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Ban: more important than ever to reach a solution

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday stressed  the importance of reaching a lasting settlement in Cyprus at a time of great turmoil in the region.

He also said that the solution of the Cyprus problem was a strategic priority for the UN.

In a written statement issued after a meeting with his newly appointed Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, Ban said that at a time of great turmoil in the region, it was “more important than ever” to reach a lasting settlement in Cyprus for the benefit of all Cypriots.  Eide is due in Cyprus on Friday.

“The long-overdue solution to the Cyprus problem constitutes a strategic priority for the United Nations and the international community,” he said.

Ban said he hoped that the important gains achieved to date would be preserved “as the sides move decisively towards structured and results-oriented negotiations, as called for in the [Joint] Declaration”.

According to the statement, Eide’s appointment illustrated the United Nations determination to continue supporting the parties to arrive at concrete results in the coming phase of the negotiations.

Ban noted that Eide was assuming his functions at a promising moment in the Cyprus peace process, and expressed his expectation that, as the leaders prepare to enter the next phase, “they will show renewed dedication and courage to build on the principles outlined in the Joint Declaration”.

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