US VP Pence highlights support for Cyprus reunification talks

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 21.06.2017 21:57
Updated 21.06.2017 22:26
Turkish Cypriot President Akıncı, third from left, UN Secretary-General Guterres, center, and Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades, fourth from right, attend the Cyprus peace talks (AP Photo)
Turkish Cypriot President Akıncı, third from left, UN Secretary-General Guterres, center, and Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades, fourth from right, attend the Cyprus peace talks (AP Photo)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence highlighted support for the Cyprus peace talks on Wednesday in a phone conversation with the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mustafa Akıncı.

According to a readout by the White House, VP Pence "expressed hope that the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders will agree to a settlement that would reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation to the benefit of all Cypriots."

The reunification talks, brokered by the United Nations Special Envoy for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, were launched in May 2015 to discuss a permanent settlement for the divided Mediterranean island.

The ongoing talks had experienced a two-month hiatus after a decision by the Greek Cypriot assembly to introduce a school commemoration of the 1950 Enosis referendum on unification with Greece.

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

A U.N.-brokered peace deal was approved by Turkish Cypriots in 2004 but was rejected by Greek Cypriot voters via referendum.

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