US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon has said that United States continues to encourage the negotiations held between the two communities in Cyprus under the auspices of the UN Secretary General.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution, in Washington on Tuesday, he said that a regional issue where Turkey can play a productive role is Cyprus.
“The United States continues to encourage the negotiations between the two communities under the auspices of the UN Secretary General. Turkey and Greece can also play constructive roles in helping the Cypriot parties toward a lasting solution to their differences”, he said.
Gordon said that the US commend both Cypriot leaders for their efforts and urge them to seize this window of opportunity to pursue negotiations leading to a settlement that reunifies Cyprus into a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation.
He expressed the view that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent and “very constructive comments to the Cypriot press endorsing such a solution were very welcome and should help bring this outcome about”.
The US official noted that the US welcomes as well “the positive dynamic in the relationship between the Turkish and Greek Prime
Ministers – something that Greek Prime Minister Papandreou, who was just on this stage, spoke about when he was in Washington last week”.
Referring to Turkey’s EU course, he said that the United States continues to strongly support Turkish accession and urges Turkey to continue the democratic and political reforms necessary to complete the membership process.
“Further progress on promoting human rights and religious freedom, including important steps like reopening the Halki Seminary, will move Turkey’s EU prospects forward”, he added.
Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.
Source: ANA – MPA