News

Biden hails Cyprus as ‘key partner’ after reunification talks

Biden hails Cyprus as ‘key partner’

after reunification talks

Biden_3U.S. Vice President Joe Biden May 23 hailed Cyprus as a “key partner” and said its rival leaders had agreed to “speed up” efforts to end the island’s 40-year division.

Biden ended his visit, the highest level by a U.S. official to Cyprus since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1962, late on May 22, leaving for the airport after meeting Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders.

“Cyprus is a key partner in a challenging region, and we know it could be even a stronger partner if the next generation of Cypriots can grow up without the burden of conflict,” he said, speaking in the buffer zone in Nicosia that has split the island and the capital since 1974.

Biden had met with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu separately before dining with them in the U.N.-patrolled buffer zone.

“The two leaders agreed to speed up the process of negotiations towards a comprehensive settlement, which is their priority. They agreed to meet at least twice a month to this end. Their next meeting will be on June 2,” he told journalists late on May 22.

Earlier, Biden held talks with Anastasiades, who has overseen an improvement in Washington-Nicosia ties since he took office last year after decades of Greek Cypriot distrust of the United States, a close ally of Turkey.

Biden highlighted the potential role Cyprus could play in the region, particularly on account of its offshore gas reserves, whose exploitation for export to Europe has been hampered by the division and a festering dispute with Turkey.

“Cyprus is poised to become a key player in the Eastern Mediterranean, transforming the Eastern Mediterranean into a new global hub for natural gas and markets,” Biden said…..

Read the whole article in Turkish “Hürriyet Daily News” – click here!

Read other articles and comments in Greek Cypriot “Cyprus Mail” by clicking herehere or here!