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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and
His Excellency Ioannis Kasoulides, Foreign Minister of Cyprus
Press remarks following their meeting
Washington, D.C., February 17, 1999
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Good morning. Itís a pleasure to meet again with Foreign Minister Kasoulides. The United States and Cyprus have enjoyed very close relations for years. We have an extensive trade relationship. We cooperate to fight crime, drug trafficking and terrorism. And we have a common interest in building a Europe that is united, prosperous and free; a Europe in which all Cypriots fully participate.

We also share a critical interest in bringing about a diplomatic resolution to the Cyprus problem, for we cannot meet our broader goals so long as Cyprus remains unresolved.

Today Foreign Minister Kasoulides and I discussed the prospects for moving forward on the settlement process. The United States firmly supports the UN efforts for a solution based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. I told the Foreign Minister that President Cleridesí courageous decision not to deploy the S-300 missiles on Cyprus has opened new opportunities to find a resolution for the Cyprus problem. I stress that the President and I are both personally interested in helping to move ahead.

Last December, President Clinton pledged strong American support for UN Secretary General Annanís initiative to reduce tensions and seek a settlement. Weíre urging both sides to work with Ann Hercus, the UN Deputy Special Representative for Cyprus, to put the Secretary Generalís initiative into action.

The United States is firmly committed to doing all we can for peace. We will continue to work with both sides in public and in private, and we will encourage both to negotiate creatively and flexibly. We will not hesitate to bring to the table whatever contributions we can make ourselves.

Throughout, I am confident that the United States and Cyprus will remain firm friends, for our friendship is founded, above all, on the ties between our peoples. Thank you.

Mr. Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER KASOULIDES: Iím extremely pleased to have had today a very useful meeting with the Secretary of State. The main subject of our meeting was, of course, the problem of my country -- a problem which remains unresolved for the last 25 years.

Cyprus, being conscious of its size, has proven all along that it can be a reliable and constructive friend. The people of Cyprus -- Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike -- have the right to enjoy freedom, peace and stability like any other people in the world.

I have discussed with Secretary Albright a number of ways through which the American Administration can work actively for the implementation of the last Security Council resolutions, according to President Clintonís public statement to that effect.

Thank you.

[End of Document]

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