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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Statement

Secretary-General's toast at dinner hosted by H.E. Christofias

Cyprus, 31 January 2010

Your Excellency, President Christofias, Madame, Honourable Members of Parliament, Honourable leaders of the political parties, Mr. Foreign Minister, distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be here in Cyprus for the first time. And thank you very much for your very kind welcome.

I am here to reiterate the UN's continued support for the peace process in Cyprus.

I attach great importance to your current efforts to resolve this longstanding issue.

From the beginning, this has been a Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led process with the Cypriots taking responsibility for reaching a settlement.

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

You have been given a clear mandate by the people to solve this issue. And you are delivering.

You have made significant progress. Together with Mr. Talat, I am confident that you can bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion. To bring this successful conclusion to a mutually acceptable way will require confidence, vision, and flexibility as well as a spirit of compromise.

A settlement of the Cyprus problem will create enormous opportunities for this country.

It will also have a positive impact on the wider region.

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

The United Nations strongly supports these continued negotiations which you have been carrying out.

Now, more than ever, I believe that a mutually beneficial solution is within reach, it is possible despite the numerous obstacles and challenges along the way.

It will be a tremendous achievement.

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

The future is in your hands.

I wish you every success in your endeavour.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Let us join together in a toast for the great prosperity and everlasting partnership between the United Nations and Cyprus.

And above all for a future united Cyprus.


Statements on 31 January 2010