Statements by Alvaro de Soto after the 1st joint meeting with the SECRETARY GENERAL on Cyprus

February 10, 2004 

Alvaro de Soto : You already know the operative part, which is that we adjourned until tomorrow 4pm . I should say first of all, for the purpose of information that the Secretary-General had separate meetings with the leadership on both sides. Subsequently, he had a direct meeting which adjourned a few minutes ago. It was a constructive discussion, the Secretary-General has asked them to stay on and to take the morning off for reflection and we will be meeting again tomorrow afternoon at 4pm .

Q: Have they agreed to something?

A: I will stick to what Iíve said. We have asked the parties not to speak about the discussions that have been going on, so I prefer not to characterize.

Q: Why more talks tomorrow?  

A: Well because we havenít quite finished.

Q: Are we close to an agreement?

A: We hope that after a night and a morning of reflection, that we will come close.

Q: Does this mean a breakdown?

A: Not at all, it means just that we need more time.

Q: What is your prediction?

A: I donít want to make a prediction. I donít want to go down that path.

Q: Did they agree on anything? Did they exchange papers?

A: Iím afraid I am barred from saying anything that transpired at the meeting, procedural or substantial.

Q: The fact that they are coming to talks tomorrow, what does that mean?

A: It just means they need more time.

Q: Have the talks today begun, according to your estimation?

A: Well they have met, havenít they? Letís leave it at that.

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