SG Guterres’ comments on Cyprus at joint press conference with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament

SG Guterres EP Strasbourg 17-05-2017

17 May 2017 – UN Secretary-General António Guterres today addressed Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Following his address, the SG held a joint press conference with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament.

Responding to a question on Cyprus, the Secretary-General said: “The leadership of the process remains in the hands of the two Cypriot communities. The United Nations has a role of support for the two communities to be able to come together to an agreement allowing for the reunification of the island. And at the same time, an agreement that needs to be endorsed by the guarantor powers. Greece and Turkey have, as you know, a very important role.

I was this weekend both with President Erdogan and Prime Minister Tsipras and I appealed for a flexible and constructive approach of the two countries in order to be able to address effectively the problem of security and guarantees that, as you know, is the central question in what relates to the guarantor powers.

My Special Envoy has been working closely together with the two leaders of the two communities in order to see if the remaining problems related to – I would say – internal questions can be addressed.

We are ready to convene a new Conference when the parties believe that we can do it in an effective way. I [am not saying] that we will only convene it when we are sure about success because the obligation of the United Nations is not to only act when there is a perspective of success but to act in all situations to promote peace and to promote understanding among peoples.”

In his address to the MEPs, SG Guterres said a “strong and united Europe is an absolutely fundamental pillar of a strong and effective United Nations”.

Image credit: European Parliament