EMBASSY OF CYPRUS NEWSLETTER, WASHINGTON DC (December 7, 1995)
EMBASSY OF CYPRUS NEWSLETTER, WASHINGTON DC
December 7, 1995
Embassy of Cyprus
2211 R Street NW
Press & Information Office
Washington DC 20008
(202) 234-1936 Fax
U.S. ATTEMPTS TO BREAK ``LOGJAM''
U.S. Envoy Confers with Clerides, Denktash
U.S. Special Presidential Emissary for Cyprus Richard Beattie arrived in
Cyprus on December 4 "at the request of President Bill Clinton" to meet
with the parties to "consider some ways to break the logjam and again
begin serious discussions about a settlement." After a meeting with
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on December 5, Beattie also said he
expressed "the view of President Clinton that he would very much like us
to intensify our efforts to see if we can facilitate some resolution."
In two days of separate talks with Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader
Rauf Denktash, Beattie, accompanied by the State Department's Special
Cyprus Coordinator, James Williams, reviewed the basic issues of the
Cyprus problem and explored ways to overcome the present impasse, which
has existed for more than a year.
Shift in Turkish Positions Needed
The Cyprus government has repeatedly stressed that direct talks can
proceed only once the positions of the Turkish side are consistent with
the negotiating framework established in the U.N. resolutions.
In his meetings with Beattie, Clerides again "highlighted the need to find
common ground" before there is any high-level meeting, Cyprus government
spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said on December 5. As evidence of its
continued flexibility, the Cyprus government said that as part of an overall
settlement it will accept a multinational force on Cyprus, including
troops from Greece and Turkey, provided they are under the command of a
third country. Despite this, there were no signs that Denktash was
flexible in his talks with Beattie. He repeated his threat to have the
occupied areas annexed by Turkey if Cyprus joins the European Union.
Beattie said on December 7 that he had "reviewed a good number of the
issues and made some progress, but no progress on enough of the issues
yet to have a foundation for direct discussions, but we are getting
closer to that foundation and we will continue these efforts." He added
that he will likely return to Cyprus early next year.
Despite the difficulties, the American effort will continue given the
strong personal commitment of President Clinton to ending the division of
Cyprus. "I remain concerned about the current lack of progress," Clinton
said in his November 9 report to Congress covering Cyprus developments
during August and September. The report made clear that in addition to its
consultations in the region, the United States continues to explore with
the member-states of the European Union "how the E.U. accession process
for Cyprus could be used to promote a solution." Clinton said that the
United States continues "to believe strongly that the European Union
accession process for Cyprus can have a positive impact on efforts to
achieve a negotiated settlement."
Cyprus Problem a European Concern
The European Union supports a solution based on the U.N. resolutions on
Cyprus and on "respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms of
all Cypriots," Spain's permanent U.N. representative, representing the
European Union, told the U.N. third committee on November 27. He
emphasized that "the division of Cyprus, a member of the European family,
has also a human rights dimension which is a matter of concern for the
European Union." Also echoing E.U. concern, European Commissioner for
External Relations, Hans Van Den Broek, emphasized on November 20 that
the Cyprus issue is a European problem whose solution Europe must be
Underlining that "the need for a settlement is more urgent than ever," a
senior British Foreign and Commonwealth Office official, Haydon
Warren-Gash, began a series of meetings in Nicosia on December 7. The
European Union is "clearly a factor" in attempts to achieve a progress he
said, and reaffirmed Great Britain's strong interest, as well as the
personal interest of the British foreign secretary, in a Cyprus settlement.
Gash's visit also "reflects a degree of puzzlement that after more than
20 years, there is still no settlement here, when things are moving on in
so many other parts of the world." Regarding the Turkish occupation
troops, he said on December 6 that Great Britain "would much prefer the
situation which there were not other troops in Cyprus."
Commonwealth Urges Turkish Troop Withdrawal
In their strongest condemnation ever of Turkey's invasion and continuing
occupation, onNovember 13 the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting
in New Zealand "called for the speedy withdrawal of all Turkish forces
and settlers from the Republic of Cyprus, the return of the refugees to
their homes in conditions of safety, restoration of and respect for the
human rights of all Cypriots."
Attended by delegations from 52 member-states, the Commonwealth's final
communique also "urged the Security Council to take resolute action and
the necessary measures for the speedy implementation of all U.N.
resolutions on Cyprus," as well as expressed "its full support for the
proposal by the President of Cyprus for the demilitarization of Cyprus."
The Commonwealth communique "strengthens the international dimension of
the Cyprus issue and international interest in a just and lasting
settlement," Clerides said, since it "outlines the current situation in
Cyprus and assumes important positions on what should be done."
The Cyprus President raised Turkey's violation of international law in
Cyprus and the danger to regional peace posed by Ankara's recent military
buildup in the occupied areas during the Commonwealth meeting, telling
the delegates that the occupation was "a glaring example of the threats
facing small states and of the failure of the aggressor to comply with
repeated U.N. resolutions and the Commonwealth communiques."
He also expressed deep concern over the fact that Turkey continues to
modernize it occupation forces--which "forces the government to build up
its defenses"--and reiterated his proposal for the complete
demilitarization of Cyprus. While in New Zealand, Clerides and Cyprus
Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides also conferred with officials of
numerous Commonwealth countries.
Australia Endorses Cyprus Demilitarization
Emphasizing that it "agrees with the U.S. Congress that ultimate total
demilitarization" of Cyprus would enhance the prospects for a lasting
peace and is a proposal which "merits international support," on November
23 the Australian House of Representatives unanimously adopted a
resolution on Cyprus which also called for the withdrawal of foreign
troops from Cyprus and for the U.N. Security Council to consider
alternative approaches to promoting a resolution of the Cyprus problem.
