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Embassy of Cyprus Newsletter, Washington DC, 95-11-06

Embassy of Cyprus Press Releases Directory - Previous Article - Next Article


November 6, 1995

Embassy of Cyprus
Press & Information Office

2211 R Street NW
Washington DC 20008

(202) 232-8993
(202) 234-1936 Fax



[A1] Clerides Warns of Setting Dangerous Precedence
[A2] Turkey's Buildup Undermines Regional Peace
[A3] Demilitarization in Accord with U.N. Charter
[A4] Turkish Compliance with UN Resolutions Needed
[A5] Progress Dependent on Turkey


[B1] Cyprus Top U.S. Priority After Bosnia
[B2] Congressional Leaders Criticize Turkish Intransigence
[B3] Cyprus Condemns Rabin Assassination

[C] In Brief . . .


[A1] Clerides Warns of Setting Dangerous Precedence

In addresses to the U.N. General Assembly and the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in October, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides warned of serious consequences if Turkey continues to ignore U.N. resolutions with impunity.

Stressing that Turkey's continuing military occupation of Cyprus is a serious violation of U.N. Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, in his address to the plenary of the 50th General Assembly session on October 10 Clerides said Turkey's blatant disregard for the will of the international community not only poses a serious threat to regional peace but sets a dangerous precedence.

"Failure to uphold international law and respect for human rights in one situation sets a precedent for similar failure elsewhere, with often catastrophic consequences," he continued, adding that "recent experiences have demonstrated this, all too blatantly."

[A2] Turkey's Buildup Undermines Regional Peace

"If a just and lasting solution is to be arrived at without future delay, it is high time for the resolutions of the United Nations on Cyprus to be implemented," Clerides told the General Assembly. He added that far from withdrawing their occupation troops as called for in the U.N. resolutions, Turkey's troops "are increasing their numbers and modernizing their military equipment, posing thus, not only a serious threat to the security of our region, but also a challenge to the authority of the United Nations."

[A3] Demilitarization in Accord with U.N. Charter

Reminding the members that in a recent report on Cyprus the U.N. Secretary- General himself had called the occupied areas one of the most highly militarized areas in the world, Clerides again outlined his proposal for the complete demilitarization of the Republic of Cyprus, an objective in accordance with the U.N. Charter, since "disarmament and arms control are an integral part of international peace and security."

He reaffirmed that the Cyprus government proposes, contingent on the withdrawal of Turkey's occupation forces, to disband the Cyprus National Guard, turn over its weapons to the U.N. peace-keeping forces, and use the money saved for projects benefiting both communities. This proposal, he told the delegates, "not only reflects our good intentions but also the spirit of the times. Unfortunately, it was rejected by Turkey."

President Clerides also addressed a special session of the U.N. General Assembly on August 23 marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Again pointing to the discrepancy between the stated principles of the international organization and their uneven application, he referred to the continuing occupation of Cyprus and said that a large part of humanity is frustrated by "the failure to apply objectively and universally the U.N. charter provisions." He wondered how long the world would have to wait "before concerned action is taken and measures meted against those who habitually flout Security Council and General Assembly resolutions."

In Cartagena, Columbia on October 19, Clerides told the leaders of the 70 governments attending the Non-Aligned Movement summit that allowing Turkey to flagrantly violate U.N. resolutions not only creates regional instability but undermines the authority of the international organization. Turkey's military buildup in the occupied areas is not only a "serious threat to the security of our region, but also a challenge to the authority of the U.N." It was essential for the Non-Aligned Movement to ensure that the principles of the U.N. Charter and the U.N. resolutions on Cyprus are implemented, not only to benefit the people of Cyprus, but to uphold the authority of the United Nations itself.

[A4] Turkish Compliance with UN Resolutions Needed

In its final communique, the NAM summit did in fact strongly condemn the status quo on Cyprus resulting from Turkey's illegal occupation and also called on the U.N. Security Council to take additional measures to ensure Turkey's compliance with the U.N. resolutions.

