Kotzias calls for scrapping of system of guarantees in Cyprus

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias over the weekend repeated his call for the dismantling of the system of guarantees and the removal of Turkish forces from the ethnically divided island in order to make way for an elusive peace deal.

“If we want to resolve the problem, we have to do away with its causes.,” Kotzias said in an interview with German news agency DPA.

“The problem is the illegal occupation of the northern section of Cyprus,” he said, adding that Ankara was seeking to combine its desire to protect the Turkish-Cypriot community with its geopolitical ambitions in the region.

“We want to resolve the Cyprus issue and not deal with Turkey’s geopolitical strategy, which isn’t the subject of the negotiations,” the Greek minister said. Turkey wants to maintain the island’s security situation, which is currently guaranteed by Greece, Turkey and Britain.

“We don’t want there to be guarantor powers, and we don’t want to be a guarantor power,” Kotzias said.

“What we need is a sovereign Cyprus,” he said, adding that the perpetuation of the existing system could give Ankara a say over European Union matters.

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