The crucial tripartite meeting between the United Nations’ Secretary General (UNSG), Ban Ki-moon, and the leaders of the two communities finished after a longer than expected session.
A brief press statement by the UNSG followed in which he said that a solution within 2016 is still part of the equation of the intensive talks. He also stressed that “the period ahead is crucial for Cyprus”, pointing out that “time is of the essense”.
He begun by commending the two leaders, “for their remarkable efforts to date, and for the progress achieved.”
“I very much welcome their joint commitment to intensify efforts even further, in line with their stated desire to achieve a comprehensive settlement in 2016”, said the UNSG.
He also said that the two leaders asked him “to step up” his personal engagement in the process.
“I stand ready to support them in whatever they may require, including on the international dimensions of the issue”, he added.
Ban also made reference to the situation in Syria, and particularly the Aleppo bombings and use of bunker busting bombs, speaking of “war crimes”.
“Let us remember: the fighting has forced hospitals and schools to operate in basements. These bombs are not busting bunkers; they are demolishing ordinary people looking for any last refuge of safety.”
“International law is clear: The systematic use of indiscriminate weapons in densely populated areas is a war crime”, he said.
On his end, President Anastasiades stated that he is absolutely satisfied with the meeting, stressing that no time frame was imposed, and that the talks continue to be a province of Cypriots.