Washington, 5 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The White House has appointed Richard Holbrooke,the principal negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords on Bosnia, to be a special presidential emissary on Cyprus.
State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said yesterday that the appointment of one of the most capable U.S. negotiators demonstrates Washington's commitment to help promote a final political settlement on Cyprus.
The island has been divided between Turkish and Greek communities since 1974. Burns said a settlement will be difficult to accomplish and that the United States did not expect an early solution. But he said Holbrooke's appointment marks the rebirth and renewal of U.S. mediation efforts there.
Holbrooke, a former U.S. Ambassador to Germany and veteran diplomat, gained international prestige as the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace agreement. He left the State Department last year to work in investment banking.
Burns said Holbrooke will retain his job with the Credit Suisse company and work on Cyprus matters part time without pay.