By Kyriacos Kyriacou-Nicosia
US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland met today with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss bilateral relations and progress of the peace talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides.
In a written statement, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides noted that during the meeting they discussed recent developments in the Cyprus problem and in particular efforts to agree on a joint communiqué that would pave the way for the resumption of the Cyprus talks. They also discussed ways and measures that could contribute to efforts for the creation of a positive climate and work to the benefit of the solution process.
Seeking for a joint communiqué
President Anastasiades outlined the position of the Greek Cypriot side and said that the agreement on a joint communiqué is imperative for the resumption of talks. He also said that the joint communiqué could mark the start of an effective negotiation which could in turn have prospects of success.
According to the Government Spokesman, the discussion also focused on bilateral issues, especially those of mutual economic interest. “They also reviewed developments in the wider region of the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, where Cyprus’s role is clearly upgraded and the US interest is particularly strong”, the press release ends.
Cyprus is divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974. The latest round of UN backed talks began in 2008 but was suspended in the summer of 2012 by the Turkish side, when the Republic of Cyprus assumed the six- month presidency of the Council of the EU. During the past months the UN have been meeting with the negotiators of the two communities on the island – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – with the aim to reach an agreement on a joint statement that would pave the way for the resumption of the Cyprus talks.
Oman supports unification
President Anastasiades also met during the day with the first Ambassador of Oman to Cyprus, who emphasized his country’s constant position towards the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions which aim to unify Cyprus. Presenting his credentials to President Nicos Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace, Sheikh Ahmed bin Salem bin Ahmed al – Shanfari said that “bilateral relations between the Sultanate of Oman and the friendly Republic of Cyprus are growing rapidly and steadily”.
«We look forward to work on improving and developing the cooperation in different fields, and opening horizons to the business from both countries for investment and increasing the trade exchange, since both countries enjoy strategic locations which qualify their ports to be starting points towards the East and the West,” he said. The Ambassador said the two countries share the political and humanitarian visions for self¬-determination, reconciliation and social justice. He assured President Anastasiades that “the Sultanate of Oman supports the efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality”.
On his part President Anastasiades expressed his conviction that “the reunification of Cyprus will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the turbulent region of the Eastern Mediterranean, which is in much need of security and prosperity”.
Japan and Luxembourg
Bilateral relations, the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and the economic crisis were also on the agenda of meetings House President Yiannakis Omirou had today with the Ambassador of Japan Masuo Nishibayashi and the Ambassador of Luxembourg Christian Biever.
During the first meeting, the Ambassador of Japan noted that Cyprus could become an attractive destination for the people of his country and therefore, he added, there is much room for enhancing bilateral ties in the tourist sector.
In the second meeting, the Ambassador of Luxemburg reaffirmed that his country’s foreign policy as regards the Cyprus problem and the economic issues faced by the Republic remains unchanged and that Nicosia can count on that. He also praised the progress Cyprus has made in fulfilling its obligations deriving from the Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2013 with the Troika.