December 15, 2019

Secretary-General’s Year-End Press Conference – Abstract on the situation in Cyprus

Question: Mr. Secretary-General we know your efforts of bringing the two leaders together in Cyprus. My question is on Cyprus, and we know your efforts of bringing the two communities to reach an agreement and you lastly met them, the two leaders in Greentree in New York and you also invited them to another meeting in January. From this perspective, what do you want to see to be achieved before the meetings in January and what are your prospects for next year sir?

Secretary-General: As you are well aware, I have invited the two leaders to Greentree in late January and I will spend two days with them. This will be a more intensive consultation, negotiation, than the previous Greentree negotiation. I believe that time is quite limited. As you are aware, Cyprus is going to take the Presidency of European Union from July 1st the next year. So the window of our opportunity for further progress in negotiation is very much limited. It may be politically difficult and sensitive when the Presidency of the European Union is now going to be part of this. And practically speaking the Presidency of European Union will be heavily involved in all other European issues. Therefore, we are trying to maximize this progress in Cyprus. And as I have issued in my statement at the conclusion of the previous meeting we hope that with the positive result of the January negotiation, we can move ahead toward the international conference to deal with these issues. But let us hope that before they come to Greentree, both leaders must engage and make their progress, accelerating their pace of negotiation. And my Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, is working very hard, and I’m also going to get briefing from Ms. Buttenheim today on the progress with both leaders.