MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
SUMMARYCyprus has been divided since 1974. Greek Cypriots, nearly 80% of the population, live in the southern two-thirds of the island. Turkish Cypriots live in the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (recognized only by Turkey), with about 30,000 Turkish troops providing security . U.N. peacekeeping forces maintain a buffer zone between the two. Since the late 1970s, the U.N., with U.S. support, has promoted negotiations aimed at creating a federal, bicommunal, bizonal republic on Cyprus. The two sides would pledge not to move toward union with any other country. This is because of concerns that Greek Cypriots would like to unite with Greece and that Turkish Cypriots seek to partition the island, linking the north to Turkey. While the U.N. and the parties have focussed on a federal solution, some Turkish Cypriots would prefer a loose confederation or a peace treaty between two independent nations and have pressed for recognition as a distinct political entity.
The Secretary General's Apr. 5, 1992 "set of ideas" was a framework for negotiations for an overall settlement. The Security Council later implied Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's responsibility for the failure of the ideas and called for confidencebuilding .
Glafcos Clerides was elected president of the Republic of Cyprus in February 1993. Subsequent negotiations focused, inter alia, on confidence-building measures (CBMs) to place part of the uninhabited town of Varosha (Maras) under U.N. administration and reopen Nicosia (Lefkosa) airport. Denktash failed to return to continue talks on June 14. On Nov. 22, 1993, the Secretary General called for willingness to compromise and urged a Turkish troop reduction to 1982 levels to be reciprocated by a Greek Cypriot suspension of weapons acquisitions. (Many are concerned about the excessive militarization of Cyprus.) Both sides eventually accepted CBMs in principle, but did not agree on implementation. A deadlock over procedures that would have allowed the Secretary General to record clarifications ended the CBM effort.
The European Union's Mar. 6, 1995 agreement to hold accession talks with Cyprus raised new issues between the island's communities. During a July 1996 visit by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Albright to Cyprus, the two sides agreed to military talks under the auspices of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) commander. Disagreement over participants, however, appeared to stymie the effort.
Violence in the buffer zone, the worst since 1974, has occurred since August 1996. Four Greek-Cypriots and one Turkish-Cypriot have been killed. These developments prompted the U.N. to launch indirect military talks concerning the buffer zone.
On May 27, 1993, the Security Council agreed that all cost of UNFICYP not covered by voluntary contributions would be treated as U.N. expenses. Force strength is 1,160.
Congress has followed the Cyprus negotiations with interest. Members have urged the Administration to be more active, although they have not proposed an alternative to the U.N.-sponsored talks. Some Members seek increased pressure on Turkey, in the form of foreign aid cuts, to withdraw its troops from the island.
MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTSCypriot President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash agreed to indirect military talks under United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) auspices to reduce tensions following the killing of four Greek Cypriots and one Turkish Cypriot on the dividing line over the last four months. Those talks began in October with U.N. proposals on extending a 1989 unmanning agreement to cover the 180-kilometer length of the buffer zone, a ban on loaded weapons in areas where the antagonistic militaries are in close proximity, and a code of conduct for soldiers serving along the demarcation line. In November, Denktash proposed a dialog through correspondence as a step toward finding common ground, and separation of forces, an extradition accord, cooperation in environmental affairs, and committees to facilitate sports and business. The U.N. Representative on Cyprus said that when the two sides sit at the negotiating table for direct talks, they should stay there until a solution is found.
In November, a U.S. interagency delegation led by the Director of the State Department's Office of Southern Europe Affairs Carey Cavanaugh visited Athens and Cyprus for discussions.
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
The small island of Cyprus, which gained its independence from Great Britain in 1960, has been divided since 1974. The 700,000 Cypriots are 76% of Greek ethnic origin, and 19% of Turkish ethnic origin. (Under 5% of the population are Maronites, Armenians, Roman Catholic Latins, and others.) At independence, the republic's constitution defined elaborate power-sharing arrangements. The first provision requires a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice president, each elected by his own community. The Treaty of Alliance among the Republic, Greece, and Turkey provided for 950 Greek and 650 Turkish soldiers from the two motherlands to help defend the island. The United States praised the new republic for its "effort to create a new state based on the cooperation of different ethnic communities," although the two sides aspired to different futures for Cyprus: most Greek Cypriots favored union with Greece (enosis), and Turkish Cypriots preferred partition of the island (taksim) and uniting a Turkish zone with Turkey.
Cyprus' success as a new republic lasted from 1960-63. After President Makarios proposed constitutional modifications in favor of the majority community in 1963, relations between the two communities deteriorated, with Turkish Cypriots increasingly consolidating into enclaves in larger towns. In 1964, Turkish Cypriots withdrew from most national institutions and began to administer their own affairs. Intercommunal violence occurred in 1963-64, and again in 1967. On both occasions, outside mediation and pressure, including that by the United States, appeared to prevent Turkey from intervening militarily on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot community. Since the 1964 crisis, U.N. peacekeeping troops have been a buffer between the two communities.
