Morrison, James, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Talks on the future of Cyprus have gone on and on with little progress this year, but the U.S. ambassador to the divided island remains hopeful that some solution can be found to bring ethnic Greeks and Turks together again.
Douglas Bandler said he has had an "enjoyable" first year as ambassador among "extremely friendly people."
He said that, regardless of the outcome of the disputed presidential election, the United States will remain committed to a solution based on the U.N. principles of a reunited island with a federal government that represents both communities, the Cypriot Embassy reports in its latest newsletter.
Referring to Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides, Mr. Bandler said, "I am very impressed by [his] determination to make this difficult process a success."
Mr. Clerides and Rauf Denktash, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, have conducted five rounds of U.N.-sponsored talks through intermediaries.
Mr. Denktash, whose government is recognized only by Turkey, has been insisting on equal diplomatic status to Mr. Clerides' government, the internationally recognized government of Cyprus.
Mr. Bandler urged both sides to submit proposals to help "craft the shape of a future settlement."
On other issues, the ambassador congratulated Cyprus on efforts to reform its banking sector to combat money laundering.
Mexican Ambassador Jesus Reyes-Heroles and his wife, Regina, are saying goodbye to Washington as they prepare to return to Mexico. Tomorrow is the ambassador's last official day in office here.
"Time flies fleetingly and, sometimes, Regina and I are amazed that we have been here for three years," he said in a letter to friends and associates.
"Despite how much it means to my family and me to be leaving Washington, we are thrilled to be returning to a Mexico that is living a vigorous democracy, undergoing economic growth on solid foundations and experiencing a highly constructive relationship with the United States."
Mr. Reyes-Heroles will be returning in time for the inauguration Friday of Vicente Fox, whose National Action Party ended 71 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party. …