Kasoulides points to Kerry’s interest in Cyprus problem

US Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed a personal interest in the resolution of the Cyprus problem, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said following talks in Washington with the top US diplomat.

In their talks on Friday, the two men agreed that that the presence of undersea hydrocarbon reserves off Cyprus should not be a point of contention “but a tool, a motive for cooperation,” Kasoulides told the Athens-Macedonia News Agency. He said neither the Cyprus problem nor the search for reserves in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone were being linked to the island’s financial crisis.

Kerry expressed US support for efforts to put the Cypriot economy back on the road to growth, according to the State Department’s acting deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell. Kerry and Kasoulides discussed “American support for efforts to reunify Cyprus” in the framework of talks being mediated by United Nations envoy Alexander Downer, Ventrell added.