US applauds Cyprus negotiations
The United States welcomed the announcement Friday that the leaders of the Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus have agreed to begin negotiations to reunify the Mediterranean island.
"We strongly support the stated goal of these negotiations to find a mutually-acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem that will safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots," said Gonzalo Gallegos, the State Department's acting deputy spokesman, the dpa reported.
"We look forward to rapid progress over the coming months and hope that these negotiations will result in an agreement on the reunification of the island," he added.
Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed to launch negotiations on September 3 under the guidance of the United Nations.