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Letter to Congressional Leaders on Cyprus

July 08, 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 March 31, 1997. The current submission covers the period April 1, 1997, through May 31, 1997.

During this reporting period, I was particularly pleased by the decisions taken by the Governments of Cyprus and Turkey to observe moratoriums on flights over Cyprus. In April, the Government of Cyprus announced that it would not invite Greek aircraft to overfly Cyprus during a joint military exercise in May. It also indicated no other overflights are planned at this time. Turkey, later, decided to refrain from overflying Cyprus as long as Greece does not. As I noted in my last letter to you, these actions should help lessen regional tensions and contribute to a proper climate for negotiations.

I was also encouraged by the effective action taken against extremists on both sides of the island when they attempted to disrupt a concert in May. The event proceeded without incident and the two communities mixed freely together in a very positive atmosphere.

Finally, although it did not occur during this reporting period, the appointment June 4 of Richard Holbrooke as my Special Presidential Emissary for Cyprus reflects our strong and continued commitment to promoting Cyprus reconciliation efforts. The Special Presidential Emissary will lead our Cyprus diplomacy and I will inform you of his activities in upcoming reports.



NOTE: Identical letters were sent to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Jesse Helms, chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. This letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 9.

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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