Statement by the President of the Republic of Cyprus
Mr. Glafcos Clerides
on the Cyprus talks to be held on 3 December

November 14, 1999

The President of the Republic, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, who is in South Africa for the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting, made the following statement:

“The UN Secretary General today telephoned me, before leaving for China, and proposed the resumption on December 3 in New York of proximity talks under his auspices to prepare the ground for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. The Secretary General has assured me that the talks will be carried out on the basic aspects of the Cyprus problem and that they will be substantive.

I have also received a telephone call from the US Secretary of State, Mrs. Madeleine Albright, who assured me that the talks would be substantive and focus on the basic aspects of the Cyprus problem. Moreover, the Special Presidential Emissary, Mr. Alfred Moses, telephoned me and read a statement President Clinton is expected to make in which he the assurance that the talks would be without preconditions, will focus on the basic aspects and that the United States will cooperate closely with the Secretary General to ensure that these talks will be productive.

I believe that a possible refusal on our part to respond positively to the UN Secretary General’s invitation-and what is more in view of Mr. Denktash’s acceptance of the invitation -particularly following the assurances I have received, would be a terrible mistake which would have affected not only the course of the Cyprus problem but also our EU accession course.

Moreover, I believe that for the first time in the history of the Cyprus problem we have assurances about the active involvement of the United States and what is more of the President himself. I am confident that the other Permanent Members of the Security Council will do the same. Already, the French Foreign Ministry has made a relevant announcement and the British Prime Minister has assured me that Britain is interested in helping to achieve a solution. I have no reason to doubt that the two other Permanent Members of the Security, i.e. Russia and China, will also show similar interest. Besides this has been repeatedly stated in the past.

Now that we are going to talks there is need to rally all our forces in order to achieve the best possible results."

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