New York

9 February 2004

Secretary-General's press encounter following his briefing to the Security Council on Iraq and Cyprus

Q: [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: [inaudible]

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.