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Letter to Congressional Leaders Transmitting a Report on Cyprus

April 01, 1998

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 covering the period December 1, 1997, to January 31, 1998. The previous submission covered events during October to November 1997.

International efforts on the Cyprus issue slowed during this period in anticipation of the February 1998 Cypriot Presidential election, which President Clerides won. It was, however, an active period for developments that affect Cyprus, including those in the area of EU-Turkish relations. Turkey perceived the Luxembourg EU Summit as a setback to its goal of closer integration with Europe. When I met Prime Minister Yilmaz here in December, I urged him to remain focused on Turkey's long-term interest in Europe.

There were negative developments on the island during this period. On December 27, the Turkish Cypriots indefinitely suspended bicommunal contacts between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In January, the Greek Cypriot National Guard assumed control of the Paphos airbase, which was upgraded to serve as a base for fighter aircraft. We reiterated to the Greek Cypriots our concerns about proceeding with the purchase of the S-300 antiaircraft missiles, which present a serious obstacle to achieving a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.



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 Transmitting a Report on Cyprus Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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