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Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the Cyprus Conflict

January 02, 1990

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

In accordance with Public Law 95 - 384, I am submitting to you this bimonthly report, covering the period September 1 through October 31, 1989, on progress toward a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question.

Since my last report to you, no formal intercommunal negotiations have been held. By the end of October, leaders in both communities were expressing a willingness to return to the negotiating table and to work in good faith toward completion of a draft outline for a Cyprus settlement.

To bridge the gap that existed between the two sides, the U.N. Secretary General met first with Cyprus President Vassiliou in New York on October 3 and separately a week later with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. A week after this second meeting, the Secretary General issued a statement indicating that he had ordered a review of the entire negotiating situation since August 1988, and that once this was completed, he would consult again with each of the parties with a view to inviting them to begin a further round of talks.

Both Mr. Vassiliou and Mr. Denktash used the occasion of their visits to the United States to spend two additional days in Washington. I met with President Vassiliou when he was here. Secretary of State Baker and National Security Advisor Scowcroft joined me in that meeting. Mr. Vassiliou also saw separately Members of Congress, Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, and the U.S. Special Coordinator for Cyprus.

Mr. Denktash came to Washington on October 12 and 13. He met with Members of Congress and the U.S. Special Coordinator for Cyprus. Deputy Secretary of State Eagleburger hosted a luncheon in honor of Mr. Denktash.

In these Washington meetings, officials in my Administration stressed to both Cypriot leaders our unqualified support for continuation of the intercommunal negotiating process under the aegis of the Secretary General. Only this process, we emphasized, offered the possibility of success. We therefore urged both parties to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible to complete work on the draft outline for a settlement. Both parties also were told that the United States did not see continuation of the status quo as a solution to the Cyprus problem.

We also encouraged the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leadership to take advantage of other opportunities to pursue bicommunal cooperation. One such fruitful area is demanning of posts along the buffer zone, conducted under the auspices of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, to follow on the successful demanning of posts in Nicosia agreed to last May.

In sum, both Cypriot leaders left Washington fully aware that U.S. interest in a negotiated settlement remained strong and that we would continue to give the most active support to U.N. efforts to resume the intercommunal negotiating process and keep it going in a meaningful manner.


George Bush

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

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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