Biden briefs Anastasiades about talks in Istanbul

US Vice President Joe Biden has affirmed Washington’s commitment to the reunification of Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, urging both sides on the divided island to resume UN-brokered talks.

The comments were made late Sunday as Biden called Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to brief him about his talks with Turkish leaders in Istanbul.

“The Vice President noted the need to de-escalate tensions in order to get back to a more constructive track in the UN-mediated settlement talks on Cyprus and reinvigorate efforts to seek mutually beneficial solutions,” the White House said in a statement. “Both leaders emphasized their commitment in reunifying the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” it said.

According to Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, Anastasiades thanked Biden for making it clear that “without an end to the Turkey’s illegal actions [reunification] talks cannot resume.”

Nicosia last month withdrew from the peace talks after Ankara sent its seismic vessel into Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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