Remarks With Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulidis Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 13, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good morning, everybody. Delighted to welcome Foreign Minister Kasoulidis of Cyprus. And it’s a real pleasure. We saw each other last May. We had been talking and working on the issue of trying to find a peace for Cyprus, a reunification of the island on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation policy. President Anastasiadis and the foreign minister have taken leadership in trying to bring a long sought-after resolution to this and we are privileged to work with them in that effort. We’re very supportive of this initiative.

It’s my hope to be in Nicosia and perhaps in Athens somewhere in the next weeks, if not early months. We’ve been talking about a visit for some time. We want to try to be helpful in this process. There are exciting things happening, and we respect and appreciate Cyprus’ efforts to work on a number of different fronts. Most importantly, Cyprus has been really helpful – a partner, a strategic partner, in a number of initiatives, and most importantly with respect to Syria and the removal of the chemical weapons. That leadership, that partnership is absolutely critical to all of us. There are new economic opportunities in the energy sector, looking at Cyprus.

So we have a lot to talk about today, and I want to impress on everybody our respect for and gratitude for the leadership that is currently being provided by the current administration, and we look forward to continuing to work with them. So welcome, Mr. Foreign Minister; we’re happy to have you here. Do you want to say something?

FOREIGN MINISTER KASOULIDIS: Thank you very much. I would like to thank Secretary Kerry for this meeting. It’s the second one within the last 12 months. A lot of things are happening in the world, particularly in Europe with Ukraine, but also in our region, the eastern Mediterranean, where Cyprus is at the forefront of a very volatile region. And something that renders the resolution of the problem of Cyprus as pertinent and we thank very much Secretary Kerry himself and the United States Administration for their assistance, for their interest. We need the assistance and interest of the international community because I think the circumstances are appropriate to push in order to find a settlement in this quorum, if I can call it this way. Thank you.


SECRETARY KERRY: And we agree with that, absolutely, and we will work at it. Thank you. Thank you very much, everybody. Ioannis, thank you.