Press Releases

    SG/SM/8418
    7 October 2002

    STATEMENT OF SECRETARY-GENERAL ON CYPRUS

    NEW YORK, 4 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today’s statement on Cyprus by Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    I have completed this afternoon two days of intensive consultations on Cyprus with His Excellency Mr. Glafkos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and His Excellency Mr. Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    I am happy to report that, since I met the two leaders in Paris, they have focused on the issues I highlighted, and there has been an encouraging effort to explore ways of bridging differences pragmatically. Here in New York, I tried to crystallize for the two leaders a way they could push their discussions forward to further narrow their differences, with the active assistance of my Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto.

    As part of their effort to bridge differences pragmatically, the two leaders have decided to create two ad hoc bilateral technical committees to begin work immediately on important technical issues. The purpose of these committees is to make recommendations on technical matters, without prejudice to the positions of the two leaders on the core issues concerned. Their work shall be ad referendum, and shall focus on treaties and future common state* laws. The United Nations will assist the parties in this work.

    There is no simple solution to the Cyprus problem. For this reason a comprehensive settlement has to be a complex, integrated, legally binding and self-executing agreement, where the rights and obligations of all concerned are clear, unambiguous, and not subject to further negotiation. I hope the work of the committees will help the leaders towards this end.

    The opportunity that is at hand must be seized. In this regard, Greece and Turkey have an important role to play, and I look forward to their continued support.

    As is well known, Mr. Denktash will undergo surgery soon, and he is not likely to be available for a few weeks. But work will continue in October, and I have asked the leaders to clear their diaries during November, when I am looking forward to seeing them again.

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    * "common state" is a provisional term.