US diplomat says Cyprus talks to end positively

US diplomat says Cyprus talks to end positively

NICOSIA - Reuters
US diplomat says Cyprus talks to end positively

Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu during a meeting in Nicosia Feb 4. AA photo

A senior U.S. diplomat who recently visited Nicosia has said recent talks between the leaders of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots have ended “positively.”

“I am persuaded, after these discussions, that each leader is personally committed to making real progress in the coming days and weeks, which will give all the people of Cyprus new confidence and hope in the prospects for a settlement,” Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said in a statement, after meeting with Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades. 

“The two leaders assured me of their strong determination to reach agreement on a joint statement that will define the key principles to foster renewal of fruitful, results-oriented settlement negotiations. I assured them of President Obama and the American people’s strong support as they seize this opportunity, and I also pledged the United States’ continued, active engagement as they take courageous steps to heal the island’s divisions and bring security and economic prosperity to all the people of Cyprus,” Nuland added.

‘Breakthrough’ close

The statement came as Greek Cyprus said it was close to reviving stalled peace talks between the island’s Greek and Turkish communities. Greek Cypriot spokesman Christos Stylianides said “important consultations” were underway for the drafting of a “final and substantive joint statement.” He said Greek Cypriot President Anastassiades would be briefing political parties today and holding consultations with the Greek government tomorrow. The consultations are in a “delicate phase,” Stylianides said, but he declined to be more specific.