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Embassy Of Cyprus Newsletter, Washington DC (May 6, 1996)

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

May 6, 1996

EMBASSY OF CYPRUS, WASHINGTON DC
Embassy of Cyprus Press & Information Office
2211 R Street NW
Washington DC 20008

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

CONTENTS

[A] U.N. REAFFIRMS BASIS FOR CYPRUS SOLUTION

[A1] "Comprehensive Approach" to Achieve Overall Settlement Needed
[A2] Clinton: Settlement Promotes Regional Peace
[A3] E.U. Hopes Cyprus Settlement Achieved Within Next 18 Months

[B] CLERIDES SAYS EVIDENCE OF TURKEY'S FLEXIBILITY NEEDED

[C] GHALI APPOINTS NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CYPRUS

[D] HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON MAY 26

[E] IN BRIEF . . .


[A] U.N. REAFFIRMS BASIS FOR CYPRUS SOLUTION

[A1] "Comprehensive Approach" to Achieve Overall Settlement Needed

Expressing its growing frustration with the continued deadlock in U.N. efforts on Cyprus, on April 17representatives of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members called for international efforts to focus on achieving an overall Cyprus settlement, one which must be based on the U.N. resolutions on Cyprus.

After reviewing the Cyprus situation the permanent Council members, according to a U.S. statement issued on their behalf, "reaffirmed their full support for the good offices mission of the Secretary-General" and "underlined the importance they attached to a comprehensive approach to an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions" and the 1977 and 1979 High-Level Agreements, signed by the two Cypriot communities.

The review was conducted at U.N. headquarters by senior officials from the five permanent Council members (the U.S., Great Britain, Russia, France, and China,) and U.N. officials, including the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Cyprus, Gustave Feissel.

"All five have expressed unanimity on three basic points," Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said on April 19. They agreed that the status quo created by Turkey's occupation and division of the island is unacceptable, they expressed support for Cyprus' European orientation, and they reaffirmed their support for the U.N. Secretary-General's efforts.

The reaffirmation of the framework for a Cyprus settlement is important, since in recent months the Turkish side has adopted positions contrary to this framework. They have rejected federation as the only basis for a settlement, contrary to the 1977 High-Level Agreement, rejected the concept of sovereignty for a federated Cyprus as outlined in U.N. resolutions, and rejected the right of the refugees to return to their homes and the need for the withdrawal of all occupation troops both of which are called for by the U.N. resolutions.

The Turkish side "has not made any concessions so far," despite the fact the Cyprus government "has put on the negotiating table several realistic proposals which would benefit not only the Greek Cypriot side but also the Turkish Cypriot side," Cyprus government spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said on May 2.

The Cyprus government is hopeful that, unlike earlier efforts, the growing involvement by the United States, Great Britain, and other powers is an important new factor which may finally force Ankara to display the flexibility needed to reach a comprehensive settlement. "What is different from previous efforts on Cyprus is the active involvement of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, and especially the U.S., expressed through the personal interest of President Bill Clinton," Cassoulides said on April 9, adding that "it is hard to say whether the Turkish side will change its intransigent position and allowfor a breakthrough towards a solution of the Cyprus problem."

Recent statements by U.S. officials indicate that the Clinton Administration now recognizes that without the active involvement of Ankara it will be impossible to move the process forward. "The U.S. has expressed the view that they have fully understood that the road to a Cyprus solution cannot open unless Turkey changes its way of thinking as far as Cyprus is concerned," President Clerides said on April 30, and he emphasized that for the American initiative to succeed the United States must ensure that Turkey changes its positions prior to the launching of any U.S. initiative.

[A2] Clinton: Settlement Promotes Regional Peace

Although the U.S. initiative, which was expected earlier this year, has been delayed, it has not been abandoned."My Administration hopes to be able to take an initiative on Cyprus this year," U.S. President Bill Clinton said in his May 1 report to Congress, covering Cyprus developments during February and March. "We believe it should be possible to arrive at a fair and just solution. Attaining this goal requires the active support of Turkey and Greece," he continued, adding that his Administration has been using the time prior to launching its initiative to narrow the differences between the parties.

