Gas, Ukraine top US vice president's Cyprus trip

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden travels to Cyprus to discuss the country's reunification efforts and its ability to tap gas deposits, which could turn it into a source of stability in a tumultuous region.

Biden, the most senior American official to visit the east Mediterranean island since 1962, is expected to voice support for reunification talks.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of a union with Greece and it's hoped that a peace accord could help stabilize the region through energy cooperation.

Biden, who arrives Wednesday, will also discuss the possibility of stronger sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

Bailed-out Cyprus relies on Russian tourism and bank deposits to support its weak economy and favors an opt-out clause to any harsher sanctions regime.