US State Department`s Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner has given new clarifications on the US position on Cyprus, amid reactions on the presence of Turkish military officers at a reception of the US Embassy in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.
In a written statement, Toner clarifies that when he replied `no` to a question on November 10th, `if the US recognizes the occupation?` he meant that the US does not recognize the so called `state` in the northern occupied areas of Cyprus.
The US position on Cyprus has not changed, he stresses in the written statement.
“We fully support the UN-facilitated process under UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, and we reiterate our willingness to assist the process in any way the parties find useful”, he says.
He furthermore notes that “as we have made clear, we are encouraged by the progress Cypriot leaders have made in recent months. We encourage the parties to reach a settlement as soon as possible to reunify the island as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, which would benefit all Cypriots as well as the wider region”.
In addition, he says that the US do not recognize the so called state in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
“The United States does not recognize the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”” he concludes.
The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. A so called `state` was proclaimed in the occupied areas, which is only recognized by Turkey.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY