PRESS STATEMENT ON CYPRUS BY PRESIDENT OF SECURITY COUNCIL
Following is the text of the press statement made today by the President of the Security Council, Alfonso Valdivieso (Colombia), on Cyprus:
On 18 December, the members of the Security Council, in the presence of the Secretary-General, heard a report from the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus on the negotiations that have taken place in recent months, in pursuance of the mission entrusted to the Secretary-General by the Security Council in its resolution 1250, aimed at achieving agreement on a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem which takes full account of relevant Security Council resolutions.
The members of the Council commended the Secretary-General for the initiatives he had taken in November and December 2002 to bridge the gaps between the two sides and to enable them to reach an agreement. They expressed the view that the proposal put forward on 11 November as revised on 10 December offered an unique opportunity to reach a settlement in the coming weeks.
They regretted that the Turkish Cypriot leadership had not responded in a timely way to the initiatives of the Secretary-General; and they called for its constructive efforts to reach a settlement in conformity with the timetable proposed by the Secretary-General.
They welcomed the willingness of both sides to continue the negotiations in the period ahead. They underlined the importance of intensifying the negotiations so that full agreement could be reached before 28 February 2003, in conformity with the timetable proposed by the Secretary-General in his proposals. They urged both sides to work on the basis of the Secretary-General's revised proposals of 10 December.
The members of the Council drew attention to the unique opportunity that existed for the settlement of this long-running problem; and to the benefits for all concerned from so doing, so that all Cypriots can benefit from Cyprus?s accession to the European Union. They urged all concerned to seize the historic opportunity to bring a peaceful, just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus problem to the benefit of all its people and the wider region.
The members of the Council expressed their full support for the continuation of the Secretary-General?s mission of good offices and his efforts to bring about a settlement in the first two months of 2003.