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Biden updates Anastasiades on talks with Turkish leaders

Photo archive: US Vice President Joe Biden at Larnaca airport during his visit to Cyprus

US Vice President Joe Biden updated President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades on his recent conversations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and discussed developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, during a telephone conversation.

According to a US readout, “the Vice President noted the need to de-escalate tensions in order to get back to a more constructive track in the UN-mediated settlement talks on Cyprus and reinvigorate efforts to seek mutually beneficial solutions”.

“Both leaders emphasized their commitment in reunifying the island as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation”, the readout says.

Cyprus’ Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said in a written statement that Biden raised the issue of Turkish violations and provocations in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, noting that he reiterated the US position that the Republic of Cyprus has the right to exercise its sovereign rights within its exclusive economic zone.

Biden also reaffirmed the US commitment to talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem, Christodoulides said.

The Spokesman noted that President Anastasiades thanked Biden for his support and the initiatives and actions he has undertaken to defuse the situation and resume talks for a Cyprus settlement, and made clear that there can be no resumption of talks until Turkey terminates its illegal actions.

President Anastasiades decided to suspend his participation in the UN-backed negotiations for a solution of the Cyprus problem, after Turkish seismic exploration vessel Barbaros entered Cyprus` exclusive economic zone a few days after Turkey had issued an illegal maritime order (NAVTEX) for the area.

CNA

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