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

 

July 29, 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.

 

In recent months, the U.N. Secretary General intensified his efforts to restart negotiations between the parties to the dispute. I am pleased to inform you that the Secretary General announced that he has received agreement in principle from both Cypriot President George Vassiliou and Turkish Cypriot community leader Rauf Denktash to begin talks. Details, however, remain to be worked out regarding the exact timing, basis, and nature of the discussions. We believe that this is an important opportunity and have noted to all interested parties that it should not be missed; maximum effort should be made to cooperate with the Secretary General. I offer my best wishes to both leaders as they strive for a lasting, mutually acceptable peace.

 

As publicly announced on July 7, President Vassiliou has accepted my invitation for a private visit to the United States on August 1. I look forward to meeting with him at that time to discuss efforts to negotiate a Cyprus solution and the continuing improvement of our already excellent bilateral relations. During President Vassiliou's recent visit to New York for the U.N. Special Session on Disarmament, I sent a message to the President through Special Cyprus Coordinator Wilkinson who had a lengthy conversation with him. Under Secretary of State for Coordinating Security Assistance Programs Derwinski also met with President Vassiliou. Special Cyprus Coordinator Wilkinson also recently met with President Vassiliou and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash during a recent trip to Cyprus to discuss continuing efforts toward negotiations and a settlement.

 

The U.N. Secretary General issued his semiannual report, dated May 31, 1988, a copy of which is attached, to the Security Council on the U.N. operation in Cyprus. The Secretary General noted that his report was coming out at ``a time of tension . . . but also of hope,'' referring to concerns about serious incidents in the buffer zone that he hoped would not sidetrack efforts to resume active negotiations toward an overall settlement. Among other subjects in the report, the Secretary General reiterated his concern about the accumulated deficit in the UNFICYP special account.

 

President Kenan Evren of Turkey visited the United States in late June and, during the course of his stay, responded to questions on Cyprus. President Evren stated that Turkey's main interest in Cyprus remains the security of the Turkish Cypriot community. He reaffirmed past Turkish statements that Turkish troops would be withdrawn from Cyprus in the context of a settlement that adequately addresses Turkish Cypriot concerns and interests. I view the timing and content of this message as very positive in relation to the U.N. Secretary General's effort to restart serious intercommunal negotiations in Cyprus.

 

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.