In 1974, the military junta in Athens supported a coup against President Makarios, replacing him with a hard-line supporter of enosis. Turkey, citing the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee as a legal basis for its move, sent troops in two separate actions and, by August 25, was in control of over 36% of the island. The military intervention (often called an invasion) had a number of byproducts. Foremost was the widespread dislocation of the Cypriot population and a host of related refugee and property problems. The junta in Athens fell, civilian government was restored in Athens and in Nicosia, Greece withdrew from NATO's military command to protest NATO's failure to prevent the Turkish action, and Turkey's civilian government entered an extended period of instability. U.S. relations with all parties suffered.
After 1974, Turkish Cypriots increased emphasis on a solution to keep the two communities separate in two sovereign states or two states in a loose confederation. In February 1975, they declared their government the "Turkish Federated State of Cyprus" (TFSC). In 1983, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash declared the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC) -- a move considered by some a unilateral declaration of independence. Turkish Cypriots have a constitution and a 50-seat parliament. Denktash argued that creation of a more independent state in the north was a necessary precondition for a federation with the Greek Cypriots. He ruled out merger with Turkey, and pledged continued cooperation with U.N. settlement efforts.
After 1974, U.N. negotiations focused on reconciling the two sides' interests and reestablishing a central government. They foundered on divergent definitions of goals and ways to implement a federal solution. Turkish Cypriots emphasized bizonality and the political equality of the two communities. Greek Cypriots emphasized the three freedoms -- movement, property, and settlement. Greek Cypriots envision a modern European society with free movement of people; Turkish Cypriots prefer two nearly autonomous societies with limited contact. They also differed on the means of achieving a federation: Greek Cypriots want their legitimate internationally recognized national government to devolve power to the Turkish Cypriots, who would then join a Cypriot republic. The Turkish Cypriots believe that two legitimate entities would join, for the first time, in a new federation. These views could affect resolution of property, citizenship of Turkish settlers, and other legal issues. Since 1974, there have been several formal sets of U.N.-sponsored negotiations as well as indirect talks:
1977 Makarios-Denktash Meeting. Agreed that: 1) Cyprus will be an independent, nonaligned, bicommunal federal republic; 2) territory under control of each administration will be addressed in light of economic viability, productivity, and property rights; 3) principles such as freedom of movement, settlement, and property will be discussed; and 4) powers and functions of the central federal government would safeguard the unity of the country.
1979 Kyprianou-Denktash Communique. Agreed to talk on the basis of the 1977 guidelines and address territorial and constitutional issues, giving priority to Varosha; to abstain from actions that might jeopardize the talks, accept the principle of demilitarization, and eschew union in whole or part with any other country.
1984 Proximity Talks. After the 1983 declaration of the "TRNC," both sides proposed confidence-building measures and resolution through a comprehensive framework. This led to proximity or indirect talks through U.N. representatives, addressing constitutional arrangements, withdrawal of foreign troops, and the status of international treaties and guarantees dating from 1959-60.
1985-86 U. N. Draft Framework Exercise. In January 1985, Denktash and Kyprianou met in New York. The Turkish Cypriots accepted a draft U.N. document; Greek Cypriots considered it a basis for negotiations, but did not want to sign. The U.N. modified the document in light of objections. Greek Cypriots accepted an April 1985 version; Turkish Cypriots did not. Greek Cypriots opposed a March 1986 revision and called for an international conference or a new summit to revitalize the process.
1988-89 Talks. In August 1988, Cypriot President Vassiliou and Mr. Denktash reaffirmed their commitment to the 1977 and 1979 agreements and expressed willingness to work to achieve, by June 1, 1989, an outline for a settlement. After futile informal direct talks, they submitted papers on key issues which observers suggest hardened positions and set back the talks. In April 1989, Secretary General Perez de Cuellar discouraged the parties from formalizing positions in writing and proposed separate meetings to draft an outline of an agreement on a noncommittal basis. Denktash criticized the new approach as substituting proximity talks for direct talks, but the U.N. believed the parties agreed to "separate and periodic joint meetings." In June, Perez de Cuellar circulated a draft of ideas for an outline of an agreement. Turkish Cypriots opposed the U.N. "ideas," arguing that the U.N. had gone beyond its good offices role to become a mediator, and stated that only a document drafted by the parties would be acceptable.
February - March 1990. The U.N. concluded that there was no basis to proceed. The Turkish Cypriots proposed formal recognition of their "equal" political status, submitted proposals for a settlement outline, and spoke of their right to self determination, which the U.N. did not consider part of its mission. The Greek Cypriots did not offer documents and or respond publicly.
