LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
The U.S. remains eager to help Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots reach agreement in the Cyprus peace process, American Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Wednesday.
In remarks made in a statement following her meetings with Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades in the capital of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Lefkosa, Nuland said that the meetings had been useful and positive.
She noted that the ongoing peace talks were progressing well. "The United States will remain intensely involved and eager to help the sides come to the agreement that all the Cypriot people need and deserve,” she said.
Meanwhile, UN Special Envoy on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said Wednesday that negotiations in the long-divided island remained positive.
Speaking after around one-and-a-half-hour long meeting with Akinci, Eide said the negotiation process did not waver despite some expectations because of the change in the Turkish Cypriot government.
Negotiators from both sides continue to work intensively, he added.
Turkish Cypriots are in talks with the Greek Cypriot administration over a possible reunification this year.
Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami, foreign ministry undersecretary Erhan Ercin, presidency spokesman Baris Burcu and UN special representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim also attended the meeting.
Eide said that negotiation atmosphere was well, although there were still some unresolved issues.
Noting the importance of international backing for a solution in the island, Eide said both sides were also talking about concrete issues such as economic support.
Reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island resumed May 2015 when newly-elected Akinci met with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Previous negotiations stalled in October 2014 in a row over gas exploration.
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.