Progress made on Cyprus issue: US
WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency
AFP photoAdvances have been made in the long-running Cyprus negotiation process between the Turkish and Greek sides of the Mediterranean island, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on June 13.
“There is progress,” Kerry said during a press conference before meeting with Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in Washington D.C.
“There are certain areas of the discussions where people believe they’ve reached some agreement, but there are still some difficult hurdles to get over,” he added.
The U.S. is involved and supports discussions between the sides in order to “bring peace” to the island, according to Kerry.
“We will continue to be engaged in these talks, and my hope is that the re-engagement that has just taken place in the last days will produce some progress,” he said.
Kasoulides thanked Kerry for his “keen interest on the issue of Cyprus” and said his meeting with his counterpart would include talks on ways the U.S. could contribute to the U.N. peace mission to move the Cyprus issue forward.
The foreign minister also condemned the attack in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed on Sunday by a gunman targeting a gay bar, and he offered condolences to the U.S. people.
Reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island resumed in May 2015 when the then newly elected Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akıncı met with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
Previous negotiations stalled in October 2014 due to a dispute about gas exploration.
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup on the island was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.
Talks resumed on June 8 following a pause, after Anastasiades called for a halt to negotiations due to take place on May 27 over what he saw as an attempt to officially recognize the Turkish Cypriot administration.
The move came after Anastasiades did not attend a state dinner at a U.N.-organized humanitarian summit in Istanbul on May 23 upon discovering that Akıncı was also invited.