For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No: UNIS/SG/2664
Release Date:    13 September 2000
 Secretary-General Stresses Equal Status of Parties 
In Cyprus Proximity Talks

NEW YORK, 12 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the statement of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, read today to the participants in the Cyprus proximity talks, Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash:

 The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parties have been participating, since December 1999, in proximity talks to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement.  I believe the time has now come to move ahead.

 In the course of these talks I have ascertained that the parties share a common desire to bring about, thorough negotiations in which each represents its side –- and no one else -– as the political equal of the other, a comprehensive settlement enshrining a new partnership on which to build a better future in peace, security and prosperity on a united island.

 In this spirit, and with the purpose of expediting negotiations in good faith and without preconditions on all issues before them, I have concluded that the equal status of the parties must and should be recognized explicitly in the comprehensive settlement, which will embody the results of the detailed negotiations required to translate this concept into clear and practical provisions.

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