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Security Council voices disappointment at Cyprus missing chance at reunification

29 April 2004 The United Nations Security Council today voiced its disappointment that recent efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem have not succeeded and reiterated its backing for an overall political settlement.

German Ambassador Gunter Pleuger said in a statement to the press that the Council respected the outcome of Saturday's twin referenda in Cyprus, in which voters defeated a plan that would have reunited the island nation ahead of its entry into the European Union on 1 May.

The Council shared Secretary-General Kofi Annan's disappointment "that efforts since 1999 to reunify the island have not succeeded and regrets that an extraordinary and historic opportunity to resolve the Cyprus issues has been missed," said Ambassador Pleuger, who currently holds the Council's rotating Presidency.

"The Security Council reiterates is strong support for an overall political settlement in Cyprus," he added.

Seventy-six per cent of Greek Cypriots voted against a plan that would have created a United Cyprus Republic - comprised of a Greek Cypriot constituent state and a Turkish Cypriot constituent state - while 65 per cent of Turkish Cypriots cast favourable ballots.

Ambassador Pleuger said the Council looked forward to the Secretary-General's forthcoming report, "in response to which the Council will need to give careful consideration to the implications of the outcome of the referenda."

The Council also expressed its appreciation for the "committed and sustained" efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto in the implementation of the good offices mission, he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. de Soto arrived in Athens, where tomorrow he is scheduled to pay farewell calls to Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis.

Earlier today, he met in Ankara, Turkey, with a number of senior Turkish officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Under Secretary Ziyal.

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