Biden urges Cypriot leaders to reach solution

Biden urges Cypriot leaders to reach solution

Ahead of his visit to Turkey this week, US Vice President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with both Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci over the weekend and urged them to forge ahead with United Nations-buffered peace talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus.

Biden “congratulated the leaders on the progress they have made so far in the negotiations toward a settlement that would reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” according to a statement issued by the White House, and he “expressed hope that the leaders would be able to make significant additional progress in the talks before they travel to the United Nations General Assembly, and that an agreement could be reached by the end of 2016.”

According to comments by Anastasiades aired by Cypriot state TV, a solution to the Cyprus problem cannot include guarantees. Both Nicosia and Athens have called for the abolition of a system of guarantees established when Cyprus gained its independence in 1960, and Greece, Turkey and Great Britain were made guarantor powers of the new state.

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