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President Obama Says US Willing to Support Efforts for a United Cyprus
2009-04-13 08:41:11

Constantinople, Apr 6 - US President Barack Obama has stressed that the US is willing to help the two communities in Cyprus in reaching a solution that would reunify the island.

Addressing the Turkish National Assembly in Ankara, President Obama referred to the Cyprus problem, saying that the solution would reunify Cyprus into a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

“The United States is willing to offer all the help sought by the parties as they work towards a just and lasting settlement that reunifies Cyprus into a bizonal and bicommunal federation," President Obama said.

He added that the two community leaders in Cyprus have made a lot of efforts with regard to the commencement of direct negotiations for a Cyprus solution.

The US President also referred to religious rights and the need to reopen the Chalki Theology School which Turkish authorities closed in 1971.

President Christofias and President Obama had a short encounter on the sidelines of the EU-US Summit held on Sunday in Prague.

In statements to the press President Christofias said he had the opportunity to ask the US President to exert pressure on Turkey so that the Turkish occupation of Cyprus is terminated and the island and its people are reunited.

President Christofias said that President Obama's response was positive. He added however that there are strategic goals of the US in relation to Turkey, adding that after President Obama's election Cypriots expect that the US will exert its pressure on its strategic ally Turkey, to change its stance to reach a mutually acceptable settlement of the Cyprus question that will bring peace, reunification and cooperation.

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