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PRESS STATEMENT ON CYPRUS BY PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
2002-02-26 21:27:14

New York, Feb 26 (CNA) -- UN Security Council members urged today Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to approach the resumption of UN-led direct talks on Cyprus in a spirit of compromise and with a sense of urgency and political determination so as to narrow the differences between them.

In a verbal statement to the press, President of the Security Council Adolfo Aquilar Zinser also said the members of the Council share the view expressed by each of the two leaders that it should be the objective to reach an agreement by June 2002 and that this objective is feasible.

They members also reiterated their full support for the Secretary General's mission of good offices granted to him by the Council, in Security Council Resolution 1250, which says there should be no preconditions, that all issues are on the table, that both sides should make a commitment in good faith to negotiate until a settlement is reached and that there should be a full consideration of relevant UN resolutions and treaties.|

The statement followed a briefing of the Members of the Council by UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus Alvaro De Soto on the series of direct meetings between the two leaders that ran from 16 January to 19 February.

Zinser said the Members of the Council "recalled and reaffirmed the views which the Council had expressed between the series of direct meetings began" and "welcomed the commencement of regular negotiating sessions under the auspices of the Secretary General, pursuant to the agreement reached by the two leaders on 4 December 2001 and the engagement with substantive discussions to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem."

They also "urged both leaders to approach the resumption of the talks on 1st of March with the spirit of compromise and with a sense of urgency and political determination so as to narrow the differences between them," Zinser said, adding that Security Council members "share the view expressed by each of the two leaders that it should be the objective to reach an agreement by June 2002 and that this objective is a feasible one."

De Soto's 90-minute briefing was showing optimism and said that he had ascertained some change in Denktash's approach. He referred to the stance of both leaders noting that it was still early to draw clear conclusions for the outcome of the talks.

Security Council sources said de Soto also noted that the climate was positive and that the two leaders have started discussing the substance of fundamental issues. He added that conclusions would be drawn out of the second round of talks, when a give-and-take process is expected to begin.

The Peruvian diplomat underlined that it was important for the Security Council to be briefed by him. He also stressed the EU catalytic role to this process.

All members of the Council who addressed the meeting expressed support to efforts by de Soto and the UN Secretary General.

Some of them expressed the need of applying the Security Council's parameters while the Syrian representative expressed the need for a solution guaranteeing the return of all refugees to their homes.

CNA/AZ/MK/RG/2002

The full text of the Statement of the Security Council President is as follows:

"Members of the Council heard a briefing on 26 February from Mr Alvaro de Soto, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus. Mr. de Soto briefed Council members on the series of direct meetings between the two leaders which ran from 16 January to 19 February.

The members of the Council recalled and reaffirmed the views which the Council had expressed before the series of direct meetings began. They welcomed the commencement of regular negotiating sessions under the auspices of the Secretary-General pursuant to the agreement reached by the two leaders on 4 December 2001; and the engagement in substantive discussions to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

They urged both leaders to approach the resumption of the talks on 1 March in a spirit of compromise and with a sense of urgency and political determination, so as to narrow the differences between them. The members of the Council share the view expressed by each of the two leaders that it should be the objective to reach agreement by June 2002 and that this objective is a feasible one.

They reiterated their full support for the Secretary-General's mission of good offices entrusted to him by the Council in SCR 1250"

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