The non-aligned nations expressed "their concern at the continuing lack of political will on the part of the Turkish side," as the U.N. Secretary-General reported to the Council last year, and reaffirmed their support for a settlement based on a "federation, with a single sovereignty, citizenship and international personality." In recent months the Turkish side has failed to affirm its support for such a solution.

Given the inflexibility of the Turkish side, the communique also called on the U.N. Security Council to "take resolute action and the necessary measures," to implement its resolutions, including "steps for the demilitarization of Cyprus, as proposed by the President of Cyprus." During the sidelines on the U.N. General Assembly sessions and the NAM summit, President Clerides conferred with world leaders, including a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on October 10 which emphasized the humanitarian problems resulting from the continuing occupation.

[A5] Progress Dependent on Turkey

In New York President Clerides also discussed ways to end the current deadlock with U.S. Special Presidential Emissary for Cyprus Richard Beattie. Although Beattie had been expected to visit the region in the fall, Clerides said on October 26 that since Turkey--now in a pre-election period--is central to any attempt to achieve progress in U.N. talks, it is unlikely that either the U.N. Secretary-General or the permanent Security Council members will push for a resumption of talks this year. "From now until the new year, I see no new initiative either by the Secretary-General, or Great Britain, or the United States, or even the Security Council as a whole, because everyone realizes that representations should be directed to Turkey," Clerides said, adding that prior to the elections "we cannot expect that they will make any move toward Turkey."


[B1] Cyprus Top U.S. Priority After Bosnia

After Bosnia, the Clinton Administration will "make Cyprus our next priority," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke said after meeting with Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides on October 26. The United States has continually emphasized the importance of a united Cyprus, Holbrooke continued, and has "made it very clear that we want a single island with two communities, without that ugly wall down its middle. "The Cyprus government is ready to "make good use of U.S. interest, in the hope that the Turkish side will do the same," Michaelides said after his meeting with Holbrooke, emphasizing that "pivotal aspects of the Cyprus question must be tackled as a whole."

In meetings with U.S. Administration officials and Congressional leaders in Washington from October 25-26, Michaelides emphasized the need to resume negotiations on an overall Cyprus settlement--once a common basis for talks has been established. These talks will only achieve progress, he continued, if the Turkish side displays the necessary political will. Underlining that Turkey's expansionist designs in the region are a threat to regional peace, he turned to the proposal for the demilitarization of Cyprus, offered by Cyprus President Clerides two years ago.

Michaelides particularly stressed the need to develop a timetable for its implementation. Given the international support which has been expressed for the proposal, he emphasized that the government's objective now is "not to secure a mere reference to demilitarization but to get an agreed conclusion for a complete demilitarization. This view is gaining ground." He added that demilitarization could be the key that will promote a resolution of all outstanding issues.

In addition to Holbrooke, Michaelides met with National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff, State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator James Williams, and Principal Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Fred Smith.

Administration officials and Congressional leaders, including Holbrooke, Senior Presidential Advisor George Stephanopoulos, Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), and Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, exchanged views with Michaelides on the current situation on Cyprus and on ways to promote a just solution during a dinner in his honor hosted by Cyprus Ambassador Andrew Jacovides. Jacovides also accompanied Michaelides during his meetings in Washington.

[B2] Congressional Leaders Criticize Turkish Intransigence

During briefings for the Senate Foreign Relations and House International Affairs Committees, the Cyprus foreign minister emphasized the appreciation of the Cypriot people for America's continued support for efforts to end the division of Cyprus. He also thanked Congress for maintaining U.S. economic aid to Cyprus at $15 million and for the adoption by the House in September of a resolution endorsing demilitarization and calling for a solution based on the U.N. resolutions. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has also approved a similar resolution. As they have in recent months, members of Congress stressed their continuing support for a constructive U.S. role in achieving an overall settlement as well as their deep frustration with Turkey's constant undermining of the U.N. effort.

Expressing the hope that a settlement can be reached in the near future, House International Affairs Committee Chairman Ben Gilman (R-NY) criticized the fact that until now Turkey-- despite repeated promises--has not taken the measures needed to achieve progress. After the briefing by the Cyprus foreign minister, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), also reaffirmed that the United States is "constantly eager to be a good help to try to bring about demilitarization" on Cyprus.

