Turkey is a constant threat for the security of Cyprus: Defense Minister Petrides

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Turkey is a constant threat for the security of Cyprus and has a large number of military presence in the occupied part of the island, Cyprus’ Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides told Al Arabiya during an interview.

“In addition, Turkey continues to destabilize the area by continuous provocations without respecting the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus within its exclusive economic zone. We are working with allies and partners for countering Turkey's interventionism in the area,” Petrides said.

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“Cyprus has developed a wide range of regional cooperation with Middle East and the Arab Gulf countries for promoting stability, prosperity and cooperation,” he added.

Petrides has been touring the Middle East and Gulf region in the recent week, last meeting with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Petrides met Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Ahmed Zaki and Chief of Jordanian Armed Forces, General Yousef Al-Hnaity, at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.

The Cypriot defense minister’s statements came two weeks after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the only way to resolve decades of dispute over Cyprus was to establish two states on the island.

The leaders of Greece and Cyprus said they would only accept a peace deal based on UN resolutions, rejecting the two-state formula supported by Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. Talks under United Nations auspices are planned for next month.

Petrides reiterated the Cyrpriot stance on solutions being based on the framework of the high-level agreements and decisions of the UN resolutions.

“What is different now is that Turkey for the first time is presenting a dangerous position, namely their desire for a two-state solution. This cannot be a realistic base for reaching a settlement for the Cyprus issue. The Turkish position is beyond any existing UN council security resolution, and it is not, of course, in line with the European Union principles,” Petrides told Al Arabiya.

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Turkey’s Erdogan says two-state solution only option to resolve Cyprus dispute

Ending ‘Turkish occupation’ of Cyprus is a priority: Greek PM

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