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

 

November 20, 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.

 

I would like first to note the United Nations Secretary General's October 29 announcement of the appointment of a new Special Representative of the Secretary General on Cyprus, Oscar Hector Camilion. Mr. Camilion is a former Foreign Minister of Argentina and a distinguished diplomat with long and varied experience in the art of negotiation. Our best wishes and full support go with Mr. Camilion as he begins his efforts in the cause of establishing a long-lasting and equitable peace on Cyprus.

 

There was considerable dialogue on the Cyprus problem during this period between the United Nations Secretary General and the parties to the dispute and also between United States representatives and a wide range of interested parties. In the context of the opening of the 42nd United Nations General Assembly session, the Secretary General met separately, in early October, with both Cypriot President Spyros Kyprianou and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, as well as with the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey. The Secretary of State held discussions with Cypriot Foreign Minister Iacovou, Greek Foreign Minister Papoulias, and Turkish Foreign Minister Halefoglu. Special Cyprus Coordinator M. James Wilkinson met with Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash.

 

We continued to consult actively with U.N. representatives, allies, and concerned groups and individuals on the problem. In discussions regarding the Cyprus dispute, United States representatives emphasized the need for the parties to give the fullest cooperation to the efforts of the U.N. Secretary General.

 

We also added our voice to that of the Secretary General in reiterating concern about the potentially dangerous military buildup on the island, a serious situation that the U.N. Secretary General once again pointed to in his latest ``Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization,'' released on September 9. We find merit in the Secretary General's effort to address the issue through his proposal that the United Nations undertake a force verification role on Cyprus. Although the parties to the dispute have not agreed with this concept, we would hope that constructive reviews with the Secretary General of this or other ideas can be pursued in the interest of strengthening stability.

 

Also on this topic and further to my last report to the Congress, there have been additional reports of withdrawals of Turkish tanks from Cyprus. Recent reports indicate that Turkey has continued to remove older model tanks from the island, consistent with earlier Turkish statements that a modernization program had caused a temporary rise in the number of tanks.

 

The recent difficulties for the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), caused by the Swedish decision to withdraw its soldiers from the Force, have been resolved through the magnanimous offer of replacement troops by the Governments of Austria and Canada. On October 3, the UNFICYP spokesman released details of the arrangements under which the Canadian and Austrian soldiers will be deployed along the cease-fire line. These troops, added to the already sizeable contingents from those two countries and the other troop-contributing nations, will enable UNFICYP to continue its invaluable role on the island without interruption. Unfortunately, UNFICYP's funding problems have not been resolved, and we continue urging other countries to increase their contributions to the voluntary fund supporting UNFICYP.

 

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.