US ambassador wants resumption of frozen peace talks

US Ambassador to Nicosia John Koenig on Wednesday said that time works against a positive outcome and urged the two sides in divided Cyprus to resume frozen peace talks. “It is now more than three months since settlement talks were suspended. Time works against a positive outcome” he told CNA. “Both sides should avoid words or deeds that increase tension,” he added. The United States strongly supports efforts to find a Cyprus settlement through negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations, he also said. Expressing hope for rapid progress towards a solution based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, he noted that this would serve the interests of the Cypriot parties, the region, and “of course the United States”. President Anastasiades has suspended his participation in UN-led settlement talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey, whose seismic research vessel Barbaros violates the Republic’s exclusive economic zone. Repeated calls for its withdrawal went unheeded by Ankara, which announced on Tuesday the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6. Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus. 
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