March 1990 - April 1992. Security Council Res. 649, May 13, 1990, reaffirmed the Secretary General's right to make suggestions. It referred to the federal solution as bicommunal as regards constitutional aspects and bizonal as regards territorial aspects -- the first U.N. mention of bizonality, a key concept for the Turkish Cypriots. Perez de Cuellar suggested an outline for an agreement. In June 1991, Perez de Cuellar called for an international meeting. On August 2, President Bush announced that Greece and Turkey had agreed to a U.N. conference on Cyprus. The Secretary General insisted that the sides be within range of agreement first. Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers were unable to find common ground at a September 11 meeting. On October 8, the Secretary General reported that a conference was not possible and blamed Denktash's assertion that each side possessed sovereignty, differing from U.N. resolutions attributing that characteristic solely to the Republic of Cyprus. Security Council Res. 716 (Oct. 11, 1991) called on the parties not to introduce concepts at variance with established principles.
"Set of Ideas". The new Secretary General Boutros-Ghali's April 1992 report included ideas for a solution, providing for a bizonal federation of two politically equal communities, possessing one international personality and sovereignty. A bicameral legislature would have a 70:30 ratio of Greek Cypriots to Turkish Cypriots in the lower house and a 50:50 ratio in the upper house. 7:3 ratio would prevail in the federal executive. Each state would be guaranteed a majority of the population and of land in its area. Non-Cypriot forces not foreseen in the 1960 Treaty of Alliance would withdraw. In June, Boutros-Ghali presented a "non-map" negotiating tool. Proximity and direct talks led to a new U.N. draft, providing for a separate referendum by each community within 30 days of an agreement, an 18-month transitional period, withdrawal of Turkish troops, guarantees consistent with Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe principles, an end of the Greek Cypriot embargo, free movement, a timetable for the return of Greek Cypriot refugees and their property, 3 constitutions (one for each community and one for the central government), a 7:3 ratio in the executive, vice presidential veto power (no rotating presidency), an island-wide referendum on EC membership, and the return of Varosha and about 30 villages to Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots would receive assistance and compensation. It allocated Morphou, a citrus-producing region that is home to about 11,000 Turkish Cypriots to Greek Cypriots. Denktash said that they and Turkish Cypriots to be displaced from other areas total 40,000 or about one-quarter of the Turkish Cypriot population. Vassiliou estimated that 82,000 Greek Cypriots would be able to return home and that Denktash's 40,000 figure was inflated.
On August 21, Boutros-Ghali reported that his map provided for 2 federated states, the return of many Greek Cypriots, and retention of the Turkish Cypriot coastline and traditional villages. He noted that Denktash's concerns, but said that Denktash's territorial proposals were not close to the "non-map." Boutros-Ghali observed that Morphou's economic significance had declined and that arrangements would be made for displaced Turkish Cypriots. Vassiliou was depicted as ready to negotiate an agreement based on the map. Denktash accepted the right of return and right to property, provided practical difficulties were taken into account. Boutros-Ghali concluded that an agreement was possible if Turkish Cypriots foresaw territorial adjustment in line with his map. Security Council Resolution 774 (Aug. 26, 1992) endorsed the set of ideas and non-map and urged uninterrupted negotiations to reach a framework. Denktash said the report was unacceptable. Vassiliou characterized it as objective. The Secretary General's November 19 report implied Denktash's responsibility for the lack of progress. Although the parties agreed to face-to-face talks in March 1993, a February 14 election in the Republic of Cyprus produced a new president, Glafcos Clerides, and a delay. Clerides accepted the set of ideas only "in principle," objecting to parts that he believed might enable the Turkish Cypriots to block the admission to the EC, those on Greek Cypriot refugees' right to return and property, and others on the status of the Republic during the transition period.
Confidence-building measures. On Nov. 19, 1992, the Secretary General called for confidence-building measures (CBMs) including: a reduction of Turkish troops in exchange for a reduction in defense spending by the Republic of Cyprus; U.N. control of Varosha; contacts between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots; reduced restrictions on foreign visitors crossing the buffer zone; bi-communal projects; a U.N. supervised island-wide census; cooperation in U.N. feasibility studies on resettlement and rehabilitation of people who would be affected by territorial adjustments.
From May 24-June 1, 1993, Clerides and Denktash held talks with the Secretary General and his special representative, former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark on placing part of Varosha under U.N. administration, allowing it to be open for contacts and commerce, and reopening Nicosia Airport, which has been under U.N. control but unused since 1974. Clerides insisted that all of Varosha be handed over, while Denktash wanted to retain about 20% and/or have a U.N. security circle around the port and an end to the Greek Cypriot embargo of northern Cyprus. The U.N. proposed cooperation in health, education, culture, environment, sports, water, and electricity, and between businessmen and experts. Greek Cypriots sought to avoid recognition of the TRNC. Denktash declared that CBMs would benefit Greek Cypriots more than Turkish Cypriots and, declared that he would not return to New York.
