Statement attributable to the spokesman of the Secretary General

February 4, 2004 


The Secretary General wrote today to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders inviting them to come to New York on February 10th 2004 to resume negotiations on the basis of his plan. The objective of the negotiations would be to put his planís completed text to referenda in April 2004, in time for reunited Cyprus to join the European Union on 1 May 2004.

The Secretary-General has also written to the Prime Ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom asking them to have representatives on hand in New York on that occasion.

The Secretary-General was moved to take this initiative by his recent, encouraging contacts on the Cyprus question during his trip to Europe and afterwards. In his letters, the Secretary-General has appealed to the leaders to summon the political will needed to bring about this result in the short time available. He also set out what needs to be done for this to happen.

* * * * *