Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou Meets with Vice-President Biden and Secretary Clinton
Washington, Apr 20 - The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, Markos Kyprianou, had bilateral meetings Monday April 20th 2009, with the Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden, at the White House, and his US counterpart, Hillary Clinton, at the State Department.
This was the second time in the last two weeks that Minister Kyprianou has met with Secretary Clinton. They previously met during the EU-US Summit in Prague earlier this month.
The meetings signaled a new beginning in Cyprus-US bilateral relations. Both meetings were positive and constructive and showed the commitment of both governments not only to reinforce their bilateral relations, but also to upgrade their close cooperation and coordination on a variety of issues. Minister Kyprianou exchanged views with Vice-President Biden and Secretary Clinton on global and regional matters of mutual interest and concern including counterterrorism, non-proliferation and the Middle East. Vice-President Biden and Secretary Clinton also expressed the view that Cyprus has been a valuable partner. It was agreed that the US and Cyprus examine ways to deepen their bilateral ties, recognizing also the potential importance that Cyprus can play in the region given its geographic and strategic location.
The Vice-President and the Secretary reaffirmed US support for the ongoing Cypriot-led negotiations under UN auspices to reach a just and lasting settlement that reunifies Cyprus in a bizonal, bicommunal federation. The Foreign Minister briefed Vice-President Biden and Secretary Clinton on the current status of the direct negotiation process and emphasized the importance that the Cypriots should have ownership of both the process and the outcome, and not be subject to strict timeframes and arbitration. Minister Kyprianou underlined that it was not sufficient for Turkey to merely express support for the process, but it should also clearly state, at last, its support for the solution which would be a bizonal, bicommunal federation. The Minister urged the Administration to impress upon Turkey the need for it to be constructive both in the current negotiation process and importantly to actively support the framework for a solution.