New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis/CNA
Photo: Dimitrios Panagos
US Ambassador in Cyprus Kathleen Ann Doherty has said that obviously the chapters on security and guarantees and on territory will be very important at the negotiations on the Cyprus problem, adding that Turkey will have a pivotal role.
Doherty noted that the two sides in Cyprus have shared with her “some elements of the agreement”, adding that she is very impressed “with the enormous accomplishments the two sides have made. And I do believe there has been a foundation to create a very strong, sustainable, vibrant, robust federal Cyprus “, she added.
“We have to hope this is the best chance we might have had in 43 years to resolve the division of the island. I hope it is successful, because I believe very strongly in the potential of Cyprus both in the context of the reunification and outside the context of the reunification,” Doherty told the Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce 2017 Annual Award Dinner that took place in New York City, on Friday.
The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene in Crans-Montana on June 28 at the political level, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. The Conference will take place with the participation of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, as well as Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers, and in the presence of the European Union as an observer.
Addressing the event in Astoria, Doherty said that the two Cypriot leaders will meet “in an isolated mountain town in Switzerland where I guess there is no escape – with representative of the UK, Greece and Turkey and in the presence of the EU and the United Nations.”
She noted that the Cypriot leaders have met over 70 times in the last two years and the negotiators have met 150 times. “The two sides have shared with me some elements of the agreement and I must say I am very impressed with the enormous accomplishments the two sides have made. And I do believe there has been a foundation to create a very strong, sustainable, vibrant, robust federal Cyprus “, she noted.
Doherty said that opportunities for US businesses are endless in the context of the reunification of Cyprus. “Whether it’s infrastructure, telecommunications, public works or port development there are so many opportunities for US businesses. Tourism, agriculture, biomedicine, software development many many more opportunities,” she went on.
She added that there also opportunities today in Cyprus, referring to US companies ExxonMobil, Noble Energy, Hard Rock Casino Integrated.
“I am really impressed by the amount of U.S. businesses’ interest in Cyprus,” she noted. She also spoke about opportunities to train young Cypriot professionals to become business leaders and the potential of increased tourism from the US to Cyprus, noting that “only 18,000 Americans travel to Cyprus each year and that’s really a tragedy.”