Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland stresses President Obama's support to reunification efforts in Cyprus
US President Barack Obama strongly supports efforts for the reunification of Cyprus, US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, said Tuesday in a written statement.
The US official was received earlier today by President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades with whom she discussed the Cyprus problem as well as bilateral affairs.
In her written statement, she notes that she had an "excellent meeting" with President Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and thanks them "for their efforts to strengthen relations between Cyprus and the United States".
"I was grateful to have the opportunity to discuss a range of issues that are all part of our bilateral relationship. These include important regional issues such as our cooperation in counterterrorism, law enforcement, support for human rights, our common fight against trafficking in persons, and Cyprus’ important role in supporting the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons", she adds.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Nuland notes that she had "excellent discussions on Cyprus settlement efforts with the leaders of the two communities, President Anastasiades and Mr. Eroglu", adding that "I am persuaded, after these discussions, that each leader is personally committed to making real progress in coming days and weeks toward ending the division of this island". "The two leaders assured me of their strong determination to reach agreement on a Joint Statement that will define key principles to foster renewal of fruitful, results-oriented settlement negotiations", the US official points out.
She also stresses that "I assured them of President Obama and the American people’s strong support as they seize this opportunity and our continued engagement as they take courageous steps to heal the island’s divisions and bring security, economic prosperity, and hope to all the people of all the island’s communities".
Concluding, she notes that the United States supports the development and early implementation of measures to build confidence and enhance cooperation on the island and in the region. Cyprus is divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974. The latest round of UN backed talks began in 2008 but was suspended in the summer of 2012 by the Turkish side, when the Republic of Cyprus assumed the six- month presidency of the Council of the EU.
During the past months the UN have been meeting with the negotiators of the two communities on the island - Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots - with the aim to reach an agreement on a joint statement that would pave the way for the resumption of the Cyprus talks.
Source: Cyprus News Agency (CΝΑ/ΚΥΠΕ)