Turkish Minister: Troops Won’t Leave Cyprus Under Peace Deal

NICOSIA, CYPRUS � Turkey’s foreign minister says Turkish soldiers will remain on Cyprus under any agreement to reunify the ethnically divided island.

Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey won’t accept a peace accord that would mandate the withdrawal of all of its troops from Cyprus � a key demand by Greece and internationally recognized Greek Cypriots.

He told reporters after a morning round of talks at a Swiss resort Tuesday that anyone “dreaming” of removing all Turkish troops from the island has “to wake up.”

Cavusoglu says abolishing military intervention rights in an envisioned federal Cyprus is a “non-starter” for Turkey and the nation’s breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

Turkey has kept more than 35,000 troops on Cyprus since 1974, when it invaded in the wake of a coup mounted by supporters of union with Greece.

Source: Voice of America