Remarks made by US Ambassador unacceptable, Government says

Remarks made by US Ambassador unacceptable, Government says

Cyprus government described today the comments made by the US Ambassador to Cyprus as unacceptable, noting that such comments come in contrast with historical facts.

“The Government considers the statement made by the US Ambassador as unacceptable, one which disregards and is in stark contrast with historical facts”,€ Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said, adding “such statements create problems to the dialogue underway and to a great extend, have been obstructing progress in the Cyprus problem for years.”

Replying to a question whether the government intends to protest officially about the statements of the American Ambassador, the Spokesman said that although the American Ambassador was referring to personal positions, nevertheless, yes, the issue will be discussed with the American government.

Speaking during an open discussion in the University of Cyprus on Tuesday, John Koenig, said “I personally do not regard the Cyprus issue as essentially a problem of invasion and occupation”, and added, “if you don`t like it, I can`t help it. I do not regard that as the core of the Cyprus problem”.

The US diplomat also added “the Cyprus conflict of course began 51 years ago and in that context of course it took a huge and tragic turn in 1974 and I am not in any way justifying what happened then, but it cannot be reduced to a problem of invasion and occupation. That is in fact to ignore your own history”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. UN – led talks aiming at reunifying the island under a federal roof resumed this month.