The United Nations political affairs chief today said that after a fresh round of discussions with officials in Cyprus, he now has a “better understanding” of the positions, concerns and wishes of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.
As part of his tour of the region to hear the views of all parties on facilitating an agreement on a settlement of the Cyprus issue, Kieran Prendergast, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, met a number of times with both Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Tassos Papadopoulos.
He also held discussions with other political leaders on the island. Speaking to reporters earlier today, Mr. Prendergast said he was leaving with a better understanding of the Cyprus situation. While he is neither a pessimist nor an optimist, he remains a realist, he told them, adding that the United Nations “is here to encourage and facilitate but, ultimately, it is a matter for the two sides to arrive at a settlement agreement.”
Mr. Prendergast will now head to Athens, Greece and then to Ankara, Turkey, where he will hold consultations before returning to New York on 7 June report to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.