U.N. representatives had called on Denktash to submit questions. They concluded that Turkish Cypriot civic leaders had inaccurate and incomplete information on the CBMs. Moreover, Turkey's support for CBMs had been communicated to the U.N., but not to the Turkish Cypriots. Boutros-Ghali concluded that the Turkish Cypriots had not shown goodwill, but had undertaken a campaign of disinformation. U.N. experts explained economic benefits to Turkish Cypriots and studied reopening the Airport. They concluded that both sides would benefit from the CBMs, with relatively greater benefits for Turkish Cypriots because of their smaller economy and lifting of obstacles facing them. Greek Cypriots would benefit from Varosha's return and rehabilitation for tourism. The Airport would benefit both.
In his Nov. 22, 1993 Report, endorsed by Security Council Resolution 889 (Dec. 15, 1993), Boutros-Ghali said that he intended to concentrate on CBMs. The report urged Turkey to reduce its forces to their 1982 level to be reciprocated by a suspension of Greek Cypriot weapons acquisitions. Clerides reiterated a call to demilitarize the island, offered to suspend his arms program if an enlarged UNFICYP replaced Turkish forces, and if the National Guard and comparable Turkish Cypriot forces were disbanded and disarmed. On Jan. 28, 1994, Denktash agreed to CBMs in principle. He later contended that a March 21 U.N. draft unbalanced equities in the proposed CBMs and was concerned about U.N. jurisdiction over the road between Varosha and the buffer zone -- an area outside Varosha; believed that timing of benefits was no longer equal: the U.N. would take jurisdiction of Varosha 2 months before it takes over the airport; Greek Cypriots would have the right to settle in Varosha 4 months after an agreement; the airport would open 12 months later. Clerides said that he would accept the March 21 text if Denktash would.
The Secretary General's May 30 report, made known on June 1, insisted that the March draft had not destroyed the balance. Boutros-Ghali wrote that the lack of agreement was "due essentially to a lack of political will on the Turkish Cypriot side." On May 31, Denktash said that he would accept the CBMs if improvements agreed to were incorporated. Clerides would not negotiate beyond the March document and vowed to resign if the Security Council insisted on continuing CBM talks. Boutros-Ghali's June 28 letter to the Security Council President stated that the Turkish Cypriots' had accepted a Mar. 11, 1994 U.N. map of Varosha and provisions for access; clarifications did not alter the substance of the March 21 paper. Boutros-Ghali concluded that there was sufficient progress to implement the CBMs based on the March paper and clarifications and intended to address an identical letter to each leader expressing his intention to proceed and to submit the March 21 paper and the letters for the Security Council to endorse. Neither side accepted this procedure.
Sovereignty and Powers
The Greek Cypriots say that bicommunal , bizonal federation of two cantons with one sovereignty should be established by both communities. A canton will have maximum autonoma in internal administration, while the federation should have power to function in key matters. The Turkish Cypriots say that each community should form a sovereign state recognized by the United Nations. A "union of republics" will act jointly on certain issues. In time, and with trust, they can establish a federation or confederation.
The president will be elected from the Greek Cypriot community and the vice president from the Turkish Cypriot community. To be elected, each may be required to obtain a certain percentage of votes from the other community. A rotating presidency will prevent one community retaining control of the office. Each community separately must elect its own representative to fill the office of president or vice president.
Displaced Persons and Property Rights
Turkish Cypriots cannot be compensated for property they did not own in 1974. Turkish Cypriots may opt to return to properties they owned in the south in 1974 or to be compensated for them at 1974 value plus inflation. All Turkish Cypriots to be resettled will be provided with a comparable residence, a resettlement allowance, unemployment benefits where needed, and an economic rehabilitation program. Turkish Cypriot misappropriation of Greek Cypriot properties is null and void. Turkish Cypriots to be resettled should be compensated at the current value for the property they occupy at the time of resettlement. Greek Cypriots unable to return to property they owned in 1974 will be compensated from the sale of Turkish Cypriot property in the south. The Turkish Cypriot property in the south roughly equals the Greek Cypriot property in the north. Deeds to Greek Cypriot properties in the north allocated to Turkish Cypriots in the north since 1974 are legally valid.
The Greek Cypriots accept the map in the U.N. set of ideas, subject to marginal changes. The Turkish Cypriots reject the map included in the U.N. set of ideas and propose a Turkish Cypriot federated state comprising 29+% of the territory of the federation.
Security /Turkish Troops/Guarantees
Clerides rejects Turkish guarantees, right of unilateral intervention, and military presence. Proposes an international force of guarantors, including Greece and Turkey, to be stationed in a demilitarized Cyprus. The 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, whereby Turkey rightfully protects the Turkish Cypriot community, is in force and must not be diluted.
The military situation on Cyprus has been a focus of increasing concern. In a Dec. 12, 1994 report on extending UNFICYP's mandate, Boutros-Ghali noted "the excessive level of armaments and forces in Cyprus and the rate at which they are being strengthened," that Turkish forces had upgraded their arms, and that the government of Cyprus, with the cooperation of Greece, continued strengthening the National Guard. Security Council Resolution 969 (Dec. 21, 1994) urged a significant reduction in foreign troops and of defense spending to restore confidence as a first step towards the withdrawal of non-Cypriot forces.
