Turkish FM: Historic step in US visit in Cyprus

- Turkish foreign minister praises 'equal treatment' shown to both sides of the divided Cypriot island by the US vice president.

ANKARA (AA) - Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that "(U.S. Vice President) Biden's visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a historic step in itself as it shows equal treatment to both sides and gives a positive message."

Biden’s visit to the divided island of Cyprus, the first by a U.S. official in 52 years, also led to an agreement that will see the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders meet at least twice a month as they attempt to end the 40-year division of the country.  

"We hope that negotiations will gain momentum in the coming days," Davutoglu added as the visit gives a strong message to both sides and to the international community.

The stalled negotiations on Cyprus were resuscitated in February as part of a new initiative to resolve the conflict with both sides’ leaders issuing a joint declaration on the path towards reunification.

 

- Erdogan's Germany visit

Davutoglu, on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's planned visit to Germany, said, "No visits from Turkey to Germany should be considered as exceptional, but natural... If some want to aggravate this visit, it is abnormal and illegal."

The minister added that Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a very positive phone conversation ahead of his trip to Cologne and that German officials are expected to take every measure to ensure the visit runs smoothly.

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