US diplomat says Cyprus' recognition by Turkey rests with EU
Nicosia, Sep 9 (CNA) - US Charges d'Affaires in Cyprus Jane Zimmerman has said the Republic of Cyprus's recognition by Turkey, in the framework of the latter's European course, rests with the members of the EU.
Speaking to the press after a meeting with Cypriot Minister of Education and Culture Pefkios Georgiades, Zimmerman said ''we believe that Turkey's accession and the negotiation process and eventually getting Turkey on the path to join the EU is a way to promote the kind of reform that is much needed in Turkey and makes the country a better neighbour and a force for stability in the region rather than leaving the future up in question''.
''We strongly support Turkey's accession into the EU and the negotiation process. At the same time we are not a member of EU but a supporter as a friend of Europe and as a friend of Turkey and of course Cyprus,'' she added.
As regards the issue of Cyprus' recognition by Turkey, Zimmerman said ''that thing rests with members of EU and again the negotiations process is a long process.''
On her meeting with Georgiades, Zimmerman said she congratulated him on the start of the academic year here in Cyprus and thanked him and the Ministry for the government's support for education and cultural exchanges between the US and Cyprus, ''particularly our Fulbright programme and our Cyprus-American scholarship programme.''
''I would encourage Cypriot youth who are interested in studying in the US to contact the US Embassy to find out more about these programmes and visit our websites because we find that education and culture exchange between the US and Cyprus are the best investments we make,'' she added.
The US diplomat also thanked the government of Cyprus and the Cypriot people for the expression of sympathy and support after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.
''The Minister came to sign the condolences book along with many other government senior officials and Ministers. We also appreciate the support we receive from the public, from people who recognised that unfortunately sometimes we are united by tragedy,'' she said.
Georgiades described the meeting as very constructive and useful and said they exchanged views as regards their cooperation on cultural issues and issues regarding the Fulbright Commission.