Remarks of the Secretary-General at the closure of the Conference on Cyprus

7 Jul 2017

Remarks of the Secretary-General at the closure of the Conference on Cyprus

Secretary-General: I am deeply sorry to inform you that, despite the very strong commitment and the engagement of all the delegations and the different parties, the Greek and Turkish Cypriot delegations, Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, as an observer, and, of course, the United Nations team, the Conference on Cyprus was closed without an agreement being reached.
I want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to the leaders of the two communities and to wish the best for all the Cypriots, north and south. I also want to express my deep gratitude to the representatives of the Guarantor Powers and the European Union, and to express my enormous appreciation for the UN team, lead by Espen Eide, that has done everything possible to bring closer the positions of the different delegations.

Unfortunately, as I said, an agreement was not possible and the conference was closed without the possibility to bring a solution to this dramatically long-lasting problem.

Q: Could you please if the parties will continue the negotiations or if they said they will stop?

Secretary-General: The conference is closed. That doesn’t mean that other initiatives can not be developed in order to address the Cyprus problem. But this conference was closed, unfortunately, without result. The United Nations role is the role of a facilitator and we will be always be at the disposal of the parties willing to come to an agreement, if that would be the case.

Q: Quel était, selon vous, le principal obstacle? Est-ce que c’est cette ‘sunset’ clause versus ‘review’ clause qui est liée aux garanties? Quelle est la principale pierre d’achoppement selon vous ?

Secrétaire-Général: Je crois qu’il y a un certain nombre de questions - je ne voudrais pas isoler une question en particulier. C’est évident qu’il y avait une distance encore importante entre les délégations, en ce qui concerne un certain nombre de questions, et que l’accord n’a pas été possible.

Mais je profite de votre question pour remercier le gouvernement Suisse de son hospitalité, de son engagement, de son appui à ces conversations. Sans le gouvernement Suisse, ca serait absolument impossible de conduire les travaux d’une façon aussi efficace.