Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and US Vice President John Biden have agreed that a new impetus to the Cyprus talks is needed.

The two men met Friday at the White House and according to a press statement issued in Washington following the meeting, the US Vice President expressed appreciation for Cyprus as a strong partner in support of international efforts to promote security and stability in the region.

The Vice President also affirmed the longstanding U.S. commitment to the re-unification of Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation and looked forward to the opening of a new round of intensive negotiations under UN auspices.

“The two leaders agreed that a new impetus to talks was needed”, the statement reads.

The Vice President also welcomed prospects for broadening cooperation among countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. Finally, the Vice President offered his congratulations to President Anastasiades on his birthday today and to the people of Cyprus, who will celebrate more than 50 years of independence on October 1.

Cyprus, an EU member since 2004, has been divided when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third in 1974. The latest round of UN-backed negotiations between the two communities began in 2008 but resulted to a deadlock when the Turkish Cypriot side in July 2012, interrupted the talks and objected to Cyprus’ presidency of the Council of the EU.

A new round of talks is expected to begin in the coming months with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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