President Clinton and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis discussed Cyprus during a White House meeting on April 10. President Clinton said he had personally spent a great deal of time on helping to resolve the Cyprus issue because "if that could be resolved, then that would open the way for a whole new future for the region, and great new possibilities for all of its people."

The Greek Prime Minister also conferred with U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and several other Clinton Administration officials involved in Cyprus, including Special Presidential Emissary Richard Beattie. After the meeting the State Department spokesman stressed that the "U.S. remains very much interested in a resolution of the Cyprus problem," adding "we're going to devote a lot of resources to that." Clinton is also expected to discuss Cyprus during a White House meeting on May 9 with Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos. The Greek President reviewed recent Cyprus developments with President Clerides in Athens on May 6.

In preparation for the U.S. initiative, a high-level American delegation headed by Assistant Secretary of State-designate John Kornblum conferred with officials in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus in late April. A"unique opportunity" to solve the Cyprus problem now exists, Kornblum said in Nicosia on April 26, since several "major developments add to a chance formovement in the Cyprus question, such as the end of the cold war, the E.U. decision to start membership negotiations with Cyprus . . .and the chance for peace in the Middle East and Bosnia."

U.S. concern with the regional impact of the continued division of Cyprus was emphasized during the April 18 Senate confirmation hearing of Kenneth Brill as the new U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus. "The Cyprus problem engages a number of U.S.interests," Brill said, "it involves potential foreign instability in a region of strategic importance, and it is an obstacle to improved relations between two historic friends and NATO allies." He emphasized that the U.S. was particularly concerned over the military buildup in Cyprus: "in our view there are far too many troops in the [occupied] north and far too many armaments on both sides of the line."

"The time is right to have another serious push at trying to reach an agreement on the Cyprus problem," British Prime Minister John Major said in London on April 24, echoing the view of the U.S. and the E.U. that the coming months provide an important opportunity to achieve substantial progress.

[A3] E.U. Hopes Cyprus Settlement Achieved Within Next 18 Months

Close cooperation between the E.U., the U.S., and the U.N. offers the best approach to achieve Cyprus progress, European Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek said after a series of meetings in Washington. U.S. and E.U. officials have consulted extensively in recent weeks in the hope an overall settlement can be achieved prior to Cyprus' accessionto the E.U.

"We very much hope the Cyprus issue will be solved in a year and one-half," prior to the start of accession talks, he said on May 2, adding that he believed the benefit of a solution for Turkey "has considerably increased." Van Den Broek pointed out that for Turkey, "maintaining 35,000 troops on Cyprus, having to heavily subsidize the economy [of the occupied areas], with constant questions about the unsolved dispute" is not an attractive situation. The E.U. Commissioner also recognized that progress requires Ankara's support. "Turkey will have to produce also the necessary goodwill and political will to break through to a solution," he said.

E.U. member Greece also continues to stress that Turkey must finally display flexibility on Cyprus. Greek-Turkish relations cannot improve "as long as part of Cyprus remains under Turkish occupation and there are Turkish military forces in Cyprus," Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said during an official visit to Cyprus on May 2, emphasizing that "Ankara is the only one to be held responsible for the perpetuation of the Cyprus problem."


[B] CLERIDES SAYS EVIDENCE OF TURKEY'S FLEXIBILITY NEEDED

The expected undertaking of a Cyprus initiative this year by the United States, in combination with the efforts of the European Union and others, "will be very important," Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides told a Nicosia news conference on April 26, during which he reviewed his three years in office.

He cautioned, however, that these efforts must avoid the mistakes of the past, when Turkey expressed vague support for a Cyprus settlement but then failed to display the flexibility needed to allow a settlement to be reached.

Turkey must do more than simply say that it believes the time for a solution has arrived. "We have heard this often," Clerides pointed out."Ankara must give proof that its position on the main points of the Cyprus issue has changed," he continued, by displaying flexibility on the key issues, including demilitarization, security guarantees, sovereignty, territory and E.U. accession. Only "if there is a change in the Turkish positions on these issues then the initiative can move forward."

Also, the Cyprus President said that the international effort must be directed towards changing the views of the political and military leadership of Turkey, and not merely attempting to alter the views of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who "cannot change the Turkish positions by himself."

