New US Ambassador says Cyprus is ‘high value’ partner

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New US Ambassador to Cyprus, Julie Fisher, has assured she will put her full weight behind reigniting UN-facilitated peace talks and enhancing Washington-Nicosia relations.

The former envoy to Belarus made the comments during the confirmation hearing for her nomination by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, chaired by Robert Menendez.

Fisher said: “This Committee knows well that Cyprus sits on a critical seam between the Middle East and Europe.

“The Republic of Cyprus is a highly valued partner, and our bilateral relationship has deepened significantly in recent years on a range of priorities, from strengthening security in the Eastern Mediterranean to expanding economic and commercial ties.”

Moreover, Fisher said that Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United States, are forging new ground in the “3+1” format to promote regional cooperation on a broad range of pressing issues.

“Let me say this regarding the division of Cyprus: The United States remains clear.

“The status quo is unacceptable.

“If given the opportunity to serve, I will use the full weight of my office to support Cypriot-led, UN-facilitated efforts to reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality for all Cypriots.

“I will meet with Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to advance our unwavering commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“What I hope to contribute to this process is a sense of urgency.

“A key element of these talks is that they are being conducted under Cypriot leadership and the facilitation of the United Nations, so I will primarily seek this direction.

“I think time is absolutely critical,” Fisher added.