Washington said yesterday it was very hopeful that the UN-brokered Cyprus peace process could move forward quickly to make it an historic year for the divided island.
“We are very, very hopeful that this will be a year of historic progress and we’re prepared to play our part in supporting it,” visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin told reporters.
“We think that this is the year when it will be possible to move quickly, so that is what we will be supporting,” he added.
He made the comments after criss-crossing the island’s ceasefire line to hold talks with President Anastasiades and then Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.
Rubin underlined “the strong support of the United States” for the success of recently-resumed peace talks.
Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders vowed to seek an end to the island's four-decade division "as soon as possible" relaunching peace talks on February 11 after nearly a two-year hiatus.
The two leaders met for a second time last week to ‘scan over’ the positions of each side before entering a more detailed phase.
Washington’s intervention was also seen as instrumental in getting both sides back to the negotiation table.
“We hope that they will seize the moment. We hope that if there are difficulties they will overcome them…We do believe that there is a need for rapid progress now,” said Rubin.