The Cyprus government continues to display the flexibility needed to overcome the present deadlock. On the key issue of the security of the two communities, Clerides said the Cyprus government has proposed the demilitarization of Cyprus and "changing the guarantees and abolishing the right to intervention," positions which have received support in the international community. Under such an arrangement, "there must be a U.N. force stationed in Cyprus, with instructions from the Security Council to intervene if the independence, the territorial integrity, or the constitutional order of either community is in danger."

On sovereignty, Clerides emphasized that the government has also found widespread support for its view that any solution must establish "one, undivided, sovereign, federal state," a position clearly outlined in U.N. Security Council resolution 939.

Clerides added that any agreement must safeguard fundamental human rights and that "the Turkish side must accept the right to free movement and settlement" throughout the island.

He also emphasized that his government would continue to strengthen the economy, improve Cyprus' defense, and promote its accession to the E.U.


[C] GHALI APPOINTS NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CYPRUS

On May 1 the former Republic of Korea Foreign Minister, Han Sung-Joo was appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali as his Special Representative for Cyprus. He succeeds former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark, who served in the post for two years.

Currently President of Korea University's Ilmin International Relations Institute, since the late 1970s he has been a Korean government advisor on foreign policy, defense and unification issues, and he served as foreign minister from 1993-1994.The U.N. Secretary-General had considered appointing a European personality as his Special Representative, but Turkey rejected such an appointment, an action which Cyprus government spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said "should not have been tolerated by the U.N."

He added that the Cyprus government did not insist on the appointment of a European, however, since if Ankara continued to reject such an appointment it would result in the post being unfilled, which would undermine the U.N. effort.


[D] HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON MAY 26

A total of 413 candidates representing a coalition of two parties, seven other parties, and four independent candidates are running in the May 26 elections for the House of Representatives. The current House dissolved itself on April 18, after setting the date for elections. The new House will convene onJune 6.

Representatives are elected for a five-year term, with 56 of the 80 seats allocated to the Greek Cypriot community; the 24 seats allocated to the Turkish Cypriot community remain vacant because of the Turkish Cypriot community's refusal to participate. In the 1991 elections, the right-wing Democratic Rally won 20 seats; the left-wing AKEL, 18 seats; the center-right DIKO, 11 seats; and the socialist EDEK, 7 seats.


[E] IN BRIEF . . .

The situation in Cyprus is "absurd and anachronistic. Berlin Walls are out of fashion in Europe and there is no reason why there should be a Berlin Wall here," the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Daniel Tarschys, said in Nicosia on April 8, during a four-day official visit in Cyprus, during which he conferred with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and other government officials. Tarschys also stressed that the Council of Europe should "contribute to the best of its ability to resolving this problem."

On April 17 the Cyprus government protested to U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali the repeated violations of Cyprus' airspace by Turkish military aircraft.The Cyprus government emphasized that not only are such intrusions a serious violation of international air regulations, but they also pose a severe threat to civilian aircraft.

Addressing a seminar at the Canadian House of Commons on May 1, Cyprus High Commissioner to Canada Andrew Jacovides stressed the importance of the Cyprus government's proposal for the demilitarization of Cyprus, a proposal which can form a "cornerstone" of a lasting Cyprus settlement. He also told those attending the seminar, sponsored by the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), that "international support and solidarity has always been crucial to our struggle to find a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem." While in Ottawa, Jacovides also briefed Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy on recent Cyprus developments. In Toronto on April 30 Ambassador Jacovides presented the Canadian Defense Minister, David Collenette, with a plaque on behalf of the Cypriot Canadian community of Toronto, commemorating the 29-year participation of Canada's armed forces in the U.N. peacekeeping forces on Cyprus. Ambassador Jacovides thanked the Canadian government for its contribution to the U.N. force and expressed disappointment that because of Turkey's intransigence Cyprus still only has "a cease-fire, not peace and security." The defense minister responded that Canada will continue itssupport of efforts to achieve a Cyprus settlement.

The Greek-American community hopes "to place Cyprus high on the list of U.S.priorities and give it the attention it deserves," the President of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), Spiro Macris, said on May 3, after three days of talks with government officials in Nicosia. He called on the U.S. government to use its "influence on the government of Turkey, which is the real agent of influence regarding the situation in Cyprus."


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