UN SECRETARY GENERAL SPEAKS ON CYPRUS AT PRESS CONFERENCE
EXTRACT FROM A PRESS CONFERENCE OF UN SECRETARY GENERAL, KOFI ANNAN, ON JANUARY 14, 2003
Q: Sir, today in Nicosia 70 000 Turkish-Cypriots demonstrated in the Turkish sector in favor of your peace plan and calling for the resignation of their leader Rauf Denktash. I wonder, sir, and I want your comments, first given the similarities, if we are witnessing there the collapse of a Berlin Wall in Cyprus and secondly, if it is possible to have a solution with Rauf Denktash as the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community?
Secretary-General: First of all I am pleased that the people are out in the streets promoting peace and demanding peace and demanding the unification. I think that this is something that we have worked very hard on and many people in the region had hoped for. I think we are going to press ahead with the negotiations, the deadline of the 28th of February is a firm one, obviously it is up to the people to decide who their leader is and up to their leader to decide whether they persist or resign. But whether a leader resigns or stays on, I think the people are speaking and it is very difficult not to listen to the people when they come out in those numbers. So, I would think that what I would urge the leaders is listen to the voices of the ordinary people about their desire for peace. The future political plans of the leader I will leave to him to decide.