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US Senator Joe Biden Calls for Full Withdrawal of Turkish Troops from Northern Cyprus
2008-09-05 13:12:09

Nicosia, Sep 4 - US Senator Joe Biden, running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and an experienced diplomat, has called for the "full withdrawal" of Turkish troops from northern Cyprus in an interview posted on ''Kathimerini'' on- line edition.

Mr. Biden, chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee - who has referred to the Cyprus occupation as an "anomaly" - told Kathimerini that Washington's relations with Ankara "will be influenced by how the Cyprus problem is solved, namely by the full withdrawal of Turkey, and from how Greek and Turkish differences in the Aegean are settled."

Mr. Biden said the stance of President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat made him "more optimistic than ever" that a settlement will be agreed upon.

Mr. Obama's running mate pledged Washington's "constant and active support" for peace talks. "We have the opportunity, with the cooperation of Greece, to find a logical solution to Cyprus and end the occupation," he said.

As for tactics for breaking the deadlock, Mr. Biden said negotiators should focus on existing common ground and build from there. "Part of diplomacy is determining which issues serve common interests and focusing on these to find a solution," he noted.

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