US ‘quietly confident’ of progress in Cyprus peace talks

Washington is “quietly confident” that Cyprus reunification talks will progress in the coming months, with Secretary of State John Kerry due to visit the island in October or November.

Following a series of meetings between US, Greek, Cypriot and Turkish officials at the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly in New York, an American diplomat told Kathimerini that Washington sees a new drive to reach an agreement, with the recent appointment of a new UN mediator, Norwegian Espen Barth Eide (photo), playing a positive part.

“We are quietly confident that the first round of talks after the new UN mediator took on his role is starting to produce positive results,” the diplomat said.

There is also optimism in Nicosia that recent developments in the region will spur Turkey to play a constructive role in negotiations.

“It seems Turkey wants the US to be involved because it has failed wherever it has invested its efforts in the region, from Libya to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and in Syria,” Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told Kathimerini. “This failure is forcing it to think again. It realizes that it has to look toward the European Union again but to do this it knows it has to address the Cyprus issue.”

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