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

 

December 7, 1988

 

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

 

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

 

I am pleased to note that the Cyprus intercommunal negotiating process is continuing under the auspices of U.N. Secretary General Perez de Cuellar. Numerous sessions were held in October and early November, and the Secretary General hosted a meeting in New York November 22 - 23 to review the progress of the talks. I commend the Secretary General and the leaders of the two communities for their determination in striving for a solution to the conflict.

 

Special Cyprus Coordinator M. James Wilkinson visited Cyprus from October 24 - 26 and consulted with the parties, U.N. officials, and others. Mr. Wilkinson was encouraged by the willingness of the two Cypriot leaders to engage candidly with each other in a discussion of very difficult issues and problems. The numerous meetings held in September, October, and November attest to the fact that a committed effort is being made to listen, understand, and move toward resolution of serious differences. Mr. Wilkinson also reaffirmed our strong backing for the continuation of the intercommunal dialogue.

 

The United Nations hosted an open house in Nicosia on October 24, which brought together members of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. We continue to encourage personal contact between members of the two communities, which helps to foster progress toward a lasting solution on the island.

 

Demonstrators on two occasions entered into the buffer zone. Such activities hinder UNFICYP's efforts to maintain the peace on the island and place the U.N. Force in a difficult position. We urge the Cypriot communities to cooperate fully with UNFICYP in the execution of its mandate from the U.N. Security Council.

 

I would like to reiterate my admiration and appreciation for the efforts of United Nations personnel in Cyprus, particularly the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The Force remains an important factor in maintaining peace in Cyprus, providing an atmosphere of calm that permits the continuation of the search for a just and lasting solution to the dispute. Regrettably, the accumulated operating deficit for UNFICYP continues to grow. The U.N. Secretary General now estimates that the shortfall will reach $167 million by the end of 1988. I join the Secretary General in urging the U.N. member nations to help reduce this deficit by contributing to the Force's operating budget.

 

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.