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Letter to Congressional Leaders on Cyprus

February 07, 1997

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

In accordance with Public Law 95-384 (22 U.S.C. 2373(c)), I submit to you this report on progress toward a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question. The previous submission covered progress through September 30, 1996. The current submission covers the period October 1 through November 30, 1996.

The tragic violence on Cyprus in August and September was detailed in my last report. Sadly, included in this report is an account of an additional killing on October 13.

Nonetheless, these senseless acts need not be repeated. The United Nations has been working very hard to obtain agreement on a series of practical measures to reduce the prospects for further violence along the Island's cease-fire lines. My Administration fully supports the U.N. package. A U.S. interagency team that visited the region put the issue on its agenda and urged the parties to implement all the steps in the U.N. package.

Given the events of the past summer and fall, we are disappointed that the United Nations attempts to obtain this agreement have not yet succeeded. We will continue to press the issue with the parties. Cooperation on these steps, although modest, could have a beneficial effect on larger settlement efforts.

Although it is properly the subject of my next report, I should also note my concern about the recent decision of the Government of Cyprus to purchase SA-10 anti-aircraft missile systems and the resulting threats of a military strike from Ankara. We have forcefully made our concern known to both governments. At the same time, we remain committed to pursuing a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus. As Secretary Albright stated during her confirmation hearings: "We are prepared to play a heightened role in promoting a resolution in Cyprus, but, for any initiative to bear fruit, the parties must agree to steps that will reduce tensions and make direct negotiations possible."



NOTE: Identical letters were sent to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Jesse Helms, chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

William J. Clinton, Letter to Congressional Leaders on Cyprus Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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