US Vice President Joe Biden has reiterated his country`s support of the ongoing UN brokered Cyprus talks, with his office issuing two separate press releases on his meetings on Thursday with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

On his meeting with President Anastasiades, it notes that “the Vice President commended President Anastasiades on the leadership he has shown in working with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci towards reunifying Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation and congratulated President Anastasiades on the progress made toward this goal in the recent weeks of intensified talks.”

Biden, the press release continues, “underscored that a reunified Cyprus could yield profound benefits for both communities and for regional stability, security, and energy independence.”

“The two leaders once again reaffirmed the strategic partnership ‎ between Cyprus and the United States, and looked forward to deepening cooperation in areas such as counter terrorism and non-proliferation, the press release concludes.

Another press release issued after Biden`s meeting with Akinci says “the Vice President commended Mr. Akinci ‎ on the leadership he has shown in working with President Anastasiades to achieve a more prosperous reunified Cyprus, and congratulated him on the progress made by the leaders during their intensified talks in August and September.”

It adds that he “pledged strong U.S. support for the leaders as they continue and intensify their efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement agreement in 2016.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks have been underway since May 2015 aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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