Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides, returns home on Friday after a working visit to Washington earlier this week, which examined ways to further deepen bilateral relations while all his interlocutors expressed support for efforts to solve the Cyprus problem on the agreed model solution.

Kasoulides met at the State Department with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. He also had separate meetings with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Victoria Nuland. He also met with the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Robert Menendez and Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as Senior Director for Europe of the National Security Council, Amanda Sloat.

The Cypriot Minister also met with Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Amos Hochstein.

His discussions included the upgraded bilateral cooperation between Cyprus and the US in a wide range of fields and which has acquired a strategic character in recent years. Practical ways to further deepen bilateral relations were examined in research and technology, security and logistical support as well as staff training, a Foreign Ministry press release said.

Kasoulides also had the opportunity to inform his interlocutors on the way the Greek Cypriot side perceives the next steps on the Cyprus issue and the need for a good climate being an essential element in restarting a new effort to resolve the problem.

The Cypriot FM conveyed President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades’ proposal for specific Confidence Building Measures to be implemented aimed at regaining trust between the two sides. His interlocutors, “expressed support in efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem on the basis of the agreed model solution, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions”.

In addition, Kasoulides exchanged views on the multilateral cooperation schemes which the Republic of Cyprus has with countries in the Eastern Mediterranean and specifically the 3+1 (Cyprus -Greece-Israel-USA).

The FM said the need to strengthen the political orientation of the scheme was ascertained in order for tangible political results to be achieved.
Kasoulides also exchanged views on energy issues where the significance of promoting projects which secure a viable and green prospect such as the Eurasia Interconnector was underlined and that these promote a spirit of cooperation with countries in the region.

During discussions on regional developments, Kasoulides discussed with his interlocutors about the security situation in Eastern Europe as well as the policies and developments in countries of Eastern Mediterranean and the wider Middle East.

He also participated in a dinner hosted by representatives of organizations of expatriates in the US where he informed them of the results of his contacts in the US capital.

The Cypriot FM also participated in a working breakfast in the presence of representatives of US think tanks based in Washington where he explained the fundamental aims and pursuits of the Cyprus foreign policy.

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.

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