Upon his arrival to Cyprus last night, US Vice President Joe Biden said that peace is always possible but made clear he has no settlement plan in his back pocket.
“I heard that the local press assumes I’m coming with a plan for peace in my back pocket. To solve the Cyprus problem,” Biden said in a short address at Larnaca Airport.
“I’d like to put that rumour to rest. I came here on behalf of the United States to help the solution, not to present or force one. Not too many of you know that I’ve been following the Cyprus process for the past 40 years, long enough to know that only Cypriots can exercise the necessary courage to make that reunification vision real,” he added.
Biden, whose arrival marks the highest level visit by a US official since 1962, also said this underscores the significance the US attaches with Cyprus.
“I wanted to come to primarily underscore the value the US attaches to our growing cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus. This relationship is now a growing strategic partnership and it holds a greater promise,” he said.
Biden also made clear that the US recognizes only one legitimate government of the Republic of Cyprus and that his visit and meetings throughout the island will not change that. “This is my personal position, this is the position of the United States of America and it is the position of the entire world save one country,” he said.
Biden and his wife Jill, who stayed at a Limassol hotel last night, were hosted by President Anastasiades and his wife Andri at their private residence in the coastal city.