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Cyprus

Kerry says Cyprus a valued friend of US (Update: adds Obama message)

US Secretary of State John Kerry sent a message ahead of the island’s Independence Day on Thursday saying Cyprus was a valued friend and partner of the United States

“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of the Republic of Cyprus on your 55th Independence Day this October 1,” the message said..

“The Republic of Cyprus is a valued friend and partner of the United States. We share a long history of advancing mutual priorities such as promoting regional stability, fostering economic development, protecting cultural heritage, and defending human rights,” he said.

“Beyond these shared interests, our friendship is rooted in the democratic ideals and values of freedom and democracy that link our two countries.”

Kerry also expressed the continued firm support of the United States for a fair and lasting political solution to the longstanding division of the island  and said he was optimistic that with the strong commitment of “both courageous Cypriot leaders” and the support of the United Nations and the international community, “the historic moment of reunification is within reach”.

“We believe this is the best chance in decades to achieve a permanent and mutually acceptable outcome,” Kerry said.

In a later statement US President Barack Obama said the US valued the “enduring partnership with the Republic of Cyprus”.

“I am pleased that over the last year we have strengthened our ties, worked to promote peace and counter extremism in the region, and fostered opportunities for greater bilateral trade and investment,” Obama said.

He congratulated President Nicos Anastasiades on the remarkable progress being made towards a settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

“This is an historic opportunity to forge a better future for all Cypriots. The Unites States is deeply committed to supporting the settlement process, and we encourage you to continue efforts towards achieving a lasting peace,” he added.

 

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