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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

October 03, 1988

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

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

On August 24, 1988, Turkish Cypriot community leader Denktash and Cypriot President Vassiliou met for the first time. The meetings were hosted by U.N. Secretary General Perez de Cuellar in Geneva and, as noted in an official U.N. statement, the leaders of the two sides had an opportunity "to become acquainted and to exchange views on the Cyprus problem."

The statement also noted that the two leaders "expressed their readiness to seek a negotiated solution through the efforts of the Secretary General. They acknowledged that this would require a determined and sustained effort by both sides, as well as the creation of an atmosphere of mutual confidence. They recognized the need to show respect for each other's concerns and to discuss with good will how these concerns could be met. The two leaders expressed their willingness to meet without any preconditions and to attempt to achieve by 1 June 1989 a negotiated settlement of all aspects of the Cyprus problem."

As agreed at Geneva, talks between the two sides are continuing in Nicosia, with further meetings held September 15, 16, 21, and continuing into the week of September 26. There will be another meeting in late October with the Secretary General in New York to review progress.

We have been actively encouraging resumption of a meaningful negotiating process. Shortly before the August 24th talks, I sent a message to the Secretary General commending his persistent and patient engagement over many years in the effort to assist the parties to achieve peace. I also transmitted oral messages to both leaders with my best wishes for their attempt to reach a lasting, mutually acceptable solution of the Cyprus problem. As I noted in the letter to the Secretary General, the United States will continue to support strongly the effort to achieve a settlement of this tragic conflict.

On August 1, I met with President Vassiliou in Washington and discussed our mutual hopes for resolution of the Cyprus problem as well as the excellent state of our bilateral relations. I reiterated my strong confidence in the U.N. Secretary General and was pleased to hear him echo that thought and to express his sensitivity to the needs and concerns of the Turkish Cypriot community. In the course of his visit, he also met with the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative, and other high-ranking officials, private individuals, and groups.

We have continued frequent consultations with the two parties, the U.N., and other interested countries and individuals during the past 2 months. In August, the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Oscar Camilion, visited Washington and met with Assistant Secretary of State Ridgway, Assistant Secretary of State Williamson, and the Special Cyprus Coordinator. Special Cyprus Coordinator Wilkinson also visited Cyprus in mid-July and met with the leaders of both sides and numerous other interlocutors. In all of these meetings, we reiterated our strong commitment to assisting in the search for a peaceful settlement to the Cyprus problem.



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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