Status quo in Cyprus not the right one, says US official

Status quo in Cyprus not the right one, says US official

The Cyprus issue is a particular focus of US Vice President Biden, Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor to US President Barack Obama has said, noting at the same time that the status quo on the island in not the right one.

Rhodes, who was speaking at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, was replying to a question about the different US approach in Cyprus and Ukraine.

“We are deeply invested diplomatically in supporting the UN process to resolve this issue. We want to see the reunification of the island into a bi-zonal bi-communal federation” said the US official, adding that “we have seen some progress the last year or so”.

Rhodes also said that Vice President Biden will continue to engage on the Cyprus issue, along the international community.

“Clearly the status quo isn’t one we believe it is the right one. We believe there should be a resolution and a reunification” Rhodes noted.

The US official said he wished this was going to be a year “where you will finally see a willingness to take those steps”, that will be in the interest of the people in Cyprus.

On Turkey, he said that the country is taking some steps to support a resolution, “but we have to test if it will follow through”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks, aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof, resumed last May.