UN to press ahead with talks to resolve Cyprus problem before 28 February - Annan
Speaking at his first official press conference of year today at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General said that "this is something we've worked very hard on and many people in the region have hoped for."
Asked about a demonstration today in Nicosia by 70,000 Turkish Cypriots in favour of the UN plan, the Secretary-General said, "I am pleased that the people are out in the streets promoting peace and demanding peace and demanding unification."
As for UN efforts in Cyprus and whether the issue can be resolved with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the Secretary-General said, "Obviously it is up to the people to decide who their leader is and up to the leader to decide whether they persist or resign. But whether a leader resigns or stays on I think the people are speaking and it is very difficult not to listen to the people when they come out in those numbers."
Mr. Annan said that he would urge the leaders to listen to the voices of the ordinary people "about their desire for peace."