Nicosia.- – US Assistant Secretary of State for international organisations Brian Hook said on Friday that the United States look to the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to chart the path forward and noted that the US role is to support those efforts.
Hook was speaking after a meeting in Nicosia with Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou, who said the government is waiting to see how the US contribution could be most helpful, adding that the Greek Cypriot side calls on all countries with good relations with Turkey to exert their influence, so that Turkey would be more positive.
Kyprianou noted that remarks from Ankara have not proven that Turkey is committed to the form of a solution under discussion in Cyprus and expressed hope that Turkey’s election as a non permanent member of the UN Security Council would not affect the role the Security Council is playing in the Cyprus problem.
Hook said his office ”oversees the US engagement with the UN, so naturally UNFICYP is a part of that.”
He added that his trip to Cyprus gave him the opportunity ”to meet with UN officials on the ground here, particularly UNFICYP officials,” noting that the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP will be coming up in December.
”I wanted to talk with officials here to see how the mandate is going, if we need to make any changes to it. The US will support the renewal of the UNFICYP mandate, as we always have in the past,” Hook said.
Hook noted that his trip also gave him the opportunity ”to meet the political leaders and to express our very strong support to the ongoing negotiations.”
”We look to the leaders to chart the path forward and it is our role to support those efforts, to facilitate where we can but to play a very supportive role, an encouraging role, because I think we all want to see a solution to the Cyprus problem,” he added.
Kyprianou said his meeting with Hook was a continuation of his recent meetings with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried, and that they discussed the role of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which the government finds ”very positive, useful and beneficial.”
The Cypriot Minister informed Hook on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the ongoing direct talks between the leaders of the two communities with an aim to reach a settlement, and also discussed Turkey’s election as a non permanent member of the UN Security Council and ”the concerns of the Republic of Cyprus” regarding this development.
He expressed hope that ”this will not affect the role the Security Council plays in the Cyprus problem.”
”I would not interpret this as a move against Cyprus but it indicates a reality of the new state of order, which we must take into consideration,” he added.
Replying to questions, Kyprianou said the US are ”always ready to contribute but we are waiting to see how this contribution will be most useful,” adding that ”at this point the process is between the two sides and the international community will have to become active at the appropriate moment.”
Kyprianou said ”we call on friendly countries, which have special relations with Turkey, to exert their influence so that Turkey is positive, not only verbally, but in the desirable result of this process, which must guarantee the reunification of the island.”
He pointed out that Turkish remarks ”have not proven that Turkey is committed to the form of the solution which we are currently discussing in Cyprus,” adding that the form of the solution ”I consider agreed on, namely a bizonal bicommunal federation, with a single international identity, a single citizenship and a single sovereignty.”