Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US State Department Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Palmer said on Thursday he expected to continue working closely with the Cypriot government and deepening and strengthening the already “excellent Cyprus-US partnership”.
In statements after his meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace, Palmer said they discussed the whole range of issues concerning bilateral relations.
“I lived here for three years. I have pleasant memories from Cyprus. I love this place. It is very nice to be back, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the government, deepening and strengthening what is (already) an excellent partner relationship,” Palmer said.
Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Anastasiades and Palmer discussed bilateral relations but also Turkish activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus and the progress in efforts to lift the US arms embargo and the new relation between the US and Cyprus this would bring.
The US official reiterated the position of his country in favour of the sovereign rights of the Republic stressing that Turkey ought to avoid such illegal actions, Prodromou said.
He added that they discussed the whole range of bilateral relations, as well as the special interest in the Cyprus – Greece – Israel tripartite with the participation of the US as a mechanism contributing to stability and security in the region.
They also discussed economic relations and prospects for further cooperation, as well as the energy cooperation through the big companies active in the Cyprus energy programme and the American interests in the region.
As regards the Cyprus problem, Anastasiades reiterated he was ready to start the talks when Turkey’s illegal provocations end, and informed Palmer that “unfortunately during this whole period the Turkish side was reluctant to resume negotiations,” Prodromou said.
The president has requested the US help to influence Turkey so that talks could resume.
Palmer met earlier in the day with Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides.