US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected in Nicosia in the coming weeks to give new impetus to the Cyprus peace talks as America looks to up the ante.
Kerry, who held a 40-minute meeting with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in Washington yesterday, said the US wanted to be helpful in efforts to reunite Cyprus.
“We have been talking and working on the issue of trying to find peace for Cyprus, a reunification of the island, a bizonal, bicommunal federation policy. President Anastasiades and the Foreign Minister have taken leadership in trying to bring a long sought after resolution to this. And we are privileged to work with them in that effort,” he said.
Clearly underlining the island's importance in the region, Kerry described Cyprus as a strategic partner.
“Most importantly Cyprus has been really helpful – a partner, a strategic partner in a number of initiatives and most importantly with respect to Syria and the removal of chemical weapons. That leadership, that partnership is absolutely critical to all of us.”
Kerry said he hoped to visit Cyprus soon.
“It is my hope to be in Nicosia and perhaps in Athens somewhere in the next weeks if not early months. We have been talking about a visit for some time. And we want to try and be helpful in this process.”
Kerry’s visit is expected to come hot on the heels of US vice president Joe Biden who is due in Cyprus next week.