The Cyprus issue was the focus of discussion in Istanbul on two fronts on Saturday with the Turkish leadership.
During a joint news conference with Joe Biden, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu thanked the US Vice President for visiting Cyprus – which he did in May 2014 – saying the United States would have an important role in Cyprus peace talks.
Biden said he believed Turkey would also play an important role in finding a Cyprus solution, according to the Cyprus News Agency.
Biden welcomed the efforts of Turkey to solve the various issues that were proving difficult in the negotiations. “I believe that Turkey will play an important role in finding a way to resolve the Cyprus problem,” Biden said, according to CNA.
The US Vice President also said that a Cyprus solution would contribute to the security of Europe, and Davutoglu echoed the comment saying a settlement would enhance the energy security of the bloc.
According to government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides earlier on Saturday, Biden was to convey specific messages to the Turkish government concerning aspects of the Cyprus problem. Speaking to an early-morning show on CyBC radio, Christodoulides said the message would concern guarantees, territory and security in terms of a Cyprus settlement
The spokesman noted that the US realises that it is necessary for Ankara to demonstrate in practice that it wants a solution to the Cyprus problem.
On a second front, AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou was also in Istanbul on Saturday. He first met Davutoglu in the afternoon and was meeting in the evening with Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu – who had issued the invitation to visit Turkey.
After meeting Davutoglu, no statements were made but Kyprianou tweeted under a photo: “Discussing with Mr Davutoglu the positions of the Greek Cypriot side”.
Kyprianou said on Friday night, speaking during a panel discussion at Kultur University in Istanbul that there had been progress and convergences in the ongoing Cyprus talks but that there were still differences in the issues of security, property and territory.
“We will seek to discuss all this during our meetings,” he said, adding that he would also broach the issue of guarantees.
Kyprianou said the positions he would convey to the Turkish officials would not go beyond the long-standing positions of the National Council, the president`s top advisory body on the Cyprus problem in which all parliamentary party leaders take part.
He also said that before his trip he met with President Nicos Anastasiades because he did not wish to put forward positions that were not in line with the Greek Cypriot side`s positions.
Christodoulides said that on his return from Istanbul, Kyprianou would meet Anastasiades for a briefing about the visit to Turkey.