09:20 GMT25 May 2020
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    Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Ozturk Yilmaz on Wednesday called on the state’s government to adopt a firm stance on Turkey’s guarantor status, control and administration of the island of Cyprus during the negotiations to settle the dispute.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On Sunday, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are expected to meet in Geneva to restart UN-backed talks on the Cyprus issue.

    "Issues concerning treaties of guarantee and alliance should not be left as the last issues [to agree on]. They need to be discussed first. If you persist on [the status of] guarantor after discussing issues of territory, property, power sharing and governance, then you risk being labeled as the party that opposes a solution," Yilmaz said at a press conference, as quoted by the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News newspaper.

    Yilmaz also urged the government to let all political parties participate in decision-making related to the Cyprus reunification talks.

    "If the process breaks down, what will remain in people’s memories are the concessions that Turkey and the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] accepted," Yilmaz noted.

    Cyprus was divided in 1974 after Turkey invaded the island in the wake of the Greek Cypriots coup. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus proclaimed independence almost a decade later, currently recognized only by Turkey. Ankara keeps some 35,000 troops in the breakaway northern part of the island.

    The United Nations as well as Anastasiades and Akinci have been holding peace talks for reunification of the two parts of Cyprus since 2014.


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