Thursday, February 4, 2010

The UN Secretary General refers to our bi-communal mobilisations

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you just went to Cyprus – it was a very historic trip. But, from here, when we watched it, the Greek Cypriot didn’t seem very happy, and, in fact, they made it very obvious. What are the outcomes, the positive outcomes of your trip? And what do you think of the Greek Cypriot position on that? Thanks.

SG: You should know that the last visit of a Secretary-General was in 2003, therefore my visit was after a 7-year interval. I was very much encouraged by such a strong commitment by both leaders to continue their negotiations. And I was again, very much encouraged and touched by the strong support of the people from both sides who were chanting, in unison, shouting “resolution now.” These were all the loud and clear voices from the general population, regardless of where they were from, both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot. That was quite moving for me. I felt a strong sense of responsibility [about] what the United Nations can do more to facilitate this Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned negotiation. My observation was that a solution was possible and a solution was within reach, and, in fact, they made significant progress in power-sharing and governance. I was quite encouraged by this. Of course, there are many more important issues: property; border and security issues. I hope they will continue. President Dimitris Christofias told me that he will issue some sort of plan for further negotiations, despite this planned [Turkish Cypriot] election, and that is quite encouraging. And I am going to have my special adviser, Alexander Downer, continuously engaged, so that this negotiation will be facilitated.

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