29 April 2021

Opening remarks at press conference following the informal 5+1 meeting on Cyprus

António Guterres

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you very much for your presence.  At the moment in which we conclude the 5+1 talks on Cyprus here in Geneva, I want to express my deep gratitude and the gratitude of all participants to the Swiss authorities for all the facilities that they have provided to guarantee the smooth development of our work in the difficult times we are living in with COVID. 

As I believe you are aware, the position expressed yesterday by the Turkish Cypriots was that the many efforts made to solve the Cyprus issue over the years have failed, including the most recent attempt made in Crans Montana. 

They believe that efforts to negotiate the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation have been exhausted.  They believe the Turkish Cypriots have inherent sovereign equality and is an equal international status and the solution in their view should be based on two states cooperating with each other. 

Similarly, the position expressed yesterday by the Greek Cypriot delegation was that negotiations should resume from where they left off in Crans Montana.  They should aim to achieve a settlement based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality on the basis of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, the Joint Declaration of 2014, the existing body of work, the six elements I presented in Crans Montana, and in line with the EU acquis.

As you can imagine, this was not an easy meeting. 

We conducted extensive consultations in a succession of bilateral meetings and plenary meetings in order to try to reach common ground.

The truth is that, in the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common grounds to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.  

But I do not give up. 

My agenda is very simple.

My agenda is strictly to fight for the security and well-being of the Cypriots, of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, that deserve to live in peace and prosperity together.  

And being so, we have been able to agree that I will convene in the near future another meeting of the 5+1, the five plus the United Nations, again with the objective to move in the direction of reaching common ground to allow for formal negotiations to start.  

We are determined to do everything we can to make this dialogue move on and to make this dialogue at one moment be able to reach positive results.