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UN SECRETARY GENERAL ON CYPRUS
2002-11-11 17:58:05

SECRETARY GENERAL'S STATEMENTS FOLLOWING THE MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL CONCERNING CYPRUS
November 11,2002

Annan: Let me confirm to you that I have conveyed to the parties a proposal that I believe can form the basis of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. And I have asked them to study it very carefully and give me their reactions within a week. I did share my initiative with the Council and they did give me broad support for the initiative.

Question: What is the deadline for the parties to respond to your proposal?

Annan: I advise them to come to me within a week. I hope I hear from them on the 18th of November. I asked them to give me their reactions.

Question: What is the model? Belgian, Swiss ?

Annan: I think the parties know what I have put before them. They are going to study it. We have to look at many issues and many different possible options and I believe I put before them what I consider a sound and optimal proposal. I know it is going to be a tough decision for them, it is going to require courage, wisdom and vision. And I am confident they are capable of it.

Question: What is the timetable to accept it or not?

Annan: My role after all these years of negotiations is to help the parties come to comprehensive agreement. My role is that of a helper, expediter, to get there, to accept to come to a comprehensive agreement. And I think they realize that we have a limited opportunity as we move forward. And there is a unique timing in the sense and the possibility of getting a united Cyprus into the European Union. And I hope they will seize the moment.

Question: You want an answer before December 12?

Annan: Work it out yourself.

Question: Will they come here to give the answer, or they will give it to Mr de Soto?

Annan: Mr De Soto is on the ground discussing with them, giving them explanation, and it is not excluded that I at sometime will meet with them again.

Question: Here or in Cyprus?

Annan: At the most practical location.

Question: This is not a take it or leave it document, however, if one side decides to leave it, what happens then?

Annan: I think if it is not a take it or leave it proposal, and I don' t have the capacity of imposing it on either party, then we have a problem.

Question: According to the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, there is seven day deadline and a thirty day deadline. Could you explain what they mean?

Annan: I am very happy that they have agreed to a deadline among themselves.

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