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US ambassador focuses on JFK as symbol of US-Cyprus relations

ΠτΔ – Δεξίωση για την Ημέρα Ανεξαρ
President Anastasiades and US ambassador Judith Garber at the July 4 celebrations on Tuesday night

The US said on Tuesday it supported UN efforts to resume formal negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem with President Joe Biden convinced that a solution is not only possible but that it would benefit all Cypriots and the wider region.

Speaking during an event to mark the 245th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence, US ambassador Judith Garber said the strong bilateral relationship with the Republic of Cyprus was based on more than 60 years of friendship and many milestones reached during that period.

This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the inauguration of President John F Kennedy, who continues to be a symbol to Americans and others around the world of youthful energy, positivity and optimism.

Kennedy has also been admired by the people of Cyprus, Garber said. He was campaigning for office when the modern state of Cyprus was created and was president during its formative years.

At least 17 streets and squares in Cyprus have been named after JFK, the ambassador said.

“Once we discovered that, we knew there was no better theme for celebrating American-Cypriot cooperation and displaying our optimism for the future of our relations with Cyprus than by marking the anniversary of his inauguration,” the ambassador said.

Garber went on to outline the various areas of cooperation between the two countries, issues ranging from security to immigration and travel.

“Importantly, we strongly support the efforts facilitated by the United Nations to resume formal negotiations for settling the Cyprus problem,” Garber said. “In the same spirit of optimism that characterised the Kennedy administration, the Biden administration is committed to supporting a Cypriot-led, UN-facilitated effort to reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation. President Biden remains convinced not only that a solution is possible, but that a reunited island would benefit all Cypriots and the wider region.”

President Nicos Anastasiades expressed his deep appreciation for the continuous US support in reaching a settlement that would reunite Cyprus on the agreed basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, a position reiterated by President Biden through his letter of May 28.

“President Biden also expressed his serious concerns with regard to Turkey’s decision to reopen a part of Varosha, stressing that they have urged and will continue to urge a reversal of this decision and will discourage further provocative actions,” Anastasiades said.

In view of the upcoming visit of the Turkish president to the occupied areas on July 20, Anastasiades urged diplomatic missions present to convey to their government the need to impress upon Tayip Erdogan the need to refrain from inflaming further tensions through any new illegal actions, particularly as regards Varosha.

“If Turkey proceeds with such actions – and I repeat, particularly in relation to Varosha – this will be the tombstone of not only resuming the negotiating process, but, and most importantly, to reaching a viable and functional settlement,” he said.

“That is why, in a constructive manner and with a sincere political will to defuse tensions, I submitted a proposal for the adoption of bold Confidence Building Measures that could prove to be a game changer in addressing concerns of both sides.”

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