US President says there’s great opportunity to solve Cyprus issue

U.S. President Barack Obama and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras have given optimistic outlook over the stalled talks in the divided island of Cyprus.

“There’s a great opportunity as we speak for the decades-long conflict and tensions that exist in Cyprus to be resolved, and I think we’re both encouraged by the messages that have been coming out of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. And we’re going to be I think working very closely together to see if we can make progress on those fronts,” Obama said after meeting with Samaras at the White House on Aug. 8.

Numerous rounds of peace talks in the last four decades have ended in failure. The latest round that began in 2008 under U.N. envoy Alexander Downer stalled in May last year amid mutual recriminations over who was responsible for the stalemate.

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