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President Christofias Receives Chairman of US House Committee
2009-04-24 08:01:28

Nicosia, Apr 14 (CNA) - Chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman said on Tuesday that the United States want to assist in the process for a solution of the Cyprus problem, noting however that the Cypriots want to take the ownership of the process and do not seem to want any plans imposed on them.

Mr. Berman, who is heading a Foreign Affairs Committee delegation visiting Cyprus, was received on Tuesday by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, and later on met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou.

Speaking after the delegation's meeting with President Christofias, Mr. Berman said “we had a number of very interesting conversations today but it was topped by a very lengthy and interesting conversation with the President.”

“We are an American delegation of members of the House of Representatives, bipartisan, who come here, one supporting the notion of Cyprus as one sovereign country, and secondly, believing that both the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community are two people who want to resolve this problem and make this happen, and we are very excited by the willingness of the two leaders to talk and get together to finally come to a much too long delayed resolution,” he said.

Replying to questions, Mr. Berman said the delegation met on Tuesday with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat's negotiators, since Mr. Talat had left for the US.

Asked whether the United States are ready to assist in any way in efforts for a solution, Mr. Berman said “the US definitely wants to be helpful but what we heard is that this is a process for which the Cypriots have to take ownership.”

“We can assist we will assist but it doesn’t sound like anybody wants any plan imposed on them,” he concluded.

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