Turkey needs to back down: says Defense Minister

The Defence Minister for South Cyprus, Fotis Fotiou said that the foundation upon which the Cyprus talks should be based, must be agreed before talks begin.

He urged that the international community should put pressure on Turkey to abandon its “intransigent” policy on Cyprus.

Referring to the Cyprus problem, he said that “the President of the Republic and the Government will do their utmost to reunify our country”.

Our positions on the Cyprus problem, he emphasised, should be accepted by the international community, adding: “we expect that pressure will be exerted on Turkey, so that Ankara finally abandons its intransigent policy and comes to the negotiating table in a constructive manner”.

He also noted that any new process on the Cyprus problem should remain under the auspices of the UN, on the basis of the UN Security Council decisions and resolutions.

Furthermore, the Defense Minister rejected the idea of an international or multilateral conference taking place on the Cyprus problem.

The solution of the Cyprus problem, he said, must provide for a state which will have a single international personality, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship.

In addition, he said that “political equality does not mean numerical equality or equal distribution of resources”. The term political equality, he said, is outlined in the UN resolutions.

The minister urged his countrymen to work hard to help the South emerge from its current economic crisis.

“Our country is currently in the most difficult situation since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded Cyprus, due to the unprecedented economic crisis” Fotiou said, in a speech at the memorial service of a Soteris Georgiou, who lost his life during the Turkish peace keeping mission in Cyprus in 1974.

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