On Cyprus, France is actively engaged
Cyprus/South Sudan - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 23 January 2017
First of all, I would like to reiterate France’s strong support to the efforts of the parties and to Espen Eide to the on-going negotiations. Much progress has been made during the last weeks and we want to commend all the efforts made. Actually the parties had never reached this point in the negotiations, had never went so far in the negotiations. As a country but also as a member of the Security Council, France is actively engaged, and you remember that President Hollande paid a very important visit to Cyprus on 9 December.
Second point, as the discussions are far from done, it’s very important that the Security Council continues to show full unity and commitment in supporting the positive momentum we’re seeing. This is a very important message. The discussions will be important in the coming days and we want to make sure that the parties know that the Security Council is backing their efforts to get an agreement under the UN parameters. Let me underscore that indeed, the Security Council’s continued support is critically important. This is one of France’s key messages.
Third and lastly, we support the renewal of the UN Mission in Cyprus, on which we expect to vote on Thursday. Once again, the unity of the Council on this renewal will show how deeply committed to a settlement the members of the Security Council are today.
Q: One of the big surprises in the talks that were held in Geneva was the Turkish government insistence on keeping Turkish troops in the northern part of Cyprus. Is it acceptable to countries like your own?
Again, much progress has been made but there are hurdles on the road and much progress remains to be achieved in order to go toward a settlement. You mentioned one of the issues, there are others. I think the ongoing negotiations are very important, the role of the Security Council, the personal involvement of Secretary-General Guterres is also very important. You know he participated in the last conference and he was personally committed and I believe he will remain committed. So these are important factors in order to encourage a settlement.
Q: is there any movement on the Turkish side on the question of troops since the last negotiations, Erdogan said basically “we don’t want to withdraw the troops”?
It’s a bit too early to say. What we want is to keep the momentum and we hope that the Security Council meeting will be a factor in keeping the momentum alive.
Q: On South Sudan, which was this morning’s topic of discussion, how concerned are you that the security situation, the violence, is deteriorating, we heard that the former president of Botswana said that for every one step forward there are two steps back.
I will not comment on this specific statement, and I didn’t attend the meeting this morning, but we are very worried about the situation in South Sudan, there is no doubt about it.