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

January 19, 1981

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

In accordance with the provision of Public Law 95-384, I am submitting the following report on progress made during the past 60 days toward reaching a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus problem.

As I noted in my last report, the intercommunal talks between representatives of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, which resumed in August 1980, have continued their substantive examination of the issues which divide the island. Under the chairmanship of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Cyprus, Ambassador Hugo Gobbi, both sides have pursued analysis and discussion of the four basic areas agreed upon for examination. Meetings were held on November 19 and 26 and December 3 and 8 before breaking for a mutually-agreed end-of-year recess. The talks resumed routinely with a meeting on January 7 and can be expected to continue in weekly sessions.

We have been encouraged by the serious, nonpolemic approach taken by the negotiators in their effort to devise mutually acceptable positions. Throughout the discussions, the negotiating atmosphere has remained businesslike and positive.

The United Nations has continued to pay close attention to Cyprus developments. In his December 1 report on Cyprus, Secretary General Waldheim reviewed developments to date, noting that "Some common ground has been indicated on certain practical questions." He suggested that while "progress so far has been slow, the discussions have been on the whole constructive . . ." and cautioned that a problem lying ahead is "the difficult issue of how and where to start the actual give-and-take which is the essence of an effective negotiating process." The Secretary General also expressed the judgment that while a complex negotiating process such as the Cyprus intercommunal talks must proceed with caution, ". . . it must also, if it is to maintain its credibility, produce concrete results."

I have noted with pleasure that the Secretary General intends to remain directly engaged in the negotiating process. He met in New York in mid-December with Cyprus Foreign Minister Rolandis and with Kenan Atakol, foreign affairs spokesman for the Turkish Cypriot community.

The United States continues fully to support the Secretary General's efforts and those of his Special Representative on Cyprus to reach mutually agreeable solutions to the Cyprus problem. This support has been conveyed on several occasions to Secretary General Waldheim and was expressed also by Secretary Muskie to Turkish Foreign Minister Turkmen and to Greek Foreign Minister Mitsotakis in separate meetings at the NATO Ministerial meeting in Brussels December 10-11, 1980.

I am also pleased to note that on December 11, 1980, the Security Council passed without dissent a resolution extending the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to June 15, 1981. Other Security Council members continue to share our view that UNFICYP plays a vital role in maintaining the atmosphere of calm conducive to fruitful negotiation within the intercommunal talks.

The Cyprus problem remains on the international agenda. Its historical complexities suggest that only perseverance, patience and political courage of the highest order will bring about a just and lasting settlement. I remain hopeful that the good start represented by the intercommunal negotiations will evolve in the near future into a comprehensive solution that will benefit all the people of Cyprus.



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

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/250803

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