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

 

March 18, 1988

 

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.

 

The Republic of Cyprus held presidential elections in mid-February 1988 and elected George Vassiliou, an independent candidate, as President of the Republic for a five-year term. I sent a message of congratulations to President Vassiliou noting the friendly, warm relations that exist between our two countries. I expressed the hope that his election would be the signal for progress in the search for a lasting, mutually acceptable settlement of the Cyprus problem.

 

There have been recent developments that reinforce my belief that there is an opportunity at this time to make real progress toward a settlement of the dispute. The new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Oscar Camilion, arrived in Cyprus shortly after the election of President Vassiliou and expressed his hope that there will be progress in the near future. Prior to his departure for Cyprus, Mr. Camilion met with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Vernon Walters and with the U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator M. James Wilkinson. Our representatives voiced full support for Mr. Camilion's efforts and for the good offices mission of the U.N. Secretary General.

 

We also have seen the development of a new climate between Greece and Turkey as a result of the recent meetings between Prime Ministers Papandreou and Ozal. The two leaders have resolved to increase their cooperation and to work toward lasting solutions of the issues dividing Greece and Turkey. We welcome this development and the resultant building of confidence and lessening of tensions in the area. This new dialogue in the Greek-Turkish relationship can serve as an example and positive force in the region.

 

While there are thus hopeful signs, it remains for the parties directly involved to work diligently toward the common goals of peace and justice. Leaders of both sides face a challenge requiring patience and the exercise of farsighted statesmanship. I want to reemphasize that the Government and people of the United States of America remain committed to helping them work toward a lasting, mutually acceptable settlement.

 

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.