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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Press Gaggle from Cyprus

Press Availability
Eric Rubin
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
The Presidential Palace
Nicosia, Cyprus
April 8, 2014


Question: Good morning. Just a couple of words?

Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: Certainly. Good morning. Thank you. I am very glad to be here on an absolutely beautiful day in Cyprus, and I had a very good meeting with President Anastasiades and his team. We discussed the progress that’s been made, and the optimism for future progress in the settlement talks. We discussed the United States’ support for the UN Good Offices Mission, our support for the leaders of both communities and the commitments they’ve made. We discussed ideas for confidence building measures and ways that the international community countries like the United States can contribute to supporting people-to-people efforts and confidence building measures that will start to make real progress in breaking down the barriers that have divided the two communities for so long. It was a very hopeful discussion, a very positive discussion, and the United States is committed to doing everything it can to help this process move forward as quickly as possible.

Question: How can the U.S. contribute to confidence building measures specifically – specifically I mean to Varosha. Is there any movement on that? Will you be conveying any messages to the Turkish Cypriot [side]?

Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: I think it’s well known what the priorities are on both sides, and I think the goal is to find ways to help address the needs and the hopes of both sides for confidence building measures that can begin to show real possibilities for progress. Our role is obviously not as a participant but as a supporter. Our role is as a contributor. We hope to create some of the mechanisms to help support some of the programs. We certainly hope not to be alone in that. We hope the European Union and others will be doing the same, but we are very strongly committed to doing everything we can to make that happen.

Question: What are those mechanisms –I’m sorry– if you can be specific.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: I can’t be specific, I am sorry. This is something we are discussing right now with the two communities. Thank you very much.

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