NICOSIA - With ringing endorsements from the international community, efforts to reunite Cyprus entered a new phase on Tuesday as President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu ratified a joint communiqué at a meeting at the old Nicosia airport in the buffer zone.
Their two negotiators are expected to meet on Friday to set out the next steps in the process, while the anticipated visits of the Greek Cypriot negotiator to Ankara and of the Turkish Cypriot negotiator to Athens, remain open.
There was a flurry of statements of support from abroad as soon as agreement on the joint communiqué was announced. The United States, Britain, France and the European Union expressed their satisfaction and backing for the new initiative.
Of special interest was a statement from the White House adopting Anastasiades’ proposal for the return of the closed city of Famagusta to its inhabitants. The US also reaffirmed its support for the exercise of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and develop the resources in its off-shore zones.