GENERALS' STATEMENT UPON ARRIVAL IN ANKARA, TURKEY
I am very pleased to be in
again. I look forward to my meetings tomorrow with Turkish officials, including
the President and the Prime Minister. I will also see Mr. Erdogan. This is a
critical moment in the region, and
has a central role to play in tackling the issues that confront us.
There are many issues that are of common interest
and the United Nations, not least the
crisis. But I wish to highlight the fact that
is my first stop on a tour that will take me to
. You will understand, therefore, that
is the question uppermost in my mind. We have reached the
in the effort under way to solve the
problem. This is the defining moment for
. We are all preoccupied by
, but we should not let this distract us from this crucial moment.
On 16 April, the European Union is due to meet for
the signature of the Treaty of Accession of ten new members, including
. I devoutly hope that the Treaty will be signed on behalf of a united
. This is also the strong preference of the European Union. For that to happen,
the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots have to decide, in separate
simultaneous referendums on 30 March, to approve a comprehensive settlement and
bring about a new state of affairs. For this to happen, the leaders must come to
terms in time for those referendums to go forward. That time is now. That is why
I am here. I wish to do all I can to encourage the leaders to muster the spirit
of compromise, courage and leadership of which they are capable.
As you know, the parties accepted to negotiate on
the basis of the revised proposal that I put to them on 10 December last. It did
not prove possible for the parties to come to an agreement before the Copenhagen
European Council last December. Since the beginning of the year, Mr. Clerides
and Mr. Denktash have had a number of meetings on the island, with the
participation of my Special Adviser, Mr.
. He has carried out intensive consultations in
. Since 16 February, Mr.
has also been consulting with Mr. Papadopoulos, as the incoming Greek Cypriot
leader. In light of what we have been hearing from the parties, we have been
carefully examining whether and how it might be possible to improve the plan,
while preserving the overall balance that it contains. The parties are aware of
what we have in mind.
My purpose here is therefore to discuss with the
Turkish government, as I will do in
with the Greek government, how the two motherlands can rally in support of this
last effort, and assist the parties in coming to terms. The opportunity is open.
It is clearly in the interest of all – Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots,
, to seize this opportunity now. There is little time. Let us take advantage of
I will now take your questions. I will take
Q: [on if
the Secretary-General would bring a new plan on
and if this would be a final one]
SG: Well, I
think I have implied in the statement I have made that we are in touch with the
parties. Mr. Alvaro
has been consulting them, and I am here to discuss this issue with them, and
hopefully to come to a settlement. I think both sides indicated that they know
what I have in mind and I am looking forward to very constructive and successful
discussions with them.
Q: You still
think there will be an agreement at the end of the month?
SG: I wouldn't be
here otherwise. I'm still hopeful and I think we can do it if the will is there.
Q: What is the role
in the process, is there a pressure on the UN [inaudible]?
SG: There has been
no pressure on me or on the United Nations. On the contrary, I think there has
been great support for our effort to settle this issue and to help a united
enter the European Union. There has been increased support from the European
Union, from the
and other governments. And I think we received great support from this region
and I hope we will be able to do it.
Q: [On Iraqi
SG: I think
the letter that [Hans] Blix sent to the Iraqi authorities is very clear; that
they have to destroy these weapons. The resolutions covering
are enforceable under Chapter 7, and I urge the Iraqis to do it and I am
confident they will destroy the weapons. If they refuse to destroy it, the
Council will have to take a decision on that. It is a decision for the Council
and I would not want to be drawn on that. But I don't see why they would not
Q: [On Iraqi
should realize the urgency and the seriousness of the situation and the
inspectors are in constant touch with them. And the inspections are ongoing. It
is not only the inspectors - the Arab leaders and the whole world are telling
them to comply. And I think it is obvious that it is urgent and they must do it.
And I hope they are not misreading the demonstrations and the mood around the
world. Everyone, including those who are marching in these demonstrations, wants
to decide and they want
to comply with UN resolutions. So they should not misread the public. And I
urge them to really listen to the will and the demands from the international
community and disarm for the sake of their own people and the region. So that we
will in time see
back into the family of nations playing its normal role without restrictions.
Q: [On the
new resolution that the Americans have been contemplating]
It is not certain when the vote will come. There are indications that the
resolution will be tabled next week. But it is going to take discussions,
negotiations, and persuasions. And these resolutions can take a while or they
can move very quickly, so I cannot give you a date when the resolution will be
actually [voted] by the Security Council.
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