Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the
Secretary General on Cyprus

September 6, 2001

I now have a note on Cyprus. Yesterday, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, announced that an invitation had been conveyed to the two Cypriot leaders to initiate a new and reinvigorated phase of the Secretary-General's good offices effort next week in New York.

A number of questions have been raised concerning the state of play, and the situation is as follows:

His Excellency Mr. Glafcos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, has accepted the Secretary-General's invitation. We have seen statements to the press by His Excellency Mr. Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, expressing some concerns, but we have not received a direct reply. We remain hopeful that Mr.Denktash will find it possible to come to New York next week. For your information, Mr. de Soto is now in Paris for scheduled meetings and consultations, and will return to New York on Monday. There is one further matter, which I would like to mention, and it relates to the question of whether further preparation of the ground is necessary for this new phase of the Secretary-General's good offices to begin.

As Mr. de Soto made clear in response to a question at his press conference in Nicosia yesterday, this matter was dealt with by the Secretary-General's statement to the parties, subsequently made public on 12 September 2000.That statement made clear the Secretary-General's belief, stated twelve months ago, that the time had come to move ahead. His declaration of last September was made "with the purpose of expediting negotiations in good faith and without preconditions on all issues. As far as the Secretary-General is concerned, the ground is prepared.

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