Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Thursday that he is optimistic that there will soon be an agreement on the terms of reference to pave the way for the resumption of the UN-backed talks for the reunification of the island.
Christodoulides met the outgoing US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, in New York on Thursday with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem and matters concerning the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp).
Speaking to the press after the meeting, the minister said that UN Secretary-General’s envoy Jane Holl Lute will soon revisit Cyprus for consultations with all parties involved with the aim to set as soon as possible the terms of reference for resuming negotiations.
Christodoulides said he is optimistic and that his hopefulness derives from the fact that Lute, in her recent meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades, appeared to be determined and very keen in assisting the procedure. Therefore, he said, he is confident that soon there will be an agreement on the terms.
Referring to his meeting with Nikki Haley, Christodoulides said it was a “good meeting, open and sincere”.
He said that the US supports the secretary-general’s efforts and that he agreed with the approach expressed in his meeting with Haley that there is a need to enhance Unficyp’s effectiveness without affecting its mandate.
On the Statement of Intent Between the US and the Republic of Cyprus, he signed earlier in the week with Wess Mitchell, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Christodoulides said that it is based on a positive agenda and is not against any other third country.
Cyprus, he said, is working together with the US and other states in the region in order to face mutual challenges and this cooperation must be as efficient as possible.
He also pointed out that Cyprus wishes to normalise its relations with Turkey, so that it could participate in the consultations that are currently taking place in the region on energy issues and many other topics.
Christodoulides also expressed his gratitude for the position the US have expressed on Cyprus’ sovereign right in its exclusive economic zone.