Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Reporting on the Cyprus Conflict

 

September 22, 1987

 

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. Chairman:)

 

In accordance with Public Law 95 - 384, I am submitting to you a bimonthly report on progress toward a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question.

 

During this period, we consulted directly with the parties to the dispute. Special Cyprus Coordinator M. James Wilkinson traveled to Cyprus in late July and met President Spyros Kyprianou and other officials of the Cypriot government. Mr. Wilkinson also talked with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Rauf Denktash, and his principal advisers. Mr. Wilkinson's visit to Cyprus directly followed a visit to Turkey and Greece by Under Secretary of State Michael H. Armacost, a visit in which Mr. Wilkinson also participated. These consultations enabled us to gauge more closely the positions of key leaders in the region and to make our views known to them on issues of special concern.

 

We continue to give the United Nations Secretary General our full support in his efforts to help the parties resume the negotiating process. He is working toward an overall agreement that would address all the issues of concern as an integrated whole. To that end, the Secretary General met with Foreign Minister Iacovou on June 17 in Vienna. The upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York also should provide further opportunities for the Secretary General to consult with those directly concerned in the dispute.

 

Regarding the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the Secretary General is continuing his efforts to address the question of funding for the Force and to find replacements for the troops that Sweden plans to withdraw from the contingent it contributes to UNFICYP. The Secretary General continued to pay special attention to the issues he identified in his last report to the Security Council as having contributed to heightened tensions on the island, including the situation in Varosha and military buildups.

 

On the latter topic, we are pleased to note reports that there has been a decrease in the number of Turkish tanks on the island. This follows a period during which the Turkish government had informed us that a temporary increase in both tanks and troops had occurred as a result of the modernization of equipment and the rotation of troops. Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash also reiterated this point in an early August public statement noting that Turkish troop and tank level fluctuations were temporary. We continue to make clear to all parties to the Cyprus question our concerns about quantitative and qualitative increases in arms anywhere on Cyprus.

 

Finally, I would like to note the departure from Cyprus of United States Ambassador Richard W. Boehm who served with distinction in that position for three years. I have selected as his replacement Bill K. Perrin, an individual who combines ability with wide experience in government and business at the local, national, and international levels. Mr. Perrin's nomination has been submitted to the Senate for its consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ronald Reagan

 

Note: Identical letters were sent to Jim Wright, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Claiborne Pell, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.