Australia's strong support for Cyprus' demilitarization was also
stressed by Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating on November 15, during
an official visit to Australia by President Clerides.
EUROPEAN UNION-CYPRUS DIALOGUE INTENSIFIES
Consultations on Cyprus' progress toward European Union accession have
intensified in recent weeks as E.U. and Cyprus officials discuss Cyprus'
adjustment to E.U. regulations, the impact accession will have on the
prospects for an overall Cyprus settlement, and Cyprus' role in
promoting E.U.-Mediterranean relations.
These consultations are essential given the expectation that Cyprus will
soon become a full E.U. member. European Commission President Jacques
Santer on November 29 reiterated the precedence which Cyprus and Malta
have over the accession of other applicant countries.
That Cyprus and Malta will be part of the next stage of E.U. enlargement
was also affirmed on December 6 by Spanish Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos
Westendorp, who presented the report of the E.U. reflection group on the
forthcoming E.U. intergovernmental conference.
Since the intergovernmental conference will probably end in June, 1997,
Italian Prime Minister Lamberto Dini said on December 6, accession
negotiations with Cyprus and Malta will likely begin in early 1998.
These developments follow the decision of the E.U. that accession
negotiations with Cyprus and Malta will begin six months after the end of
the intergovernmental conference, and to help prepare the groundwork for
the accession negotiations, on November 21 Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos
Michaelides conferred with the E.U. Council of Ministers as part of a
structured dialogue meant to ensure that Cyprus government policy is in
concert with the acquis communautaire, the regulations and agreements of
the European Union.
After the meeting Spanish Foreign Minister Javier Solana, representing
the E.U. presidency, and European Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek
expressed their satisfaction that Cyprus is progressing without
difficulty. Van Den Broek added that discussions will soon begin on
Cyprus' participation in a range of E.U. programs.
Cyprus Accession Should Be Unconditional
Despite Turkey's continuing occupation, Cyprus should be accepted
unconditionally into the Union, European parliamentarian Mechtild Rothe
said on November 22, during a meeting of the E.U.-Cyprus joint
parliamentary committee, composed of members of the European Parliament
and Cyprus House of Representatives. Cyprus House of Representatives President
Alexis Galanos, who co-chairs the joint committee with Rothe, emphasized
that Cyprus' accession will serve as a catalyst for an overall
settlement, and promote E.U. relations with the countries of the
A Bridge Between E.U. and Mediterranean
"Its strategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean and close ties with
its neighbors in the Middle East, as well as those it has with the E.U.,
make Cyprus a bridge for Europe to the Middle East," Foreign Minister
Michaelides told the E.U.'s Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona on
The goal of an E.U.-Mediterranean partnership, he said, should be shared
prosperity, sustainable and balanced economic and social development, and
the establishment of a free trade area. He added that economic growth
would reduce the gap between the developed northern Mediterranean coast
and the developing southern areas as well as help consolidate peace and
stability in the region.
CYPRUS FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS TIMETABLE FOR DEMILITARIZATION NEEDED
Measures to enhance the security of all Cypriots--both before and after
a settlement is achieved-- have been proposed by the Cyprus government to
further efforts to achieve a settlement. Before a comprehensive solution,
"we should promote an agreement on a timetable for a reduction of
forces, leading to the total withdrawal of Turkish troops," Cyprus
Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides said in a speech in London on
November 2, adding that the withdrawal is to be coupled by a reduction in
Cyprus government defense spending.
After a solution, he continued, the number of guarantors "must be
extended by adding more countries or institutions, such as NATO and the
Western Economic Union."
"The situation in Cyprus is not stable as people think," Michaelides
concluded, "the longer the Turkish troops stay in Cyprus, the deeper the
Turkification of the island becomes and the prospect of the division of
the island becoming permanent is indeed alarming."
IN BRIEF . . .
The Cyprus problem is "perhaps the most clear-cut provocation" in the
world today Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides told the first Congress of
Overseas Greeks (SAE) meeting in Thessaloniki on December 4, and
emphasized that the international community must ensure that the
principles of the U.N. charter be implemented without discrimination. In
a resolution on December 7, the conference called for Turkey to be
pressured to end its intransigence on Cyprus and to comply with the U.N.
resolutions on Cyprus. The new SAE president, Andrew Athens, also
announced that the Greek American community will intensify its efforts
to ensure a just and lasting Cyprus settlement.
On November 15, the 12th anniversary of the "unilateral declaration of
independence" (U.D.I.) of the Turkish-occupied area, thousands of
Cypriots throughout the free areas of the island protested this partitionist
action and urged the international community to pressure Turkey to end
its occupation of Cyprus. After the declaration of U.D.I., the U.N.
Security Council adopted resolution 541 on November 18, 1983, declaring
any secessionist attempts "legally invalid" and calling on "all states to
respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and
non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus [and] not to recognize any
Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus." The Council further
condemned the secessionist action in resolution 550. Since then all
nations have adhered to the U.N. resolutions and not recognized the
On November 3 the Cyprus government strongly protested to the U.N.
Secretary-General over continuing "acts of vandalism and desecration
against holy places of worship" in occupied Cyprus. Calling the forcible
expulsion of 200,000 Greek Cypriots from the occupied areas the first
step in "Turkification of the occupied part of the island," the second
step is the destruction of the cultural heritage, a policy that is being
implemented so far with impunity." As further evidence of this policy,
the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yenicag (November 11) reported the theft
by Turkish officials of books from the Greek library of Famagusta, which
contained priceless 17th and 18th century rare books.