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We will not negotiate about Cyprus issue forever, Turkish FM says

WE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE ABOUT CYPRUS ISSUE FOREVER, TURKISH FM SAYS

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said after UN envoy Espen Barth Eide's remarks that the Turkish delegation would not continue negotiating forever with the Greek Cypriot side.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Thursday that the Turkish delegation would not continue negotiating forever with the Greek Cypriot side following UN envoy Espen Barth Eide's remarks in which he said the international talks in Switzerland were not "the last chance" for resolving the Cyprus issue.

Çavuşoğlu said the Turkish delegation had already told the negotiators that the security measures taken by Turkey on the island were essential and that it would not give up on its main principles, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side was already offering maximum flexibility during the negotiations.

"This conference on Cyprus is the final one and there should be a conclusion at this round in Crans-Montana," he said.

"The Greek side is resisting not to discuss the details of the matters which were not agreed upon in the last meetings."

Commenting on Barth's statements about continuing negotiations, the top diplomat repeated that Barth himself had said that the current negotiations would be the last, expressing Turkey's disapproval with his statement.

"Turkey's attitude about Cyprus is clear, if the talks do not succeed, the negotiations will be held in another dimension. The Greek side needs to drop its demand to clear Turkish troops out of the island and come up with more reasonable proposals," Çavuşoğlu said.

Çavuşoğlu's comments came after Ankara rejected Greek media claims about an alleged plan to cut Turkish troop numbers in Cyprus by 80 percent.

The UN is seeking a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella, which could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey, a key player in the conflict.

The latest round of Cyprus negotiations began Wednesday, and talks are expected to continue for about a week.

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