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The solution to the Cyprus issue cannot come from abroad

23 May 2014 / 13:05:54  GRReporter
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The visit of US Vice President Joe Biden to Cyprus ended late on Thursday evening. The Cypriot government defined the visit as historically important, stressing that the United States has recognized the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its Exclusive Economic Zone. For his part, Biden said he is ready to help in implementing the agreements for Amohostos (Famagusta).

Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulidis notes in a written statement that "the assessment of the visit of the US Vice President to the Republic of Cyprus as historically important has proved true."
Commenting on the content of the conversations between Joe Biden and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades Christodoulidis indicates that they have confirmed the consistent and principle position of the United States and the international community regarding the recognition of only one legitimate entity in Cyprus, the Republic of Cyprus, and of its legally elected government.

"A significant interest on the part of Washington has been established in terms of the efforts to end the occupation and reunite Cyprus on the basis of bicommunal, bizonal federation that is equal in political rights," the government spokesman says in a statement.
He notes the recognition on the part of the United States that substantial and bold steps to build trust, such as those described in the proposal of the Cypriot President, will give a new impetus to the dialogue and revive the hopes of the people to find a solution as soon as possible.

According to the government spokesman, the irreversible sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its Exclusive Economic Zone have been recognized as well as the important geo-strategic role of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the possibility of Cyprus becoming an alternative energy corridor.

On the issue of Amohostos (Famagusta)

In his last statement in Cyprus, after the dinner given to Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish leader Dervis Eroglu, the US Vice President called the leaders of the two communities to discuss the proposal for Amohostos, stressing that the United States is ready to help in its implementation. (Amohostos or Famagusta is a city in eastern Cyprus, within the Turkish part of the island, from where Greek Cypriots were expelled in 1974).

Let us recall that, according to a report in Wednesday’s edition of Genes Dyuzen newspaper, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Dervis Eroglu seem to have come to some agreement (a joint declaration, according to the newspaper) to allow specialists to access the closed area of Amohostos in order to prepare a technical and economic report relating to its recovery.

"The solution cannot be imposed from abroad"

Joe Biden also said that the solution to the Cyprus issue cannot be imposed from outside but should be agreed between the leaders of the two communities, in compliance with the opinion of civil society.

The dinner

The dinner hosted by the US Vice President lasted three hours, an hour longer than planned, which delayed the departure of the official guest from Cyprus.

Joe Biden also said that during the dinner both Nicos Anastasiades and Dervis Eroglu confirmed pursuit of a common goal, namely the reunification of Cyprus into a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

"I found common grounds on various aspects of the problem and, however, saw differences that I believe are not insurmountable. There is still a lot to be done but what I heard from the two leaders gives me hope that this time the solution is achievable," he adds.

US interests

Joe Biden said that the United States hopes there will be progress on the key issues, which will lead to the final stage of negotiations under UN auspices.
When asked about the United States interest in solving the Cyprus issue, the US Vice President said President Barack Obama as well as he himself believes that Cyprus is a key partner in a region facing many challenges.

"Both President Obama and I believe that Cyprus can become an even stronger partner if the next generation of Cypriots is able to grow without the burden of division, which will broaden its horizons," he said, adding that Cyprus can become a power of peace, prosperity and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, which will be in favour of the whole world.

In terms of the effort to solve the problem, Joe Biden said that there will always be people who think that this is impossible, but he has established that the two leaders are determined to prove them wrong.

Tags: US Vice President Joe BidenVisitCyprusCyprus issue
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