Turkey’s role in the upcoming talks in Geneva will be pivotal, US Ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Ann Doherty has said. The chapters on security and guarantees and on territory will be paramount during the negotiations, she said.
The ambassador said that she had been informed about some details of the agreement and she had been very impressed “with the enormous accomplishments the two sides have made. I do believe there has been a foundation to create a very strong, sustainable, vibrant, robust federal Cyprus”.
“We have to hope this is the best chance we might have had in 43 years to resolve the division of the island. I hope it is successful because I believe very strongly in the potential of Cyprus both within and outside the context of reunification,” Doherty told the Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce 2017 Annual Award Dinner that took place in Astoria, on Friday.
The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene in Crans-Montana on June 28 with the participation of the two Cypriot leaders and Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers. The EU will be an observer.
Doherty said that the two Cypriot leaders will meet “in an isolated mountain town in Switzerland where I guess there is no escape – with representatives of the UK, Greece and Turkey and in the presence of the EU and the United Nations.”
She noted that there were boundless opportunities for US businesses in the event of reunification.
“Whether it’s infrastructure, telecommunications, public works or port development there are so many opportunities for US businesses. Tourism, agriculture, biomedicine, software development many many more opportunities,” she said while referring to ExxonMobil, Noble Energy, Hard Rock Casino as examples of current cooperation between American companies and [South] Cyprus.
“I am really impressed by the amount of U.S. businesses’ interest in Cyprus,” she noted.
Doherty also referred to the young Cypriot professionals who would have the opportunity to be trained as business leaders and to the potential increase in tourism from the US to the island. Currently, “only 18,000 Americans travel to Cyprus each year,” she said.