Statement by the President of the Security Council
Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations
Sir Jeremy Greenstock
to the press at the United Nations headquarters
December 2, 1999

- Security Council members today heard a briefing by the Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto.

- This is a matter which the Security Council continues to follow with the closest of interest. The Council has stated repeatedly that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable.

- In June, the Council requested the Secretary-General, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, to invite the leaders of the two sides to negotiations this autumn.

- Council members welcomed, therefore, the agreement of the parties to start proximity talks in New York on 3 December in order to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement.

- They expressed the hope that all concerned would participate in the talks without preconditions and in a constructive spirit. They commended the efforts of the Secretary-General, his Special Representative and Special Adviser to facilitate the talks and conveyed to them the Council's full support.

- They looked forward to a further briefing from Mr. de Soto on the progress of the talks soon after these had concluded.

* * * * *