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US VP Pence urges Cypriot leaders for unity in phone call

US VP PENCE URGES CYPRIOT LEADERS FOR UNITY IN PHONE CALL

The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence spoke with the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders on Thursday, urging for a solution to be achieved at the current Cyprus talks in Switzerland.

A statement released by the White House said that Pence underscored the U.S.' support to the latest round of Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana, which began on June 28.

Pence urged Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades "…to seize this historic opportunity to reunify the island and expressed his confidence in both leaders' ability to secure a settlement that would reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation to the benefit of all Cypriots."

Pence also spoke with European Union Foreign Policy Commissioner Federica Mogherini on Wednesday, expressing hope that the talks would re-unify "…Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation to the benefit of all Cypriots."

On Monday, the U.N. received proposals from the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, as well as from Turkey, Greece and the U.K.

The U.N. is seeking a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella, which could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey, a key player in the reunification dilemma.

The island in the eastern Mediterranean has been divided since 1974, when a Greek-Cypriot coup was followed by violence targeting the island's Turks, resulting in Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

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