I warmly welcome the finalisation of a joint communiqué today and the formal re-launch by the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Dervis Eroglu, of fully fledged negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
I commend the leaders for their commitment to resuming negotiations and for their hard work in the past months to reach what is an important statement of shared principles and invaluable basis for renewed talks.
I also recognise the indispensable role played by my Special Adviser Mr. Alexander Downer to this point, beginning from his appointment in September 2008. Mr. Downer has informed me that now that the joint communique has been achieved, he has decided to take up a new position and step down as my Special Adviser. I thank him sincerely for his perseverance and commitment over the past five and a half years, and wish him well in his future endeavours.
The United Nations will continue to support the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in their efforts to reunify the island and move on from decades of separation. I personally pledge our resolute commitment to these efforts.