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US Ambassador: I Personally do not Regard the Cyprus Problem as a Matter of Invasion and Occupation

John-Koenig-US-Ambassador-to-CyprusU.S. Ambassador to Cyprus John M. Koenig said that he personally does not regard the Cyprus problem as essentially a matter of invasion and occupation, noting that it is up to the Cypriots to reclaim the Cyprus Dream.
Koenig was speaking at an open discussion held Tuesday by the University of Cyprus and the US Embassy in Cyprus on “Cyprus at a Crossroads: A diplomat reflects on three decades of engagement with the Eastern Mediterranean” on the occasion of his retirement from the US Department of State.
In reply to a question from the audience regarding the presence of 40,000 Turkish soldiers and tens of thousands of settlers on the island, Koenig said: “I personally do not regard the Cyprus issue as essentially a problem of invasion and occupation. If you don’t like it, I can’t help it. I do not regard that as the core of the Cyprus problem.”
He then pointed out that the Greek-Cypriot view is not necessarily shared by Turkish-Cypriots and urged for an honest inward glance at why that might be.
Speaking at the open discussion – in what was described as “his last public event,” as his stint as Ambassador to Cyprus ends this summer – Koenig highlighted the lessons he learned over three decades of service as a diplomat in the Eastern Mediterranean.
He laid out three basic pillars relevant to Cyprus – dealing with bitterness, unleashing the power of citizens, and completing European integration – arguing that these could help Cypriots reunite their country.

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