On October 24 a joint Senate-House conference committee, reflecting Congressional frustration with Ankara, capped U.S. economic aid to Turkey for fiscal year 1996 at $33.5 million. "Last year Turkey received $45 million in U.S. economic support. This year it will be down to $33.5 million, significantly less than the $100 million that was requested by the Administration,"

Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said on October 31. He emphasized that the "reduction in aid to Turkey recognizes Turkish intransigence on Cyprus."

British Foreign Secretary: Common Ground on Key Issues Needed During a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Malcom Rifkind on November 1, Michaelides reemphasized the point he made to U.S. officials during the Washington visit, namely that an overall approach to the Cyprus problem is needed.

The British foreign secretary reaffirmed his government's desire to support U.N. efforts to promote a Cyprus settlement, and the two ministers agreed that it was "completely useless" to continue talks "without ensuring a common basis on the crucial issues that compose the Cyprus problem," Michaelides said after the meeting. In addition to his meetings in Washington and London, the Cyprus foreign minister extensively conferred with officials of the European Union member-states and non-aligned countries while participating in the U.N. General Assembly and Non-Aligned Movement summit.

[B3] Cyprus Condemns Rabin Assassination

Expressing his great sadness on hearing of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Rabin on November 4, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides conveyed to Israeli President Ezer Weizman Cy-prus' "profound indignation at this hideous crime, which was targeting the peace process itself that Yitzhak Rabin has been pursuing with genuine devotion and admirable determination."

The acting President of the Republic, House of Representatives President Alexis Galanos, headed Cyprus' delegation to the funeral, in the absence of President Clerides, who was on his way to New Zealand to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. In Washington Cyprus Ambassador Andrew Jacovides signed the book of condolences at the Israeli Embassy.

[C] In Brief . . .

The "establishment of a new Middle East is a common task we can all undertake," Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides told the Middle East North Africa Economic Summit in Amman, Jordan on October 29. In Amman, Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides outlined Cyprus' proposal for a Palestinian Industrial and Investment Bank, with the participation of banks from Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. The proposal, as well as the recent implementation of a $2.5 million Cyprus aid package to help rebuild and develop the Palestinian autonomous areas, are in concert with the Cyprus government goal of supporting the peace process by providing economic assistance. Israeli Foreign Minister (and now acting Prime Minister) Shimon Peres expressed support for these efforts on October 31, when he also reiterated Israel's support for "everything that can bring peace" to Cyprus. During the summit President Clerides conferred with world leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev.

Strong protests have been lodged against provocative Turkish military overflights which violated Cyprus airspace on October 25. The head of the U.N. peace-keeping forces in Cyprus protested the violations to commanders of the Turkish occupation forces and the Cyprus government also protested directly to the U.N. in New York. British High Commissioner David Madden told Tur-kish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that such actions were "undesirable and unwelcome." Recently the Cyprus government also protested to the U.N. Turkish construction in an area of occupied Nicosia covered by a U.N. agreement prohibiting such construction.

In Nicosia on November 3 a team from the International Monetary Fund concluded its annual review and called the Cyprus economy "enviable". The IMF team specifically pointed to the economy's reduced deficits and strong foreign exchange balance. The government recently announced a five-year development plan, under which $2 billion will be spent to improve economic competitiveness and to harmonize the economy with those of the E.U.

In a statement on October 13 Cyprus' representative to the Sixth Committee of the U.N. General Assembly, Ambassador Andrew Jacovides, analyzed the report of the International Law Commission regarding a draft Code of Crimes Against the Peace and Security of Mankind, a topic of particular importance to Cyprus. He outlined several practices and actions which must be included in the final Code, including prohibitions against institutionalized racial or ethnic discrimination, forced population transfers, illegal colonization, and forced disappearances. With the completion of this code, Jacovides said, the international community will be provided with a legal instrument which brings it closer to international legal order.

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