turkish-Cypriots that fell apart in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana but that it depends on Turkey dropping its demands to keep an army on the northern third occupied since an unlawful invasion in 1974.

“This solution ensures the transformation of Cyprus into a bi-zonal bi-communal federation leading to a new regime that will be totally free from both anachronistic guarantees and the presence of foreign troops,” he said, the Cyprus Mail reported.

“What we claim in all negotiations is a solution that will reunite our country, restoring international law and the international legal order, as well as the basic human rights that it enjoys on the basis of the European acquis,” he added.

“The creation of conditions that will ensure lasting stability and allow the coexistence and co-creation of all Cypriots in a normal state require the achievement of a solution that respects the above principles and which is fully compatible with the status as a Member State of the European Union and the good practices of the democratic states of the United Nations,” he continued.

He noted the “readiness of the president to restart a dialogue, which can begin as soon as the Turkish side shows the necessary determination without any preconditions,” referring to Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who said he’s ready to talk again but Turkey said it will never drop the demand for the removal of its army and wants the right to militarily intervene again.

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