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Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the Cyprus Conflict

February 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 second half of October and all of November and December 1991. During this period there was a pause in the Cyprus negotiating process, in large part associated with national elections in Turkey and the process of government formation that followed. However, during this period, important contacts between the U.N. Secretary General and the Greek and Turkish Governments and the leaders of the two Cypriot communities continued, as did contacts of U.S. representatives with all parties.

The U.N. Secretary General's report on his good offices mission of October 8 and U.N. Security Council Resolution 716 of October 12 (both attached to my last report to the Congress) were widely discussed in Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey. On November 30, 1991, the U.N. Secretary General issued his semiannual report on U.N. Operations in Cyprus covering the period from June 1, 1991, through November 30, 1991 (copy attached). This was a prelude to the renewal, on December 12, by the U.N. Security Council of the mandate of UNFICYP, the U.N. Force in Cyprus, for an additional 6 months to start on December 15. (There had been informal discussion of changing the method of financing UNFICYP, but no changes were made although it was agreed to consider again, during the current mandate period, moving toward assessed rather than voluntary contributions.)

On December 3 President Vassiliou of Cyprus visited New York to meet with outgoing U.N. Secretary General Perez de Cuellar to review the Cyprus negotiations. He also had an informal conversation with Secretary General Designate Boutros Ghali about how the settlement process might be moved forward in 1992. President Vassiliou also met in New York with the U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator, Ambassador Nelson Ledsky, and with the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Thomas Pickering.

On December 12 I met with Prime Minister Mitsotakis of Greece, who was visiting Washington. We discussed Cyprus along with other matters of mutual interest. During our meeting and, in a public statement after the meeting, I assured Prime Minister Mitsotakis that Cyprus remains an important issue on the U.S. agenda. I told Prime Minister Mitsotakis that I would send U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator Ledsky to the Eastern Mediterranean early in 1992.

On December 19 Secretary of State Baker met with Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin of Turkey while both were attending the North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels. Among other subjects they discussed Cyprus, and Secretary Baker told Mr. Cetin of our continued strong interest in the U.N. Cyprus settlement process.

Also on December 19 U.N. Secretary General Perez de Cuellar distributed to the Security Council his final report (copy attached) on his Cyprus "good offices" mission. Although the Secretary General expressed his disappointment that the Cyprus question had not been resolved during his 10-year tenure, he noted the progress that had been made and laid out the areas where work still needs to be done to narrow differences. He then asked the leaders of the two Cypriot communities and of Greece and Turkey to devote their full energies to pursuit of a solution of the Cyprus question.

On December 23 the U.N. Security Council President issued a statement on behalf of the Council (copy attached) that noted the progress already made through the efforts of the Secretary General, endorsed his December 19 report, reaffirmed the Council's position that a high-level international meeting chaired by the U.N. Secretary General and attended by the two Cypriot communities, Greece, and Turkey represented an effective mechanism for concluding an overall framework agreement, requested full cooperation of all parties in completing on an urgent basis the U.N. set of ideas on an overall framework agreement, and called on the new Secretary General to report on progress by April 1992.

At the end of December 1991 Ambassador Ledsky prepared for his new consultation mission to the Eastern Mediterranean. His mission began on January 7, 1992, and will be the initial item in my next bimonthly report.

Like U.N. Secretary General Perez de Cuellar, I am disappointed that circumstances did not allow the Cyprus issue to be resolved in 1991. I would like to take this opportunity to add my personal thanks to Secretary General Perez de Cuellar for his tireless efforts over many years and share with him the sentiment he expressed in the final line of his final report on Cyprus: ". . . the long overdue solution can be reached and the two communities can live together in Cyprus in harmony, security, and prosperity."


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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