Remarks of the Secretary-General to the Press
upon his arrival to United Nations Headquarters
prior the opening of the promimity talks on Cyprus

December 3, 1999

Question: (inaudible)…to the young generation today?

Secretary-General: That we should all be hopeful as we begin the talks today and I hope as we start to sit down and begin serious discussions and have meaningful dialogue in search of a comprehensive settlement that they will all support this effort -- it's their future that we are trying to resolve -- and I hope at the end of this process we will be able to come with a comprehensive solution that will assure the young people of the island a peaceful and harmonious future.

Question: Please Sir, what is the best possible outcome for today's meeting?

Secretary-General: Well, we are just about to begin in an hour or so and I hope we will be able to discuss the core issues, stick to the issues, and move forward gradually. I don't expect a miraculous solution. As I've said, we shouldn't have unrealistic expectations that at this round we're going to be able to solve the Cyprus crisis but we're going to try to move the process forward and I'm very happy that both leaders are here and both parties have come determined to engage in a meaningful dialogue.

Question: What the prospects for this round of talks?

Secretary-General: I just answered that question.

Question: I was wondering, Sir, if you could comment on the fact that you have asked both leaders to refrain from any public statements and whether you think they have respected your request so far?

Secretary-General: Well, I think that on the whole they've done well and I hope that as we being today they will respect a news blackout -- it's not intended against you guys -- I talk to you whenever I can but I myself and Mr. De Soto will restrain ourselves from comments to the press, but at critical stages we'll share with you where we are -- what progress we've made -- but I think for the benefit of the talks it's prudent that one doesn't say anything they may be misconstrued by one side or the other and that is the only reason why I've appealed for restraint.

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