Gerald R. Ford photo

Message to the Congress Reporting on Administration Efforts To Settle the Cyprus Conflict.

June 07, 1976

To the Congress of the United States:

Pursuant to Public Law 94-104, I am submitting my fourth periodic report on the progress of the Cyprus negotiations and the efforts this Administration is making to help find a lasting solution to the problems of the island. In previous reports I have detailed the Administration's efforts to revitalize the negotiating process so that the legitimate aspirations of all parties, and particularly those of the refugees, could be accommodated quickly and in the most just manner possible.

Differences on procedural issues have long prevented the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities from broaching such critical issues as territory, the form and function of the central government and other constitutional issues. Throughout the period since the hostilities of 1974, we have consistently urged serious consideration of these issues. As my most recent report indicated, an agreement was reached at the February round of the Cyprus intercommunal talks in Vienna, held under the auspices of United Nations Secretary General Waldheim, to exchange negotiating proposals on the key substantive issues of the Cyprus problem. When both sides submitted proposals in April to Secretary General Waldheim's Special Representative on Cyprus, a new impasse developed which delayed a complete exchange on the territorial question. Additionally, in April, Glafcos Clerides resigned his position as the Greek-Cypriot negotiator. These developments, with the subsequent appointment of new Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot negotiators, resulted in the postponement of the next negotiating round which had been scheduled to take place in Vienna in May.

On April 15, I invited Greek Foreign Minister Bitsios to the White House for a very useful exchange of views on developments relating to Cyprus.

In addition, the United States and other interested parties maintained close contact with Secretary General Waldheim to support his attempts to resolve these difficulties and resume the intercommunal negotiating process. These efforts culminated in discussions on the occasion of the Oslo NATO Ministerial meeting in late May where Secretary of State Kissinger held separate meetings with Turkish Foreign Minister Caglayangil and Greek Foreign Minister Bitsios, following which the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers met together to discuss outstanding bilateral issues including Cyprus. In the course of this process, the Secretary of State stressed the absolute need to move expeditiously to discuss the key outstanding Cyprus issues.

The Secretary of State also publicly emphasized our continuing concern that a rapid solution of the Cyprus dispute be achieved and reiterated the firm position of this Administration that the current territorial division of the island cannot be permanent.

Following the meetings in Oslo, views on territorial issues were exchanged by the two Cypriot communities, and it should now be possible to reinitiate the negotiating process under the auspices of UN Secretary General Waldheim.

The United States will continue to contribute actively to these efforts aimed at a solution to the Cyprus problem. I remain convinced that progress can be registered soon if mutual distrust and suspicions can be set aside, and each side genuinely tests the will of the other side to reach a solution. For our part, we shall remain in touch with Secretary General Waldheim and all interested parties to support the negotiating process. Our objective in the period ahead, as it has been from the beginning of the Cyprus crisis, is to assist the parties to find a just and equitable solution.


The White House,

June 7, 1976.

Gerald R. Ford, Message to the Congress Reporting on Administration Efforts To Settle the Cyprus Conflict. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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