Foreign Minister to meet US senior officials in Washington

Foreign Minister to meet US senior officials in Washington

Cyprus` Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, who is in Washington for a series of meetings, is expected to listen to complaints by the American Administration over statements made by the President of the Republic of Cyprus during his visit to Moscow last week.

According to a US diplomatic source, the Americans will raise an issue over Nicos Anastasiades` remarks, during Kasoulides` meeting on Monday with Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and during a meeting Democratic Rally leader Averof Neofytou will have on Tuesday with Amanda Sloat, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

Kasoulides and Neofytou are in Washington as guests at the meeting of the Congressional Hellenic Israeli Alliance which will also be addressed on Monday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Asked by CNA if there is anything that is bothering Washington, the source replied “it is not the agreements but the statements”.

According to reports during a meeting Cyprus` Ambassador in Washington, George Chacalli had with Nuland last week, the US diplomat assured that her administration had no issue with the agreements between Anastasiades and Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the same source said that the statements made afterwards “raised an issue”.

The Cypriot side intends to raise with Nuland the dissatisfaction of the Cyprus government over the US stance with regard to Turkey`s violations of Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone as well as remarks by US Ambassador to Cyprus, John Koening through his Twitter account in which he is said to have indicated that President Anastasiades` visit to Moscow was in some way associated with Russian opposition leader Boris Yefimovich Nemtsov, who was assasinated on Saturday in Moscow.

Kasoulides on Sunday addressed diplomats and National Security experts during a dinner hosted by the CHIA. On Monday he will meet the executive committee of the AIPAC and attend a reception in the presence of members of the congress, diplomats and government officials.

Neofytou, who also attends the AIPAC conference, includes a meeting with an official of the US treasury department.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. A breakaway state declared unilaterally independence in 1983, in the areas of the island under Turkish occupation, an action condemned by the international community and the UN Security Council as legally null and void.

Repeated UN-led rounds of peace talks have so far failed to bring about an agreed settlement in Cyprus, due primarily to Turkish intransigence and Ankara’s policy of a two state solution.