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US Ambassador-Designate to Cyprus arrives
2002-08-28 12:37:22

Larnaca, Aug 28 (CNA) ?US Ambassador-designate to Cyprus Michael Klosson has described as "critical" the current juncture for Cyprus and called on Cypriots to seize the opportunity for a brighter future.

Speaking on arrival at Larnaca airport Wednesday, Klosson said he looked forward to hearing first-hand the views of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides on the status of the ongoing UN-led peace talks for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.|

"I am honoured to represent the President and people of the United States of America, and I feel the weight of my responsibility", Klosson said. He will present his credentials to President Glafcos Clerides on Thursday.

"This is a critical juncture for Cyprus ? an opportunity of a generation for a brighter future for Cypriots from one end of the island to another", Klosson said, adding that "such an opportunity must be seized with all the urgency that can be summoned".

He said he is "eager" to begin his work "as part of the US team supporting the UN Secretary-General's mission to facilitate the direct talks now underway", adding that he looks forward to "hearing first-hand the leaders' views on the status of the talks".

The US and Cyprus have many issues to pursue together, something that will be part of his mission here, he said, in order to strengthen "our counter terrorism efforts, deepen our business ties and expand law enforcement cooperation".

Klosson, a career Foreign Service officer with 27 years of experience in Europe, East Asia and senior State Department positions, was sworn in August 19 as the next US ambassador to Cyprus.

He assumes his post as the UN-led peace talks are entering what many describe as a crucial phase and only a week before President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash go to Paris to meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

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