International community praises Cypriot peace talks
Feb 13, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Feb 13, 2014 12:00 am
Anastasiades and Eroğlu sit at the negotiating table after a stall
Revived peace talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots to reunite the island are receiving strong support from countries around the globe after an almost two-year stalemate.
The dispute in Cyprus has long been seen as one of the most important political issues in the Mediterranean region and Turkey's biggest challenge on its way to European Union accession.
Talks between Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu began on Tuesday at a disused airport in Nicosia's United Nations patrolled buffer zone.
Lisa Buttenheim, the resident U.N. envoy on the island, read a joint statement after the meeting saying that rival leaders expressed their determination to resume structured negotiations in a results-oriented manner.
The U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki declared yesterday during a daily press conference that it welcomed the peace talks as an important move to achieve a just and long-lasting Cyprus settlement.
She said the U.S. administration is urging both parties to seize this opportunity to make substantial progress toward a settlement reunifying the island as a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation.
In a joint statement, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy praised the cooperation agreement.
Denmark's Foreign Affairs Minister Martin Lidegaard issued a written statement saying peace talks are a huge step toward realizing regional stability and reunifying the whole island under the EU.
Denmark was one of the two countries which sent peacekeepers when Turkey exercised its constitutional right and conducted a military operation against far-right Greek Cypriot extremist group's coup. Lidegaard further said the peace talks were resolutely supported by Denmark, which since the beginning of the UN mission there has allocated a total of 22,000 soldiers to the mission.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also released a statement on Tuesday stating that the UK fully supports efforts to reach a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement. He said today's agreement is an important step forward and provides a real opportunity to secure a lasting and comprehensive settlement.