News
Cyprus & World News

US Vice President Joe Biden to visit Cyprus

11 May, 2014

The US is expected to announce the funding of a master plan for the wider region of theTurkish occupied town of Famagusta, during next week's visit to Cyprus by Vice President Joe Biden, reliable sources have told CNA.

Biden is due on the island between 21-23 May.

The same sources have said the deal will include the fenced off area of Famagusta, known as Varosha, which experts will be allowed to enter for inspection and to facilitate their studies on the master plan.

During the visit, it is also expected that mine clearance in three areas, two in the southern government controlled part of the Republic of Cyprus and one in the northern Turkish occupied areas of the island.

According to the same sources, the deal is all but done, even though there has been no confirmation by any of the parties involved. One of the pending issues is to clarify the prospect of the rerturn of the sealed-off section of Varosha, under UN administration, as the Greek Cypriot side wants.

Reliable sources have said that Washington informed Nicosia about Biden`s visit, on Wednesday.

The issue of Famagusta and US Vice President`s visit to Cyprus will be discussed Tuesday by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides, at their meeting at the State Department.

Abandoned by its Greek Cypriot inhabitants as they fled the advancing Turkish troops in the summer of 1974, Varosha has remained under Turkey`s direct control since then.

The UN has called for the return of the town to its lawful inhabitants but so far Ankara refuses to comply with such calls.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, engaged in peace talks with the Turkish Cypriot leader, has proposed the return of the city as a confidence building measure to restore trust between the island`s two communities, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.