Calling it a “unique basis” for further talks, the United Nations Security Council today gave its full support to Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan for an overall political settlement on Cyprus and urged all concerned to use the blueprint in their negotiations on reaching a comprehensive solution within the framework of Mr. Annan’s “Good Offices.” In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council commended the Secretary-General for taking the initiative to present to the parties a comprehensive settlement plan aimed at bridging the gaps between them, and backed the “carefully balanced plan” of 26 February 2003. The Council also voiced regret that due to the “negative approach” of the Turkish Cypriot leader it was not possible to reach agreement to put the plan to simultaneous referenda, thus precluding the opportunity for the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots to decide for themselves on a plan that would have permitted the reunification of Cyprus. As result it would not be possible to achieve a comprehensive settlement before 16 April, the date Cyprus’s accession treaty to the European Union is to be signed. Last month, the Secretary-General met with the Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, in The Hague in a failed bid to gain their approval of his proposals. In a report released to the Council last week, the Secretary-General said that Mr. Denktash “bears prime responsibility” for the failure of this latest UN effort to resolve the decades-long problem. “Except for a very few instances, Mr. Denktash by and large declined to engage in negotiation on the basis of give and take,” Mr. Annan wrote. “This greatly complicated my efforts to accommodate not only the legitimate concerns of principle but also the concrete and practical interests of the Turkish Cypriots.” In the report, the Secretary-General says his plan to enable a united Cyprus to join the EU remains on the table, but notes that he will not undertake any new initiatives to reach a deal until he sees that the political will necessary for a successful outcome exists. Commending the “extraordinary effort” of the Secretary-General, his Special Advisor, Alvaro de Soto and his team, since 1999, the Council today asked Mr. Annan to continue to make available his Good Offices for Cyprus.