ATHENS, Greece -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday (November 5th) expressed "moderate optimism" about reunifying Cypress and that Greece's name dispute with Macedonia will be resolved soon. In an address to the Greek parliament, Ban, the first UN secretary-general to address lawmakers, said the UN actively supports efforts to resolve the Cypriot issue and has great hope for the talks between leaders of the two communities. He vowed to do everything he can to help the Cypriot people achieve an agreement acceptable to both sides.
Regarding the Macedonian name dispute, Ban said that its settlement would open new prospects for regional co-operation, stability and security, voicing confidence that Greece and Macedonia will make every effort to achieve a mutually satisfactory solution. During his visit to Greece, Ban met with Prime Minister George Papandreou and the leader of the opposition New Democracy party, Costas Karamanlis. Talks focused on climate change, migration policy and UN peacekeeping missions. (UN News Centre, Kathimerini, Xinhua, AP, MIA - 05/11/09)