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Cyprus inches closer to reunification, as EU Parliament calls on Turkey to start withdrawing troops from the island

The marathon two week talks to reunify Cyprus have seen hourly ups and downs, with the latest news coming out of Crans-Montana in Switzerland amounting to what may be a very positive outcome, if confirmed.

Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported this afternoon that Turkish Cypriot sources claim that a United Nations announcement of a ‘framework agreement’ has already been prepared.

Meanwhile Reuters reports that US VP Mike Pence has also thrown his weight behind finding a solution to the Cyprus problem…

The United States on Thursday urged the reunification of Cyprus and called on the opposing Greek Cypriot and Turkish sides to reach a settlement, the White House said after a call between U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and leaders on both sides.

Pence, who spoke by phone with Republic of Cyprus’ Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot Leader Mustafa Akinci, backed talks in Crans-Montana in Switzerland and was confident they could “secure a settlement that would reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation to the benefit of all Cypriots,” the White House statement said.

Cyprus Mail reports that British Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft said that the UNSG Antonio Guterres “tis straining every muscle to get Cyprus talks over the lines”.

Commenting on Guterres` return to the Swiss resort of Crans Montana for the Conference on Cyprus, Rycroft said that he very much welcomes “the energy and the input of the SG personally has made to the Cyprus talks”

“He was there on Friday and on Saturday, he is there today. He is straining every muscle to get these talks over the lines. It’s a historic opportunity. There is still some distance between the parties. We are doing everything we can – as a guarantor in Cyprus – as well,” Rycroft said. (CNA)

Not be be ignored, the European Union has also added its voice to the Cyprus negotiation, as The European Parliament has called on Turkey to start withdrawing its troops from Cyprus and to show active support for a rapid and successful conclusion to the ongoing negotiations for a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

The European Parliament reiterates its call on Turkey “to begin withdrawing its troops from Cyprus and to transfer the sealed-off area of Famagusta to the UN, in accordance with UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 550 (of 1984).”

MEPs expressed support to “a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, based on bi-communal and bi-zonal federation,” calling on “Turkey to show active support for a rapid and successful conclusion to the negotiations and to start withdrawing its troops from Cyprus.”

Moreover, the European Parliament warned that Turkey’s EU accession talks should be suspended if proposed changes to the constitution go ahead, as these go against EU membership criteria. (CNA)

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