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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-02-01

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] UNSG - CYPRUS - VISIT

  • [01] UNSG - CYPRUS - VISIT

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Cyprus to encourage the two leaders of the Cypriot communities to reach a mutually-acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem, an effort that requires ``courage, flexibility and vision as well as a spirit of compromise``.

    The UN Chief was met at Larnaka aiport by Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou and UNSG`s Special Adviser for the Cyprus problem Alexander Downer.

    Immediately after his arrival the UNSG traveled to the divided capital Nicosia, where he attended a banquet given in his honour by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    Ban told reporters at Larnaka airport that ``I am very pleased to be in Cyprus for the first time. I am here to show my personal support to the Cypriot-led talks to reunify the country. My visit is a reflection of the importance I will attach to the current efforts of their Excellencies Mr (Demetris) Christofias and Mr (Mehmet Ali)Talat to reach a settlement``.

    He said for over 45 years UN has been in Cyprus helping to keep the peace and contributing to the efforts to bring about normal conditions on the island.

    ``So I am on no illusion that the Cyprus problem is easy to solve or about the difficulties that you face. At the same time, I am confident that a solution is possible and within reach``, he pointed out.

    The UNSG stressed that ``I am impressed by the enormous personal commitments shown by the both leaders over the past 16 months. They have invested great time and energy for this peace process. I am pleased by the significant progress that has been achieved recently on government and power sharing. The leadership of the Excellencies Christofias and Talat have demonstrated at this key moment, is to be highly commented``.

    ``I am here to encourage the two leaders to bring these talks to a successful conclusion. Reaching a mutually-acceptable solution will require courage, flexibility and vision as well as a spirit of compromise``, Ban continued.

    He stressed: ``Let me say this quite clearly: this process belongs to Cyprus. The UN is here at the invitation of both sides to assist. Your destiny is in your hands. You have taken responsibility for finding a solution. You are the ones driving the process and the ones who will benefit from tremendous benefits and opportunities a settlement will bring to this island``.

    Ban said the expectations of the international community are very high. ``Let`s not underestimate the importance of a solution not only to Cyprus but also to the region and indeed to the world. Solving the Cyprus problem will give an inspiration to all those around the world trying to solve other seemingly intractable conflicts. And I am looking forward to have great meetings with the two leaders tomorrow``, the UN Chief concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island.


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has reassured UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that he will spare no effort in striving to overcome all obstacles and finally reach a solution: a viable, functional and, under the circumstances, just solution, to which both communities will agree.

    President Christofias was addressing a banquet in honour of the UN Chief, at the Presidential Palace, in the divided capital of Cyprus, Nicosia.

    Ban arrived here tonight to express his personal support to the UN-sponsored peace process and help the two community leaders to reach a mutually acceptable solution, reuniting the island, as he said in a short statement at Larnaka airport.

    President Christofias said since 1964, the United Nations has been dealing with the problem of Cyprus. ``Foreign interventions, together with inter-communal strife, led to the forcible division of our country in 1974``, he said.

    ``We are grateful that the United Nations Security Council, acting on the principles of international law, has determined the basis for a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions, with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship. This is the basis to which Mehmet Ali Talat and myself, as leaders of the two communities, have agreed. We are deeply grateful for the United Nations support for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Cyprus and the restoration of the rights and freedoms of the people of Cyprus``, Christofias told the UN Chief.

    He added ``we are thankful to you, Mr. Secretary-General, because under your auspices, in the framework of the good offices mission, the two communities are again at the negotiating table in order to work together to reach a mutually agreed and peaceful solution``.

    The Cypriot President noted that upon his assumption of the office of President, ``I immediately took initiatives that led to the recommencement of the talks between the two communities. Throughout this process, we have shown good will and flexibility, whilst upholding the principles and agreed basis of the solution, provided for by the resolutions of the United Nations and the 1977 and 1979 High Level Agreements. Our aim is the reunification of this country: the people, the institutions, the economy, and to ensure that United Federal Republic of Cyprus will be a functional and viable state, able to work effectively as a member state of the European Union``.

    Christofias said ``we greatly appreciate your personal interest and the understanding you have shown from the very beginning, that the ownership of this process belongs to the Cypriots themselves, that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and that the role of the United Nations is to facilitate this process. This must be consistently upheld, bearing in mind the lessons of the recent past as regards mediation and arbitration which led to bitter experiences and severe problems``.

    He added that ``this of course does not mean that we do not value the role of the international community. After all, a key player in the Cyprus problem is Turkey, which since the 1974 invasion has maintained thousands of troops in the occupied area and has altered the demographic structure of the Turkish Cypriot community and of Cyprus as a whole with tens of thousands of Turkish nationals``.

    ``That the Cyprus problem is an international issue is also underlined by the fact that it has been on the agenda of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations for so many years, with consistent efforts to end the anomalous situation``, he pointed out.

    President Christofias stressed that ``our aim is for these negotiations to succeed. After a year and a half, we have arrived at a point where more convergences must be achieved on the various chapters of the problem, in order to open the road for a solution as soon as possible. Nevertheless, we must admit that there are important chapters which have not even been touched upon, or which have not been sufficiently discussed``.

    Welcoming once more the Secretary-General, the Cypriot President noted that Ban`s presence here ``is an honour for us, and we are grateful to you. On behalf of our people allow me, once more, to reassure you that I will spare no effort in striving to overcome all obstacles and finally reach a solution: a viable, functional and, under the circumstances, just solution, to which both communities will agree, so as to rid the agenda of the United Nations of this long-standing problem``.

    ``Furthermore, allow me to assure you, Mr. Secretary-General of the support of the Republic of Cyprus for the United Nations and for you personally in your efforts to address worldwide urgent problems such as poverty, climate change, hunger and natural disasters. I wish you every success in your endeavours in this respect. May peace and cooperation be the way of life in Cyprus``, the Cypriot President wished.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island.


    China fully supports the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and strongly believes that the Cyprus problem must be solved on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has stressed.

    The Chinese official, who is currently paying Cyprus an official visit, has held Monday morning a meeting in Nicosia with his Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianou and later on was received by President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias.

    Yang Jiechi expressed hope that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus continue their meetings in the framework of the UN led direct negotiations aiming to reach a solution in Cyprus, so that their differences are narrowed and they reach a mutually acceptable solution. China, he said, appreciates the hard and sincere efforts undertaken by the Republic of Cyprus towards reaching a solution in Cyprus.

    We believe that the independence, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus must be fully respected and we support that the Cyprus problem must be resolved on the basis of the UN resolutions and decisions, he underscored. Moreover, he expressed his countrys appreciation for the support of Cyprus towards China as regards issues of high importance for Beijing.

    In his statements, the Cypriot Foreign Minister said that China is a very close friend of the Republic of Cyprus as well as a UNSC permanent member state, underlining the importance of China and its support towards Cyprus within the UNSC. Cyprus and China, he said, support the principles of international law, especially as regards the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states and support the principle of one China and one Cyprus.

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