On May 22-23, 1995, exploratory talks were held in London at U.S.-British initiative to complement the U.N. process. U.S. State Department said that the talks revealed wider gaps than previously thought. The Greek Cypriots concluded that there was no justification for direct talks, observing that U.S., U.K., and U.N. were focusing on ending Turkish objections to Cyprus' accession to the EU and its impact on Turkish Cypriot security . Denktash agreed. On June 5, U.N. Special Representative Clark did not "foresee much movement in the immediate future." He observed that Turkish Cypriots, supported by Turkey, "understandably" call for agreement on the nature of a federation before an accord on Cyprus's EU membership and were concerned about membership implications for Turkey's security guarantees.
Secretary General's June 15 report, endorsed by Security Council Resolution 1000 on June 19, again stressed that excessive arms and forces and the rate at which they are being strengthened are a serious concern. Greek Cypriots said that a U.N. proposal for reduction of Turkish troops and freeze in Greek-Cypriot defense spending would not diminish the Turkish threat because a reduction can become an increase in a short time, but an acquisition program requires years. They also say that a mere reduction might recognize the legitimacy of remaining Turkish troops.
U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Boucher said that the United States was trying to find ground to renew direct talks and admitted that CBMs were unlikely before there is more political agreement. On October 3, the United States submitted a list of issues to be resolved to both sides. No U.S. ideas were proposed. Clerides said that the list included security , future guarantees, demilitarization, territory, accession to the EU, and transitional arrangements. He responded orally, favoring a NATO guarantee. Other Greek Cypriot politicians argued that guarantees should derive from the Security Council. Denktash was not prepared to deal with all issues listed, particularly the EU.
In December, Clerides returned to U.S. Presidential envoy Richard Beattie an unacceptable document of discussion points which stated that, within the framework of a political settlement, the Turkish Cypriots would consider supporting a federal Cyprus' EU membership and that the Greek Cypriots would respect Turkish Cypriot sovereignty. These issues and demilitarization would be discussed without prejudice to the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance by the two leaders directly. Clerides said that Greek Cypriots reject Turkish Cypriot sovereignty and would not reconfirm the Treaties because they want extended guarantees instead of unilateral intervention rights. Clerides noted that Denktash had agreed only to consider supporting EU membership. Clerides said that a second U.S. document said that the Turkish Cypriots would support EU membership and that the Greek Cypriots would respect Turkish Cypriot sovereignty and equality. Greek Cypriot spokesmen acknowledged that these Turkish Cypriot views were new, but the Cypriot National Council unanimously rejected the proposal. Clerides later proposed a multinational force, with Greek and Turkish participation, to intervene if either side threatens Cyprus' independence or territorial integrity or decisions on a solution.
On December 19, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1032 extended the UNFICYP mandate until June 30, 1996. UNFICYP recommended that all restrictions on Maronite freedom of movement between north and south be lifted; that an independent, comprehensive review be made of Cypriot police policies and procedures for dealing with Turkish Cypriots in the south (the police are charged with discrimination and harassment); that restrictions on land travel by Greek Cypriots in the north and on Greek Cypriots of the Karpass (north) offshore fishing be lifted. The Council was concerned about the continued modernization and upgrading of military forces in the Republic of Cyprus and lack of progress towards a reduction in the foreign troops, and again urged reductions in defense spending and in troops.
On May 1, 1996, the Secretary General appointed former South Korean Foreign Minister Han Sung-joo to replace Joe Clark as his special representative for Cyprus.
The Secretary General's June 7 report noted that the Cypriot National Guard was continuing an extensive program to strengthen its positions along the cease-fire line and that UNFICYP had protested 150 military constructions in the immediate vicinity of the buffer zone as violations of the spirit of the cease fire. Turkish and Greek air force overflights had the potential to increase tension. The report noted that both sides continued to improve their military capabilities. No progress had been made to extend the unmanning agreement, on June 3, a Turkish Cypriot soldier killed a Greek Cypriot guardsman. Security Council Resolution 1062, June 28, 1996, extended UNFICYP's mandate, and called for immediate discussions on enlarging a 1989 unmanning agreement to cover all regions of the demarcation line which are in close proximity to each other. The Cyprus government agreed to immediate talks.
During a visit to Cyprus with U.S. Presidential Envoy Beattie and others, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Madeleine Albright said that the parties had agreed to military talks under the auspices of the UNFICYP commander. The U.N. expected the dialog to be purely technical, unrelated to an overall settlement. The Americans met with government leaders and with the commanders of the Cypriot National Guard and of Turkish forces in the north, and visited Athens and Ankara. Ankara reportedly said that it would be more appropriate if Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot commanders met. The Cypriot government said that it would boycott the dialog if Turkish Cypriot representatives attended. Denktash insisted that the Turkish Cypriot commander participate, but later proposed indirect talks through a U.N. go-between to "avoid political problems." Invitations have not been issued.
