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Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Reporting on the Cyprus Conflict

June 05, 1989

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

In accordance with Public Law 95 - 384, I am submitting to you this bimonthly report on progress toward a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question.

During the past 2 months the two Cypriot parties have continued their efforts, under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General, to assemble the basic elements of a settlement in Cyprus. Following numerous meetings between the two leaders in Nicosia, they met with the Secretary General in New York, April 5 - 7, to review progress. On April 6, the United Nations issued a communique that noted that the Secretary General and the two leaders "reviewed the second round of talks whose objective was to develop a common understanding of the issues and to explore a range of possible options. They shared the Secretary General's view that the efforts made so far have been useful. They agreed to continue the talks with the objective of achieving results by June 1989."

The communique also noted that the objective in the coming weeks would be to prepare "a draft outline of an overall agreement in which the goals to be achieved for each of the elements of the outline would be described. . . . The two leaders accepted the Secretary General's invitation to meet with him again in June, if necessary, to complete the draft outline, to consider its status, and to decide how to proceed."

The United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, met with both leaders during their visit to New York. They reiterated to Ambassador Pickering their confidence in the Secretary General, their appreciation of his commitment to solving the Cyprus problem, and their intention to continue working with the Secretary General and his representatives toward a negotiated solution.

We continue vigorous efforts to consult with and offer advice and assistance to key interested parties to the Cyprus dispute. I met with Prime Minister Ozal in Tokyo in February, as did Secretary of State Baker. Secretary Baker also has held meetings with the Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey and with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus. The Department of State Special Cyprus Coordinator, M. James Wilkinson, traveled to Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey March 23 - April 4 and is consulting regularly with concerned European allies.

In my previous report to the Congress, I noted that the United Nations was working with the two parties to adjust the military positions in Nicosia of Greek and Turkish Cypriot soldiers. I am pleased to report that the U.N.'s deconfrontation plan went into effect on May 17, greatly alleviating the probability of incidents posed by the dangerously close proximity of the two sides' military units in the Nicosia area. The United States worked hard in support of this U.N. effort. Congratulations are due to the Secretary General's political and military representatives on the island and to the parties themselves. We are hopeful that this achievement will prove the prelude to further progress, in terms both of immediate steps and the difficult questions underlying the Cyprus problem.

Finally, I would like to note that Major General Clive Milner of Canada became the new commander of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) on April 10, 1989, replacing Major General Guenther Greindl of Austria, UNFICYP's commander since 1981. I welcome the choice of General Milner for this important position and commend General Greindl whose performance under difficult and frustrating conditions was exemplary. He deserves the gratitude and appreciation of all those countries, groups, and individuals who benefited from his outstanding leadership.


George Bush

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

George Bush, Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Reporting on the Cyprus Conflict Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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