January 21, 2018

Secretary-General’s message on the resumption of Cyprus talks

I warmly welcome both delegations back to the negotiating table. The parties made strong progress before the talks were suspended in late March. I am very encouraged by the convergences that were reached. I am also encouraged that the two leaders have agreed to continue on the basis of the UN parameters, Security Council resolutions and the joint statements made on 23 May and 1 July 2008.

The peace process is at an important point. A settlement is within your grasp and this opportunity must be seized, as time is not on your side. Achieving an agreement will require vision, statesmanship and courage. Your communities want and expect a settlement. This will require give-and-take on both sides, and the ability to understand the issues and what is at stake from the perspective of the other side. You must convince not only your own community of the value of a settlement; you must also convince the other community of your good faith. This is not a zero-sum game. It is possible, and indeed necessary, to arrive at a solution that clearly benefits both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

The international community is committed to continuing its support for this Cypriot-led process. I truly believe that you can reach an agreement in the coming months. Together with my representative, Mr. Downer, I remain ready and willing to help.