Secretary-General's press remarks following his meeting with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders
New York, 1 November 2011Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
I would once again like to thank Their Excellencies, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroglu, for accepting my invitation to join me at Greentree over the last two days.
This has been our fourth meeting together as we work to develop a comprehensive settlement for Cyprus. We last met in July in Geneva. At that meeting we agreed that the sides would intensify the talks in order to reach convergences on outstanding core issues in the negotiations.
Since July, in that intensified phase, the leaders met 19 times in an intensive way. It was a difficult period at times, but both sides stayed the course and progress was made on some key outstanding issues. Considerable advances were made in the areas of economy, EU matters and internal aspects of security. Much less progress was made in the important areas of governance, property, territory and citizenship.
I invited His Excellency Mr. Christofias and His Excellency Mr. Eroglu to Greentree in the hope of reaching further convergences on these central issues. I have also used the opportunity of our time together at Greentree to assess how close the two sides are to reaching a solution.
The sides have made some encouraging progress during these two days on some of the remaining core issues. As my Special Adviser noted, discussions have been positive, productive and vigorous. This has given me confidence that a comprehensive settlement can be achieved. Both leaders have assured me that they believe that they can finalize a deal.
There is still work to be done. Their Excellencies, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroglu, have agreed that further efforts are essential over the next two months to move to the end game of the negotiations. My Special Adviser and his team remain ready to assist. I have invited the two leaders to meet with me again in a similar format in January next year. By then, I expect the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem to have been resolved so that we can move to the multilateral conference shortly thereafter.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Off-the-Cuff on 1 November 2011