Erdoğan and May discuss Cyprus on phone

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ANKARA, TURKEY - JANUARY 28: British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) at the presidential complex during her first visit to Turkey since becoming premier, in Ankara, Turkey on January 28, 2017. AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May discussed the Cyprus Conference and regional issues in a phone call on Tuesday, according to presidential resources, the Birgün daily reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, Erdoğan and May emphasized reaching a fair, sustainable and comprehensive solution in Cyprus for both parties and said they could meet during the G-20 summit in Hamburg.

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders began talks last Wednesday with the aim of reuniting Cyprus after 40 years of division.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı are meeting in the Swiss Alpine resort of Crans-Montana and have been joined by UN and European Union officials and the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey.

Since Turkey intervened in Cyprus in response to a short-lived coup by Greek Cypriot militants seeking union with Greece in 1974, Cyprus has been partitioned into ethnic Turkish and Greek zones.

Greece, Turkey and Britain were assigned as “guarantor” powers in a treaty adopted when Cyprus gained independence in 1960.

Greece seeks abolition of the guarantor system, accusing Turkey of abusing it through its 1974 intervention and the continued stationing of some 30,000 Turkish troops in the north while it has a battalion of about 1,100 troops on Cyprus.

The sides submitted proposals on how to define the post-settlement boundaries.

Under the proposals, Turkish Cypriots would retain between 28.2 and 29.2 percent of total Cypriot territory, down from the current 36 percent.

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