Statement by the U.S. Special Coordinator for the Cyprus Problem following his meeting with the President of Cyprus 

November 8, 2001

Following a meeting with the President of Cyprus in New York, the U.S. Special Coordinator for the Cyprus Problem Ambassador Thomas Weston made the following statements to the press:

I never discuss my conversation with the President just after seeing him. We had another one of our wide ranging discussions, very positive, very friendly. I've come out of it, as I always do, with great admiration for the President and great happiness that he is now in New York and we can continue what we were trying to do commonly, which is to work to find a solution to the division of the island and a comprehensive settlement. 

Responding to a question whether there is reason to be hopeful for a resumption of the proximity talks, Ambassador Weston replied:

"Since my last visit to the island, we've also had a visit by Mr. de Soto to the area, not only to the island but Ankara and Athens as well. And the fact that the visit took place, that conversations continue on that, that we will continue our conversations this week in New York gives me hope that we will be able to find a way forward. As you know if you have been involved in the subject as long as I have which goes back to the '70s, there are alway comments. Those comments sometimes are helpful, sometimes are very unhelpful. But we don't go on the basis of comments of people. We go on the basis of diplomacy and I think what we've got to do is keep working at the diplomacy to find a way forward."

Asked if he was aware of a statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem during his visit in Athens , that the solution of the Cyprus issue should be a confederation, Mr. Weston responded:

"I have not seen the statement and I won't comment but I think you know the position of the United States very well about what sort of a solution we see as possible and that is a solution which has been talked about for years here in New York and at the United Nations in all sorts of other places and that is, to use the shorthand we are so comfortable using, one of a bicommunal, bizonal federation."

Responding to a comment made by a journalist that this form of solution has been rejected by Mr. Denktash and Ankara for a long time and its high time that something is done to persuade Mr. Denkrash to return to the negotiating table, Ambassador Weston agreed saying : "Absolutely, which is why we will pursue our diplomacy to get to the place we want to be, which is a comprehensive settlement that is just and durable."

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