19 December 2003



NEW YORK, 18 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of a statement made to the press today by Security Council President Stefan Tafrov (Bulgaria):

The members of the Security Council welcome the fact that the majority of Turkish Cypriots have expressed their desire for a solution to the Cyprus problem and for accession to the European Union.  This result is all the more noteworthy given pressures faced by the Turkish Cypriots to support the status quo.

The members hope that all parties in northern Cyprus and all other concerned parties will honour the desire of the majority of Turkish Cypriots as soon as possible.

The members continue to believe that securing a comprehensive settlement negotiated on the basis of the detailed proposals of the Secretary-General and accession to the European Union by a reunited Cyprus would be in the interests of all Cypriots.

The members reiterate their full support for the good offices of the Secretary-General as entrusted to him in Security Council resolution 1250.  They urge the Turkish Cypriot leadership and all parties concerned to strongly support the Secretary-General’s efforts and, in this context, call for an immediate resumption of the talks on the basis of his proposals.

The members reaffirm the Council’s previous resolutions and statements on Cyprus, including resolutions 541, 550 and 1475.

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