Nicosia, 20 August, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
US Vice President Joe Biden expressed hope that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, namely President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, would be able to make significant additional progress in the talks for a Cyprus settlement before their trip to the United Nations General Assembly, and that an agreement could be reached by the end of 2016.
Biden held telephone conversations on Friday with President Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci. According to a readout, the Vice President “congratulated the leaders on the progress they have made so far in the negotiations towards a settlement that would reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation”.
“The Vice President expressed hope that the leaders would be able to make significant additional progress in the talks before their travel to the United Nations General Assembly, and that an agreement could be reached by the end of 2016”, the readout adds.
President Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks with the aim to reunify Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof. The negotiations are set to resume on August 23 following a small break for summer holidays. A total of seven meetings have been scheduled until September 14.