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The Cyprus Conflict Letter to the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

June 04, 1979

To Speaker Tip O'Neill: (To Chairman Frank Church:)

In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 95-384, I am submitting the following report on progress made during the past sixty days toward the conclusion of a negotiated solution of the Cyprus problem.

On May 18-19 Cyprus President Kyprianou and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash met in Nicosia under the auspices of U.N. Secretary-General Waldheim. Following intensive discussions, the two Cypriot leaders agreed to resume full intercommunal negotiations in Nicosia on June 15. This is a significant decision, which holds open the promise that tangible progress can finally be made towards a just and lasting Cyprus settlement. The last round of negotiations was held more than two years ago, in the spring of 1977, and since that time the issue has virtually been stalemated.

In the course of their meeting the two Cypriot leaders concurred in a ten-point Communiqué, issued by the Secretary-General on May 19, that will serve as a basis for the new round of negotiations. I am enclosing a copy of this Communiqué for your information. As you will note, the two sides have agreed that the talks will be sustained and continuous, and that priority will be given to the resettlement of Varosha under United Nations auspices. Provision is made for initial practical measures by both sides to promote goodwill and mutual confidence.

In another significant step, President Kyprianou and Mr. Denktash also reached agreement on May 19 on a procedure for resolving the long-standing humanitarian problem of tracing and accounting for persons missing since the hostilities of 1974 and the intercommunal violence in Cyprus during the 1960's.

As I have noted in previous reports to the Congress, the Administration has long been actively engaged in promoting an early and effective resumption of Cyprus negotiations. Last November, in conjunction with the United Kingdom and Canada, we submitted to the two Cypriot parties a series of suggestions for a substantive basis for renewed negotiations, and subsequently we strongly supported Secretary-General Waldheim's efforts to develop a negotiating agenda satisfactory to both sides. Through regular diplomatic channels and numerous high-level contacts, we have consistently urged a moderate, flexible and conciliatory approach. More recently, we actively encouraged all concerned to work for a successful outcome to the May 18-19 Kyprianou-Denktash meeting. I sent a message to the Secretary-General just prior to the meeting stressing the importance that we attach to a Cyprus settlement and pledging him our full and continuing support. Secretary Vance also sent messages to President Kyprianou and Mr. Denktash expressing our strong hope that their meeting would result in a productive resumption of intercommunal negotiations.

It is my firm hope that the new round of intercommunal negotiations will be both sustained and productive, and that concrete progress towards a Cyprus settlement will soon result. I assure you that we will continue as in past months to work closely with the United Nations, the Cypriot parties and our allies to help ensure the success of these talks.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Frank Church, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The text of the Communiqué is included in the press release, and it reads as follows:


Communiqué agreed to by President Kyprianou and Turkish Cypriot Leader Denktash with United Nations Secretary General Waldheim, May 19, 1979.

1. It was agreed to resume the intercommunal talks on 15 June 1979.

2. The basis for the talks will be the Makarios/Denktash guidelines of 12 February 1977 and the U.N. resolutions relevant to the Cyprus question.

3. There should be respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens of the Republic.

4. The talks will deal with all territorial and constitutional aspects.

5. Priority will be given to reaching agreement on the resettlement of Varosha under U.N. auspices simultaneously with the beginning of the consideration by the interlocutors of the constitutional and territorial aspects of a comprehensive settlement. After agreement on Varosha has been reached it will be implemented without awaiting the outcome of the discussion on other aspects of the Cyprus problem.

6. It was agreed to abstain from any action which might jeopardize the outcome of the talks, and special importance will be given to initial practical measures by both sides to promote goodwill, mutual confidence and the return to normal conditions.

7. The demilitarization of the Republic of Cyprus is envisaged, and matters relating thereto will be discussed.

8. The independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-alignment of the Republic should be adequately guaranteed against union in whole or in part with any other country and against any form of partition or secession.

9. The intercommunal talks will be carried out in a continuing and sustained manner, avoiding any delay.

10. The intercommunal talks will take place in Nicosia.

Jimmy Carter, The Cyprus Conflict Letter to the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249843

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