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Cyprus president insists Turkish troops must leave

World News
Fri, 13 Jan 2017

Geneva: Any deal to reunify Cyprus must include the withdrawal of some 30,000 Turkish troops from the eastern Mediterranean island, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said Friday.

"Our position remains... that we must agree on the withdrawal of the Turkish army," he told reporters in Geneva, where talks aimed at ending the island's division have been going on since Monday.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in televised comments that a complete pullout of troops was "out of the question".

Anastasiades nevertheless said the talks in Geneva had raised hopes that a deal can be struck.

"We are on a path that creates hope," the Greek Cypriot told reporters after talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as well as top diplomats from Greece, Turkey and former colonial power Britain.

But Erdogan was more pessimistic.

He said Turkish Cypriots "are working intensely and bring sincerity" but the Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus and Athens "still have different expectations".

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