President Barack Obama visited Turkey in April, and during a speech to the Turkish Parliament in Ankara on April 6, 2009, he addressed the Cyprus issue.
Cyprus, an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, is a country divided, with the south controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish military occupying the north. The Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities are separated by a United Nations buffer zone and tensions and conflict have persisted for decades.
"Advancing peace also includes the disputes that persist in the Eastern Mediterranean. And here there's a cause for hope," Obama said in his address to the Turkish Parliament. "The two Cypriot leaders have an opportunity through their commitment to negotiations under the United Nations Good Offices Mission. The United States is willing to offer all the help sought by the parties as they work towards a just and lasting settlement that reunifies Cyprus into a bizonal and bicommunal federation."
On Oct. 17, 2009, President Obama and President Abdullah Gul of Turkey spoke by telephone, and according to a White House readout of the conversation provided to the press, one of the issues discussed was "the need for sustained engagement in resolving the Cyprus problem and in promoting stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
And then on Dec. 7, 2009, Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey traveled to the United States and met privately with President Obama. In remarks made by the two to the press afterward, neither mentioned Cyprus by name. But according to a White House press release in advance of the visit, one of the issues Obama planned to discuss was "promoting a settlement of the Cyprus problem."
We think those diplomatic efforts warrant this promise moving to In the Works.