1 February 2010
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12733

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, at Luncheon, Offers Toast: ‘To a Future United Cyprus’


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s toast at a luncheon hosted by Mehmet Ali Talat, Turkish Cypriot leader, in Cyprus, 1 February:


It is a great honour and pleasure for me and my delegation to be here.


It is an honour for me to be here in Cyprus for the first time.  I attach great importance to your efforts to resolve this longstanding dispute.


Today, I am here to reiterate the United Nations continued support for your peace process.


From the beginning, this has been a Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led process with the Cypriots taking responsibility for reaching a settlement.  The United Nations is doing all it can to support the process.


Your Excellency, I am impressed by the enormous personal commitment which you have shown to finding a settlement to this longstanding problem.


You have built your political life on achieving the unification of the island in order to bring prosperity and fulfil the aspirations of the people.


You have made significant progress.


Now, more than ever, I am confident that together with Mr. [Dimitris] Christofias, you can bring the talks to a successful conclusion.


A settlement of the Cyprus problem will create enormous opportunities for the Turkish Cypriots, but also for the whole world.  It will also have a positive impact on the wider region.


And as you know, the international community has high expectations for your efforts, and it supports you.


Together with my Special Adviser and our team, we are here to do everything we can to assist you in the process.


The future is in your hands.  I wish you success in your endeavour.


Please join me in a toast:  To a future united Cyprus.


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For information media • not an official record