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Ambassador Thomas G. Weston Reiterates U.S. Commitment to a Cyprus Settlement at AHI Noon Forum
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
May 14, 2003 No. 25 (202) 785-8430

Ambassador Thomas G. Weston Reiterates U.S.
Commitment to a Cyprus Settlement at AHI Noon Forum

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Special Coordinator for Cyprus Ambassador Thomas G. Weston discussed the recent historic developments on the island during a noon forum at the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) on May 8, 2003. The Ambassador provided the audience with an update on the negotiations process since his last noon forum appearance in February, and also discussed prospects for a settlement in the face of current developments. Specifically highlighted were implications of the opening of several crossing points along the Green Line since April 23, allowing travel between the Republic of Cyprus and the occupied zone in the north.

Of the opening of the Green Line, Ambassador Weston noted, “I don’t know of any other situation in human history that I can think of where you have had 300,000 people doing this sort of crossing after a division going back to 1974 with almost no incidents whatsoever…. It is absolutely incredible how peaceful and positive this whole experience has been.”

Despite these positive movements, which the U.S. applauds, the ambassador also emphasized that “I do not think that we can lose sight of the fact that those [developments] are not a settlement. These moves do not and will not solve some very basic issues like property, like security, like how you run a government, which are covered in the [U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan] plan. The only path to settlement is a settlement.”

Although Turkey has made efforts to change the venue of negotiations for a Cyprus settlement away from the auspices of the U.N., Ambassador Weston reiterated that this is not a policy supported by the United States:

“We currently believe that there is no way to get a settlement other than through the U.N. There have been attempts to take it out of the U.N…. I just don’t see anyone other than I’ll say the Turkish side who has any interest or any policy which would lead in that direction and it won’t prevail. There will be attempts in that direction, but they are sure not going to have the support of the United States.”

On a closing note, the ambassador reaffirmed the United States’ strong and continued commitment to finding a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus. In closing, he stated:

“There has been no diminution in the United States’ interest and its activity in support of the settlement. We’re going to be continuing to work on this, pursuing the policies which I’ve tried to enunciate today…. I just want to leave you with an expression of the commitment of the United States and of this administration to getting the sort of just and durable settlement we’ve been trying to get for a good long time.”

A transcript of Ambassador Weston's presentation at the AHI Noon Forum is attached (click here). For digital photos and additional information about the event, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or info@ahiworld.org. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.

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The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and its affiliate organizations, the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC), the American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF), and the AHI Business Network, a division of the AHI, are working together under one roof, to provide a joint program for strengthening United States relations with Greece and Cyprus and within the American Hellenic community.

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