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GC side always ready to return to negotiations, says Fotiou

The Greek Cypriot side is always ready to return to negotiations, as long as the basic conditions set by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for the establishment of a normal state, without the burden of foreign guarantees and rights of intervention by any third country, are fulfilled, said Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian and Overseas Affairs Fotis Fotiou on Saturday.

He added that President Nicos Anastasiades had made clear his intention to continue the peace effort seriously and responsibly, but that the same attitude and responsibility should also be displayed by the Turkish Cypriot side.

The occupation of the north should end, Fotiou continued, and Cyprus reunited in the interests of its legitimate inhabitants, as well as for the region’s stability and peace.

Speaking at a ceremony to put to rest the remains of executed Greek Cypriot prisoner of war Andreas Lambridis, the Presidential Commissioner noted that Ankara’s crimes in Cyprus could not be forgiven nor glossed over, especially given the ongoing presence of over 40,000 Turkish troops and Ankara’s ongoing bid for the complete Islamisation of the north.

The latter bid was the reason for Turkey’s insistence on preserving guarantees and intervention rights, Fotiou added, together with maintaining that any peace deal would continue to include a Turkish military presence on the island.

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