NEWS

US wants diplomatic influence

The United States wants a more active role this year in resolving the Cyprus issue and will support efforts to settle Greece’s dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), a top American diplomat said yesterday. Speaking at a function at the Greek Embassy in Washington, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said that the US sees 2007 as a «year of hope» for Cyprus. Burns said that the USA hopes more high-ranking US officials will be included on the team that new United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is assembling to tackle the problem. Kathimerini understands that Washington wants former US ambassador to Indonesia B. Lynn Pascoe to join the team as a replacement for Ibrahim Gambari, the undersecretary-general for political affairs. Burns said that the USA fully supports the efforts being made by the UN to settle the FYROM name dispute. The UN’s special mediator Matthew Nimetz is expected in Athens tomorrow for talks before flying to Skopje to meet with FYROM officials.