Statement by United Nations Secretary General following the meeting between President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu in New York
UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, in a statement made today following the meeting between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, urged them to take decisive steps to move towards a final agreement on the Cyprus problem, noting that in order to maintain the momentum and continue negotiations at this stage of the direct talks, even in an intensive manner, is not enough.
Mr. Ban Ki Moon added that at the end of March he would be informed of the negotiations' progress from his Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alexander Downer noting that "if his report is positive, consistent with the relevant Security Council resolutions and following consultations with the two sides, I intend to call a multilateral conference in late April or early May."
The UNSG thanked the two leaders for visiting him at Greentree again and stated:
"When we met in Greentree last October, the leaders expressed confidence that they could reach a settlement. The two sides have continued their negotiations since that time to meet this objective. Just before this latest meeting at Greentree, I wrote to the two leaders pointing out that the talks have moved into the final phase. Substantive discussions at Greentree were an integral part of this phase, leading to a multilateral conference and an ultimate settlement. Both leaders responded by reiterating their commitment to a solution.
The two sides came to Greentree with three main challenges to resolve" namely "the election of the executive, property and citizenship.
I asked the leaders to use this time to make decisive moves. Discussions over these two days were robust and intensive, although limited progress was achieved. I reminded the leaders that this process is Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led. The UN is not here to impose solutions upon the sides.
In terms of next steps, I have proposed that the sides complete the exchange of data on property within the next two weeks, to which they agreed.
Today my Special Adviser Mr. Downer will brief the Security Council in informal consultations. I will be providing a report to the Security Council on the status of the negotiations at the end of February. At the end of March I will seek a review of the process from my Special Adviser, Alexander Downer. If his report is positive, consistent with relevant Security Council resolutions and following consultations with the two sides, I intend to call a multilateral conference in late April or early May.
At this stage of the talks, to maintain the momentum and continue negotiations, even in an intensive manner, is not enough. I have urged the leaders to make decisive steps to move to a final agreement.
The UN remains convinced that it is in the interest of all Cypriots to reach a durable settlement. My Special Adviser and his team have been doing their utmost to assist the process and they remain ready to assist the sides in this important task."