To the Congress of the United States:
In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 95-384, I am reporting on progress made toward the conclusion of a negotiated solution to the Cyprus problem.
While direct negotiations between the two Cypriot communities under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General have not yet resumed, there is a growing awareness, especially among the parties directly concerned, that the time is now ripe for determined action designed to break the Cyprus deadlock. Moreover, it is increasingly accepted that a just and lasting settlement can come only through intensive, sustained face-to-face negotiations. Public statements, general resolutions and intermittent talks are not adequate to solve the Cyprus problem. For this reason our recent efforts have concentrated on encouraging the two Cypriot parties to work with the Secretary General of the United Nations on an early reconvening of intercommunal talks. Repeal of the Turkish arms embargo has created fresh opportunities for progress on the Cyprus issue.
Secretary of State Vance spoke of this policy before the United Nations General Assembly on September 29. "We would welcome and actively support," he said, "a renewed effort by Secretary General Waldheim to help the parties reach agreement on a sovereign, bicommunal, nonaligned federal Republic of Cyprus." To back up this call, Administration officials have been conferring with high-level representatives of both Cypriot communities, with the Turkish, Greek and other friendly governments, and also with principal officers of the United Nations Secretariat. I had a useful discussion of the Cyprus issue with President Kyprianou on October 6, and Secretary Vance met with President Kyprianou, Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash, and the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey on the margin of the United Nations General Assembly.
These contacts and many others have given us a fairly clear picture of the practical possibilities for forward movement and of the aims and objectives of the two sides. Both Greek and Turkish Cypriots have underscored to us their desire to see a resumption of negotiations, although they still differ on how to do it.
In our talks with the Cypriot parties and with United Nations officials, we have gone into some detail on how to bridge the gap between the parties, so as to arrive at a mutually acceptable basis for negotiations. We cannot yet tell whether the efforts of our government, Secretary General Waldheim, and other friendly governments will bear fruit, but we are doing our best to encourage regular intercommunal negotiations early in the new year.
After the arms embargo repeal, the Government of Turkey restated its desire to help negotiate a rapid resolution of the Cyprus problem. Moreover, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on October 3, Turkish Foreign Minister Okcun reconfirmed his Government's commitment to withdrawing all of its armed forces from Cyprus, except those mutually agreed upon by the parties concerned, in connection with a final settlement. We believe that Turkey will to its best to help the Secretary General bring about a resumption of the intercommunal negotiations.
The annual General Assembly debate on the Cyprus question took place in the United Nations during the week of November 6. The United States Representative stated that "enhancing the prospects for sustained and productive negotiations should be our foremost objective," and that, "All parties interested in promoting a settlement on Cyprus should now concentrate their efforts on encouraging these talks and fostering an atmosphere that will contribute to their success." The United States abstained on the resolution adopted by the General Assembly because it contained elements which were clearly not conducive to a resumption of negotiations. As this report was being prepared the Cyprus question was also being considered within the Security Council.
The White House,
November 30, 1978.