Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: Hello. Good day. It’s good to be here again in Cyprus and I just had a very, very good meeting with Mr. Eroglu and his team in which I expressed the strong support of the United States for the success of this process, the strong support for the commitment of both leaders of both communities to see the process move forward toward a settlement under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices mission. I expressed America’s readiness and commitment to do everything we can to see the process succeed, to help with people-to-people confidence building measures and other ways to help make the benefits of a settlement real to the people of both communities. We are very, very hopeful that this will be a year of historic progress and we’re prepared to play our part in supporting it.
Question: Have you discussed anything about Famagusta?
Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: We’re not getting into specifics. That’s really, I think, for the two leaders to talk about between them. We’re just talking in general about our support for, not just the process, but for the kind of measures that will help show progress to members of both communities.
Question: What are your expectations regarding the new round of negotiations between the two leaders?
Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: Well, I think both leaders had a very good meeting themselves and they and their negotiators have stated that they want to make rapid progress. We think this is a period when that should be possible. We hope that they will seize the moment. We hope that if there are difficulties they will overcome them. And we hope that the vision that is there for a just and lasting settlement for a reunited island will prevail.
Question: Do you believe that the Famagusta is the key?
Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: It is not for us to say what the key is or isn’t. It’s really for the two leaders to make those decisions.
Question: Does the United States support a timeline?
Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: The structure and the time and all of that is really up to the two communities and the two leaders. We do believe that there is a need for rapid progress now. We think that this is the year when it will be possible to move quickly, so that is what we will be supporting. It is not for us to say what the timeline should be or what an outsider should have as a view of that.
Question: Does the situation in Ukraine make it more urgent to find a solution to Cyprus?
Deputy Assistant Secretary Rubin: Well, the situation in Ukraine is very troubling and, as you know, we have expressed our concern about the risks this poses to not just Europe, but the entire world in terms of basic principles of international relations, in terms of peace and stability. I think frankly what Cyprus offers to the world today is a positive vision of what can be achieved through reconciliation, through negotiations, through compromise, with a vision of a better future for real people. And I think Cyprus can be that model and it’s a vision that I share.
Question: Thank you very much.