NEW YORK – US Secretary of State John Kerry has reportedly told Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades that Washington intends to play an active role in the island’s peace talks.
The two men met Sept. 20th at the sidelines of a UN summit on climate change. Sources said Kerry told Anastasiades that Washington would try to exert its influence so the pace of reunification negotiations picks up, Kathimerini said.
It is expected that Kerry will try to visit Nicosia soon, possibly within the next two months. US Vice President Joe Biden visited Cyprus in May. Anastasiades is due to meet Biden in the US on Sept. 26th.
The US has made previous pledges to help try to reunify the island divided since an unlawful 1974 invasion by Turkey but none have come to fruition during decades of mostly stalled talks that have gone essentially nowhere. A complicating factor is that the US has usually thrown most of its weight behind Turkey, not Greece, in thorny issues.
New Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visiting Nicosia, said the only answer is for the island to remain divided into two states and for the world to recognize the unlawful occupied territories where Turkey keeps a standing army.
The United Nations recently appointed yet another envoy to also help although all the predecessors flopped. Anastasiades and his Turkish counterpart, Dervis Eroglu, earlier this year concluded a so-called roadmap on what they would talk about but that has failed to make any progress either.
Despite that, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon keeps saying he expects a resolution at some point in history.