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Cyprus Cyprus Talks

US Secretary of State expresses hope for real progress in Cyprus in 2015 (updated)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a news conference with Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that the division of Cyprus was begging for an international solution and progress in peace talks was possible this year.

Speaking before a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the State Department, Kerry said the dispute over Cyprus had gone on for too long.

He added that the problem “just goes on for far too long and it is begging for international efforts to try to help bring about a resolution, a lasting settlement”.

The United States and Turkey both support the UN lead negotiations to reunify the island as a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, Kerry noted.

Kerry said that he has discussed the issue at length with Cavusloglu`s predecessor, Turkey’s  Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

“We believe that the parties can make real and lasting progress in the year 2015. And that will be very positive for the region and obviously a terrific boost and opportunity for a better life for all Cypriots” the US Secretary of State said.

Cavusoglu said Cyprus was included in the agenda of his talks with Kerry, along with a series of other international issues.

He noted that his side aims at reaching a lasting solution in Cyprus this year and referred to comments made by UN SG Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide on the possible resumption of settlement talks.

The Turkish foreign minister said finally that the role of the US is very important in reaching a lasting and fair solution in Cyprus.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said everything would be judged at the negotiating table.

“We will see the real intentions there. We will see if (Turkey’s) public statements correspond to reality,” he told reporters.

The Greek Cypriot side has already stated its intention to engage in a substantive and honest dialogue, Christodoulides said, and it was now awaiting the other side to reciprocate.

The spokesman said those countries interested in helping to resolve the issue were welcome.

“We are expecting for example, what I have told you: to see public statements about a desire for a solution of the Cyprus problem as soon as possible, through proposals submitted at the negotiating table,” he said.

President Nicos Anastasiades had suspended his participation in the talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel Barbaros entered the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.

Repeated calls for the withdrawal of Barbaros went unheeded by Ankara, which extended the NAVTEX in January until April 6, 2015.

Earlier this month, Eide met with the leaders in Cyprus and said that the resumption of talks was possible, after the elections in the Turkish Cypriot community.

 

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