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Turkey rebuffs Greek calls for Cyprus troop removal

Turkey rebuffs Greek calls for Cyprus troop removal

Foreign ministry says Greece should adopt more 'constructive' approach

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Turkey has hit back at Greek calls for Turkish troops to be removed from Cyprus.

Responding to Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias repeated calls for the removal of soldiers from Northern Cyprus as one of the “fundamental conditions for the resolution of the Cyprus issue”, the Turkish Foreign Ministry called for a more positive approach from Athens.

“We await from guarantor country Greece a more constructive and realistic point of view, during a period when the Turkish nation blocked a coup attempt by fighting for democracy and a period when negotiations to resolve the Cyprus issue have intensified,” the ministry said in a statement.

Reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island resumed in May last year and are expected to be resolved by the end of this year with the formation of a federal administration.

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

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