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Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the Cyprus Conflict

September 25, 1992

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

In accordance with Public Law 95 - 384 (22 U.S.C. 2373(c)), I am submitting to you this bimonthly report on progress toward a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question. This report covers the months of May and June 1992.

Representatives of the U.N. Secretary General returned to the Eastern Mediterranean area and met separately with President Vassiliou and Mr. Denktash in Cyprus from May 8 through 12. Consultations followed in Ankara and in Athens with the Prime Ministers and other officials of the Greek and Turkish Governments. The Secretary General's representatives returned to New York to prepare their report to the Secretary General on the status of the negotiating effort.

Based on that report, the Secretary General sent letters on June 1 to the leaders of both Cypriot communities, inviting them to talks in New York starting on June 18. In his letter, the Secretary General suggested separate talks with each leader (so-called "proximity talks") covering the eight topics of the U.N. "set of ideas," starting, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 750, with outstanding issues, in particular the issues of territorial adjustment and displaced persons. The Secretary General proposed further that, if the leaders of the two communities were within agreement range on all eight topics, the proximity talks could be followed by joint meetings. Both leaders accepted the Secretary General's invitation.

Also on June 1, the Secretary General invited the Governments of Greece and Turkey to designate senior officials to be in New York for the duration of the talks. Both Governments responded positively, and each had a senior representative in New York for the meetings.

The Secretary General's representatives returned again to the area to prepare for the June 18 meetings. U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator Nelson Ledsky went to the area at the same time to back up the efforts of the U.N. negotiators. The U.N. negotiators and Ambassador Ledsky met separately in Nicosia with President Vassiliou and Mr. Denktash between June 7 and June 12. Ambassador Ledsky also traveled to Athens where he met with officials of the Greek Government.

I discussed the Cyprus question with Prime Minister Demirel of Turkey and with President Vassiliou of Cyprus at the Rio "Earth Summit" (U.N. Conference on Environment and Development) on June 11 and 12, 1992, emphasizing the importance we attach to a peaceful, fair, and permanent solution to the Cyprus question.

In the days immediately before the opening of the New York talks, the U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator met in New York with the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, with the senior representatives sent to New York by the Governments of Greece and Turkey, and with teams of experts sent by the Governments of the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. These contacts continued throughout the June meetings.

The talks in New York began, as scheduled, on June 18 and continued through June 23. During this first phase, the U.N. Secretary General met on five occasions separately with each community leader. As planned, the talks initially focused on the issue of territorial adjustment, and both sides were shown a map prepared by the U.N. Secretariat. (The map was designated a "non-map" by mutual agreement.) During the proximity negotiations the U.N. negotiators daily briefed representatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

On June 23, the proximity talks were recessed, by mutual agreement, due to the need of the U.N. Secretary General to be away from U.N. Headquarters in New York. Before the recess the Secretary General hosted an amicable joint meeting with the two community leaders. The Secretary General and the two leaders agreed to resume the talks in New York on July 15. The resumed talks will be the subject of my next report.

Talks aimed at arriving at a fair and permanent negotiated resolution of the Cyprus issue were successfully started during the period covered by this report. We will continue to follow and to assist however possible the U.N. Secretary General's effort to arrive at an overall framework agreement, which will benefit all Cypriots.


George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Claiborne Pell, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the Cyprus Conflict Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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