What is being called the worst violence since 1974 occurred in August 1996. The (Greek) Cypriot Motorcycle Federation planned to protest the Turkish presence with cyclists riding through a U.N. checkpoint on the cease-fire line to reach Kyrenia (Girne) in the north. The rally was canceled after pleas from Boutros-Ghali and Clerides. But, on August 11, about 200 bikers pushed across the line and Turkish-Cypriot civilian counter-protestors met them in the buffer zone. Violence spread to other flashpoints. One Greek Cypriot was killed by Turkish Cypriot civilians and security forces, and more than 50 Greek Cypriots, 12 Turkish Cypriots, and 12 members of UNFICYP were wounded. A U.N. spokeswoman said that the (Greek) Cypriot police acted slowly when demonstrators breached the buffer and Turkish forces allowed Turkish Cypriot civilians armed with sticks and pipes to enter a military zone where access is normally restricted and to pass into the buffer zone. Turkish Cypriots blamed the Greek Orthodox Archbishop for inciting the bikers and Greek Cypriots blamed members of the Turkish ultranationalist Grey Wolves for the violence. On August 14, about 300 mourners of the first victim burst through Cypriot police and U.N. cordons. An unarmed Greek Cypriot tried to pull down a Turkish flag and Turkish and Turkish Cypriot forces shot and killed him. About 11 others were injured, including 2 U.N. peacekeepers. The Secretary General appealed for calm and expressed concern at the excessive and indiscriminate use of force. The United States called on all sides to take resolute measures to prevent unauthorized incursions into the buffer and on Turkish Cypriot and Turkish forces to adhere to avoid lethal force in non-life-threatening situations, calling the Turkish Cypriot response disproportionate to the threat posed by the protesters. Turkish Foreign Minister Ciller and Greek Prime Minister Simitis visited north and south Cyprus, respectively, after the second incident to show solidarity.
The U.N. Representative on Cyprus tried to get Clerides and Denktash to issue a joint statement calling for restraint and calm, and to meet. Denktash agreed; Clerides did not. On September 8, a Turkish Cypriot soldier was killed and another wounded by shots fired at their sentry post in southeastern Cyprus. The President of the U.N. Security Council deplored the shootings. Clerides rejected Denktash's proposal for a meeting to defuse tensions because of evidence of a Turkish settler's culpability for the second August killing and Turkish/Turkish-Cypriot official presence at it. While Clerides did not accept a U.N. request for a joint statement, he did issue his own statement. Clerides invited Denktash to discuss disarmament. Denktash rejected the offer, saying that a discussion should be within the context of an overall agreement and only if the parties agreed to the 1960 guarantees.
On October 13, Turkish forces killed a Greek Cypriot who had crossed into the buffer zone. The UNFICYP commander labeled the action a disproportionate response and called on Turkish forces not to shoot unless their lives are threatened. The U.S. State Department condemned the use of deadly force as unwarranted and unnecessary. UNFICYP again called for extending a 1989 unmanning agreement to all areas along the buffer zone. The U.N. proposed an indirect military dialog on unmanning, and on weapons and rules of engagement along the confrontation line. In October, Greek Cypriots began to discourage visitors to the north, prompting a U.N. protest and the Turkish Cypriots to impose two one-day prohibitions on Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the north from crossing to the south and, in November, to call off all intercommunal meetings as long as the roadblock campaign continued.
The Cyprus talks have been vulnerable to changes in the atmosphere between the two communities and within each community and to factors not part of the talks.
Democratic Rally (DISY) leader Glafcos Clerides was elected President of the Republic of Cyprus in February 1993. During the campaign, Clerides had asserted that, although Cyprus cannot repudiate U.N. documents, a settlement would result only if the set of ideas were changed. In a February 14 run-off, hardline former President Spyros Kyprianou's Democratic Party (DIKO) supported Clerides. A DISY/DIKO communique declared, "There is no room for negotiation to find a solution based on the set of ideas without . . . negative elements being deleted." Clerides expressed discontent with the "absoluteness" of some political parties on CBMs. Parliamentary elections on May 26, 1996 left the governing coalition in place.
Denktash was reelected president of the TRNC in 1990. His then-party, the National Unity Party (UBP), was the largest. Some UBP members and smaller parties oppose federation and prefer a two-state solution. Denktash feuded with Prime Minister Eroglu in 1993, forcing early elections. Renegade UBP deputies founded the Democratic Party (DP) with Denktash's backing. A Dec. 12, 1993 election produced a government headed by the DP in coalition with the Republican Turkish Party. The coalition endorsed Denktash as negotiator. On Feb. 24, 1995, the government resigned after CTP disagreed with a DP proposal to give Turkish Cypriots and immigrant Turks title deeds to abandoned Greek Cypriot property. Occupants previously had certificates of possession, but not title. On April 22, 1995, Denktash was reelected. DP formed a new coalition with CTP. In October, CTP leader Ozgur resigned as Deputy Premier because of what he called Denktash's "negative attitude towards a solution," but CTP stayed in government and later voted Ozgur out as leader. Denktash's son, Serdar, was elected DP party leader in May 1996. The government resigned again on July 4, 1996. On August 16, UBP and DP formed a new government with Eroglu as Prime Minister and Serdar Denktash as Deputy. In November, UBP and DP reunited as DP.
