Europe

Erdogan: Turkey to remain guarantor of reunified Cyprus

  • Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci speaks to the media about the Cyprus Peace Talks, during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017.  (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

    Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci speaks to the media about the Cyprus Peace Talks, during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • United Nations Special Advisor for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide speaks about the Cyprus peace talks during a news conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

    United Nations Special Advisor for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide speaks about the Cyprus peace talks during a news conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci speaks to the media about the Cyprus Peace Talks, during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017.  (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

    Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci speaks to the media about the Cyprus Peace Talks, during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's president says his country must continue to underwrite the security of Cyprus, even if there's a deal reunifying the island that's divided along ethnic Greek and Turkish lines.

However, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Istanbul Friday that a full pullout would be possible if Greece, which also deploys a small troop contingent in Cyprus, does the same.

Erdogan's remarks came a day after the top diplomats of Cyprus' "guarantors" — Greece, Turkey and Britain — discussed in Geneva the complex issue of protecting both communities from possible hostilities if a reunification deal unravels.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said in Geneva Friday the fact that the guarantors broached security matters for the first time offers hope for a deal.