Turkey and the United States agreed on Monday that a political settlement may be possible this year in Cyprus.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, and both diplomats were upbeat about chances for a deal.
“We have also some good news from the eastern part of the Mediterranean, I mean Cyprus,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by AFP to a group of reporters ahead of their meeting.
“We are hoping to reach a settlement in Cyprus in 2016. Turkey’s side is ready,” he said, confirming for the first time that a deal is possible this year.
Cavusoglu added that the Cyprus negotiation talks on the issue had slowed down during the preparations for May’s legislative elections in South Cyprus. “But after the elections we are hoping to reach a settlement and the United States is giving its full support to this process as well as Turkey”, Cavusoglu added.
On his part, Kerry said that he “couldn’t agree more”. “We are very deeply committed to and involved in the talks on Cyprus,” said Kerry, adding that both he and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden had recently visited the island.
“We have met with the folks on both sides as well as individual countries and we are going keep pushing very, very hard towards a resolution of the Cyprus crisis”, Kerry added.