The "motherlands," Greece and Turkey, have widely different approaches to the Cyprus problem. They defend and protect their ethnic confreres, and their bilateral relations, strained over Aegean Sea issues, have been harmed because of Cyprus. Immediately after its independence, Cyprus dominated both countries' foreign policies. The Greek government of Andreas Papandreou (1981-89) and Cypriot President Kyprianou believed that an international rather than an intercommunal forum was needed. When Greece and Turkey developed a rapprochement in 1988, Greece accepted that Cyprus was not strictly a bilateral Greek-Turkish issue and need not be on the agenda of talks between Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart, Turgut Ozal. After adverse public reaction in Greece, Cyprus resurfaced as a contentious issue in the Papandreou-Ozal dialogue. On Apr. 8, 1990, Constantine Mitsotakis became Prime Minister of Greece and indicated that improved ties with Turkey depended on progress on Cyprus. On Jan. 31, 1992, he met Turkish Premier Suleyman Demirel and they agreed to work on a treaty of friendship and cooperation. Mitsotakis was criticized in Greece and Cyprus for failing to declare a Cyprus settlement a precondition for improved Greek-Turkish ties. Mitsotakis was ousted from office in the October 1993 national election by Papandreou. On November 16, Papandreou and Clerides agreed that their two governments will take decisions on the Cyprus issue jointly and that Greece would include Cyprus in its defense plan and that any Turkish advance would lead to war between Greece and Turkey. This is sometimes referred to as the joint defense doctrine or unified defense initiative (UDI). Clerides announced in April 1994 that Greece would provide air cover for Cyprus, while Cypriot bases would be prepared to refuel Greek Air Force planes, a naval base would be set up, and elite troops would bolster land forces. In January 1996, an ill Papandreou resigned and his party chose Costas Simitis as Prime Minister. No policy changes regarding Cyprus have developed. Greek and Cypriot forces conduct joint exercises in Cyprus.
Turkish governments have argued that the Cyprus problem is not acute because Turkish Cypriots' security has been ensured and that the appropriate channel for resolution is bicommunal dialogue. Turks generally support their military forces on the island and agree that they should not withdraw until Turkish Cypriots' rights are effectively guaranteed. Prime Minister Ozal, perhaps eager for a Cyprus settlement to improve Turkey's image with the EC, reportedly pressured Denktash to be forthcoming in talks. Denktash supported Demirel, Ozal's rival and the victor in the October 1991 national elections, and was openly critical of Ozal's Cyprus policy. Demirel vowed full support for Denktash. Yet, in 1992, Demirel expressed concern that a breakdown in proximity talks would have grave results for Turkey and reportedly requested Denktash to be "milder." The Turkish Foreign Minister labeled Security Council Resolution 789 "prejudiced and unacceptable" and insisted that "Turkey is not the party that will study the details of the map of Cyprus.... (T)he Turkish Cypriots and the man who was democratically elected to represent them...will decide...." Turkey supports the CBMs. On July 4, 1994, Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister said that, because of the proven effectiveness of Turkey's guarantee for the Turkish Cypriots, a new defense cooperation agreement was not needed. Turkish policy toward Cyprus has not changed during multiple turnovers in the Foreign Ministry since 1993. An inconclusive national election in December 1995 produced political instability, making it difficult for Ankara to make difficult decisions on the Cyprus issue. Prime Minister Erbakan of the Islamist Welfare Party came to power in July 1996 and became the first Turkish Prime Minister to visit the island on July 20, the anniversary of the intervention.
The United Nations has had forces on Cyprus since 1964. The size of UNFICYP (U.N. Forces in Cyprus) has declined and is now 1,160 comprised primarily of forces from Argentina, Austria (including 30 Hungarians), and Britain, with one or few from Canada, Finland, Ireland, and Australia. Previously participating countries had suggested that peacekeepers were perpetuating partition. According to this view, UNFICYP allows the two sides to live with little fear of intercommunal violence and lowers incentives to settle. Demands on UNFICYP participants to send troops to other hot spots increased, competing with their commitment to UNFICYP.
Chronic budget concerns affected UNFICYP. Until May 1993, it was the only U.N. peacekeeping force funded in part by voluntary contributions, with 70% of its finances borne by participants and the remaining 30% by the U.N. Participants thought the arrangement unfair. Secretaries General called for financing from assessments, which, in their view, are more equitable, and appealed to U.N. member states for voluntarily contributions. Each report preceding a renewal of the UNFICYP mandate detailed deficits and arrearages. For some time, the Security Council only studied the financial problems largely because the United States, Soviet Union, France, and China threatened to veto a change to assessments for financial reasons.
