Secretary-General's press encounter following his briefing to the Security Council on Iraq and Cyprus
New York, 9 February 2004Q: [inaudible, on Cyprus]
SG: You mean, when is the meeting tomorrow? My team is in consultations with the parties. It's likely to be in the afternoon. Some of the delegations are arriving today and I think we should give them a chance to relax and not push them into negotiations first thing in the morning.
Q: [inaudible, on Cyprus]
SG: Once the programme is settled – we will let you know.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General. What did you tell the Council today on Iraq, and what did they tell you?
SG: They told me that they support the team and my efforts and they are looking forward to their findings once it is completed.
Q: What sort of details did you supply them with about the current mission?
SG: Well, I couldn't go into too many details because, obviously, they have just arrived, they are in a listening mode. They are talking to lots of people, and we need to wait to see how it evolves.
Q: [inaudible on referendum, on Cyprus]
SG: It is part of the plan, it is in the Plan, and we will be discussing all these things with the parties. I don't want to go into details before the negotiations tomorrow with the parties.
Q: Is there consensus inside the Council on June 30th?
SG: I think the June 30th date is what has been agreed to by the parties, so we are working on that, the Council is working on that assumption.
Q: …if I have given any option to them, you mean on the Cyprus issue?
I think the Plan is quite well known. It is a plan that is on the table which is a basis for negotiations.
Q: No changes?
SG: The parties may mutually agree to changes. If they agree to changes, of course we will accept them.
Q: Are they direct talks?
SG: Direct talks.
Off-the-Cuff on 9 February 2004