12:41 GMT +311 December 2017
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides

    Cyprus, Russia Share Common Stance on Foreign Troops Withdrawal

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    Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides stated that Russian position is alike Nicosia's on the need to fully withdraw the foreign troops from the Cyprus territory.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The positions of Nicosia and Moscow regarding the withdrawal of foreign forces from the territory of Cyprus coincide, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said Monday.

    "We know that Russian position is alike ours on the need to fully withdraw the foreign troops from the Cyprus territory," Kasoulides said ahead of the talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

    The Cypriot foreign minister is currently on a working visit to Moscow.

    Lavrov and Kasoulides are expected to consider the priorities of the Cypriot chairmanship of the Council of Europe that will last from November 22, 2016 to May 19, 2017 and discuss a number of other issues.

    Peace talks aimed at reunifying ethnically divided Cyprus are moving into a crucial phase next month, as Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, a Greek Cypriot politician, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will conduct negotiations in Switzerland on November 7-11 on how much territory each side would administer under an envisioned federation.

    The 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a coup aimed at union with Greece split the island into a breakaway Turkish speaking north and an internationally recognized Greek speaking south. Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004, but only the southern part enjoys full membership benefits.

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    Sergei Lavrov, Ioannis Kasoulides, Russia, Cyprus
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