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Obama: Cyprus division has gone on too long

19 July, 2013

The United States continues to support efforts under the auspices of the UN to reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, US President Barack Obama has said, adding that "the island`s division has gone on for far too long."

Receiving the credentials of Cyprus` new Ambassador to the US Georgios Chacalli, on Thursday, Obama said "we recognise your hopes to end the division of Cyprus through a just and lasting settlement," adding that "we firmly believe that a mutually acceptable settlement is in the best interests of the people of Cyprus, and we hope the parties will finally end the tragic division of the island."

"The US stands ready to provide assistance that both sides would find useful to achieve a solution," he added.

Presenting his credentials, Chacalli said President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades "remains fully committed to bringing a fresh approach and a new impetus to the efforts for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem," adding that "the basis for this solution continues to rest with the UN Security Council Resolutions calling for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international personality, a single citizenship and with political equality as described therein."

"Undoubtedly, however, as the occupying power, Turkey itself holds the key to any mutually acceptable solution, since this cannot be achieved without Turkey’s own sincere good will and constructive active involvement in the peace-making process, while fully respecting International Law and the European acquis communautaire," he pointed out.

Chacalli also noted that, "as Cyprus faces the most serious economic crisis in its modern history since the 1974 Turkish invasion, the Cyprus Government remains firmly committed to undertaking, in consultations with our international partners in the IMF and the EU, a series of innovative measures and brave new steps to restructure and reinvigorate the island’s economy."

"The prospect of hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, offers not only new hopes in our efforts to regenerate our country’s economy but also new avenues for cooperation with our international trading partners, including, in particular, the United States. American energy companies have already been involved in this new project and we look forward to expanding such joint ventures in future," he said.

Chacalli also referred to the close cooperation between the two countries in sectors such as commerce, trade, taxation, energy, and culture, and noted that they have already been working closely together in promoting and safeguarding world peace, stability, the rule of law and democracy and that, "in an effort to further accommodate these goals, Cyprus announced its intention and cautiously yet firmly proceeds towards the accession to the Partnership for Peace Programme."