United States President Barrack Obama pledged his commitment for a solution to the long-standing Cyprus dispute in the framework of a bi-zonal federation during his meeting with the new Cyprus Ambassador to the United States, Leonidas Pantelides, on Monday.
Obama said he valued the long history of friendship and strategic partnership with the Republic of Cyprus. “I am pleased that over the past several years we have worked to strengthen our ties, including through greater bilateral trade and investment and by working together to promote peace and security in the region,” he said, adding that he looked forward to continuing to build on the partnership and engage for the benefit of Cypriots and Americans.
Pantelides spoke of the optimism concerning efforts to achieve a mutually acceptable solution for the Cyprus dispute in the framework of international laws and human rights. “My intention is to work with your administration in a very intensive way in the remainder of its term in office as well as with congress,” he said. Pantelides also thanked Obama for his country’s support through these difficult years and assistance provided, under the auspices of the United Nations, to end the occupation of Cyprus and re-unify Cyprus under a federal framework.
The new ambassador replaced previous Cyprus ambassador to the US, George Chacalli. He assumed his post at the helm of the Cypriot Embassy on April 19. His role before assuming office in the US was as First Deputy Permanent Secretary/Director of Middle East and Northern Division, for the Cypriot Foreign Affairs Ministry since October 2013. In the past, he has served in diplomatic missions in Sweden, Greece, Russia and the United Nations in Geneva.