US President Trump circulates bi-monthly Cyprus report

US President Donald Trump circulated last week his bi-monthly report on Cyprus for February and March, detailing efforts to reach a settlement on the island.

The report, dated June 12, 2017, was drafted by the State Department and was addressed to the US House of Representatives and Senate.

In the cover letter, Joseph Macmanus from the Bureau of Legislative Affairs says that the United States is committed to finding a just and lasting settlement reunifying Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

In the report, US President says that during this period, Cypriot leaders continued their efforts under the auspices of the UN Secretary General’s Good Offices Mission to reunify Cyprus.

He notes that during their February 1st meeting, the leaders laid out a roadmap for their negotiations and continued to deliberate all relevant issues in the talks, including governance and power sharing, property restitution, EU harmonization, economic integration, territorial readjustment, as well as security and guarantees.

Moreover, he refers to the telephone conversations the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had with the leaders on February 28, conveying the continued US support for a Cyprus settlement. Tillerson urged the leaders to resume negotiations, and also discussed bilateral cooperation with President Anastasiades, it is noted.

Subsequently, US President refers in the report to the US Energy Stream’s 8th annual Mediterranean Oil and Gas Forum that took place on March 1-2 in Cyprus, in the presence of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Robin Dunnigan. Among others, Dunnigan highlighted the potential hydrocarbon routes that could connect the Greater Eastern Mediterranean, it is noted. In the same event, US Ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Doherty underscored the importance of a Cyprus settlement, the report adds.

Furthermore, the report notes the visit of Espen Barth Eide, the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, to Washington between March 6-8 and his meetings there, among others with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, who reaffirmed strong US support for Eide and the process.

Reference is also made to the presence of Eide, of the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jonathan Cohen in a seminar organized on March 8 by the Atlantic Council and others, where progress on political negotiations was discussed.

In March the Department of State also engaged the Hellenic-American diaspora community and supported increased US-Cyprus business relations the report says, making reference to a series of events in the US, attended by Cohen and Doherty. The Capital Link Invest in Cyprus Forum in New York, on March 22, was also attended by President Anastasiades and Cypriot Ministers of Finance, Energy and Transportation, it is noted.

Finally, the document mentions Foreign Minister Kasoulides’ attendance of a Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, hosted by the State Department on March 22, the celebration of the Greek Independence Day in the White House, on March 24, and the meetings of Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides in Washington on March 27.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third. The two leaders have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency