Cyprus FM Nikos Christodoulides has said he is optimistic that soon there will be an agreement on the terms of reference that will pave the way for the resumption of the UN-backed talks for the reunification of the island.
Christodoulides met Thursday at the UN Headquarters with the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Nikki Haley with whom he discussed Cyprus problem and UNFICYP.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, the Minister said that UNSG`s envoy Jane Holl Lute will soon revisit Cyprus and will also have consultations with all parties involved with the aim to determine the soonest possible the terms of reference for the resumption of the negotiations.
Replying to a question the Cyprus Minister said he is optimistic and his hopefulness derives from the fact that Lute, in her recent meeting with President Nikos Anastasiades, appeared to be determined and very interested in assisting the procedure and therefore he is confident that soon there will be an agreement on the terms.
Referring to his meeting with Nikki Haley, Cyprus FM said it was a good meeting, open and sincere.
He said that the US support UNSG`s effort and that he agreed with the approach expressed in the meeting that there is a need to enhance UNFICYP`s effectiveness and without affecting its mandate.
Replying to another question about the Statement of Intent Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus he signed with Wess Mitchell, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Christodoulides said that it is based on a positive agenda and it is not against any other third country.
He said that Cyprus is working together with the US and other states in the region in order to face mutual challenges and this cooperation must be as efficient as possible.
He also pointed out that Cyprus wishes to normalize its relations with Turkey, so that it could participate in the consultations that currently take place in the region as regards energy issues and many others.
He also expressed his gratitude for the position the US have expressed on Cyprus` sovereign right in its exclusive economic zone.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.