Pence, Mogherini Hope Cypriot Leaders Agree to Create Bicommunal Federation



US Vice President Mike Pence and High Representative of the European Union Federica Mogherini in a call on Wednesday discussed their hope that the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders would work towards a deal that will reunite Cyprus as a bicommunal federation, according to the White House press release.

"The leaders agreed on the importance of the ongoing Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, and expressed hope that the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders will agree to a settlement that would reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation to the benefit of all Cypriots," the release said.

Pence and Mogherini also talked about trade including Pence’s upcoming trips to Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro, the release added.

On June 30, Turkish and Greek Cypriots kicked off reunification talks at the Swiss Crans-Montana resort. Initially, UN officials expected the talks to end by July 7.

Cyprus has been partitioned since 1974, when the Turkish forces occupied the northern part of the island. 

The troops proclaimed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983 in an attempt to save Cypriot Turks from attacks by Cypriot Greeks supported by Athens. 

The military presence of Greece and Turkey on Cyprus is one of the thorniest issues of the reunification talks.

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