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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

July 17, 1987

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

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

In his May 29 report to the Security Council, which I have attached as required by law, the U.N. Secretary General reviewed recent developments in the search for a peaceful Cyprus settlement. He noted his increasing concern over the situation in Cyprus, citing specifically the existing deadlock in efforts to resume negotiations between the parties; distrust between the leaders of the two communities; tensions over Varosha; military build-ups on the island; and the problems facing the U.N. Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

The Secretary General noted that if this trend was to be reversed, it would be essential to find a means of resuming an effective negotiating process. Progress toward that goal, he said, was blocked at present by the conditions the two sides had set for negotiations to take place. While the Turkish Cypriot side insisted that discussions cannot proceed unless the Greek Cypriot side also accepted the Secretary General's March 1986 draft framework agreement, the Greek Cypriot side said that it would not comment on that document until what it termed the basic issues of the Cyprus problem were addressed. The Greek Cypriot side also continued to press for the convening of an international conference, a proposal rejected by the Turkish Cypriot side and the Government of Turkey, and about which Security Council members were also divided.

The Secretary General said in his report that both sides assured him of their readiness to negotiate seriously about the establishment of the federal republic envisaged in their high-level agreements of 1977 and 1979. He also noted his continued belief that his February 1987 proposal for informal discussions, to which the Greek Cypriot side had responded favorably, could help create the conditions for resumption of substantive negotiations. He urged the parties to bear in mind the risk that if they continued to insist on the conditions they had set for negotiations to take place, there would be no realistic prospect of negotiating a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

This situation is also a matter of concern to the United States, which sincerely seeks the achievement of progress toward a negotiated Cyprus settlement. Consequently, we commend the Secretary General's continued efforts with the parties to resume the negotiating process he launched in August 1984 and to build on the progress achieved so as to achieve an overall agreement that would address as an integrated whole all the issues of concern to the parties.

Throughout this period, the United States continued to provide its strong support to the Secretary General's efforts. To this end, we maintained a dialogue with all the concerned parties both on the negotiating process and the situation on the island. In addition, Under Secretary Derwinski visited Turkey and Greece June 2 to 6. While in Athens, he met with President Kyprianou, at the latter's request.

On June 12, the U.N. Security Council renewed the mandate of UNFICYP for an additional 6 months. As a result of the financial arrangements for UNFICYP, however, which have obliged troop-contributing states to absorb continuously increasing costs, Sweden announced that it would withdraw its contingent from UNFICYP as of January 1, 1988. The Secretary General has said he plans to report further to the Security Council on the results of his consultations on UNFICYP financing.



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

Ronald Reagan, 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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