In April 1992, Boutros-Ghali questioned whether a Force that has maintained conditions for negotiating a settlement for 28 years can still have a priority claim on the scarce resources if negotiations have not succeeded. On September 21, he reported that UNFICYP would be reduced markedly by December 15, make greater use of helicopters, and unman some observation posts. By the end of 1993, Denmark, Canada, Sweden, and Finland withdraw their forces and Austria and Britain cut theirs. The Republic of Cyprus expressed concern about a "security gap." The Greek government stated that it would not send additional forces to the island in response to the situation, but requested the Secretary General to find new contributing countries and financial sponsors. The Republic of Cyprus and Greece increased their contributions. Denktash argued that such financing undermined impartiality, insisted that Turkish Cypriots had no intention of attacking Greek Cypriots, and offered to conclude a non-aggression pact.
On Apr. 2, 1993, the Secretary General had urged the Security Council to change financing to assessments and estimated that a viable force required 3 battalions of at least 350 personnel each, including an armored unit. On May 27, the Council unanimously agreed that costs not covered by contributions would be treated as U.N. expenses. Argentina joined UNFICYP in October 1993. A streamlined force structure and greater use of observers has led UNFICYP commanders to conclude that they do not need more troops. The estimated cost of UNFICYP for the period July 1, 1996 to June 30, 1997 is $45,079,599. Greece voluntarily contributes $6.5 million annually and the Government of Cyprus contributes one-third of the cost or $14.3 million annually.
A customs agreement between Cyprus and the European Community came into force in 1988. On July 4, 1990, Cyprus applied for EC membership, stating that it would welcome Turkish Cypriot participation in technical negotiations. Turkish Cypriots objected because EC acceptance of the application recognized the Republic's government (which Turkish Cypriots claim has lost legitimacy). Also Greece's EC membership and Turkey's lack thereof led Turkish Cypriots to perceive increased EC involvement in Cyprus as favoring Greek Cypriots.
In January 1995, the EU was to fix a date for Cyprus accession negotiations. Although the EU prefers a prior intercommunal solution, it is willing to begin negotiations without one. In December 1994, Greece had vetoed a long-planned EU-Turkey customs union and some European governments demanded that the veto be lifted before Cyprus's application was raised. On March 6, 1995, EU officials ratified the customs union agreement and the beginning of accession talks with Cyprus 6 months after the conclusion of a 1996 intergovernmental conference to revise the Maastricht Treaty. (Cyprus believes that accession talks will be completed by 1999.) The Turkish Foreign Minister said that if Greek Cypriots were admitted into the EU as the Cyprus government, then Turkey would integrate with the "TRNC" to the same degree. Denktash asserted that if the whole of Cyprus becomes an EU member while Turkey is not a member, then it would weaken Turkey's guarantees and mean enosis. Greece ruled out Denktash's participation in the EU dialogue, so the Republic government is the EU's only interlocutor. Some suggest that prospective EU membership would make the Turkish Cypriots more flexible on a settlement, others that it would lead to permanent division of the island.
Since 1974, the United States has supported U.N. negotiations to achieve a settlement. The Carter Administration made one initiative to supplement U.N. efforts with a plan roughly following 1977 guidelines for a bizonal federal solution. Since the Greek Cypriots rejected the plan as partition, no U.S. plan has been proposed.
The 1974-78 period was marked by sharp divisions between the Ford and Carter Administrations and Congress over Cyprus and Turkey's role there. A congressionally mandated arms embargo was in place against Turkey until September 1978. In general, Congress favors measures pressuring Turkey to withdraw its troops and to encourage concessions by Denktash, while successive administrations have argued that pressures are counterproductive and preferred diplomacy. Although Members of Congress do not propose an alternative to the U.N. talks, they advocate a more active American role. In response, the Reagan Administration created the post of Special Cyprus Coordinator. After the U.N. process resumed in 1985, a stronger consensus briefly developed as many in both branches of the U.S. government shared the view that it was inaccurate or unhelpful to blame one party for lack of progress. Congressional reports and resolutions called on both sides to take steps toward settlement. In 1985, Congress approved an Administration initiative to create a Peace and Reconstruction Fund of $250 million for Cyprus to facilitate a settlement.
President Bush voiced a desire to be a "catalyst" for a solution in May 1991 and restated the offer in July. He also endorsed a Turkish proposal for quadripartite talks among Turkey, Greece, and the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. On August 2, Bush announced that Greece and Turkey had agreed to participate in talks on Cyprus under U.N. auspices; but Greek and Turkish leaders jointly announced in September that there was insufficient common ground for a conference.
During his first campaign, President Clinton issued a statement "on issues of special concern to the Greek American community." It said that he would give a high priority to the Cyprus issue and that a settlement can be just and viable only if it provides for withdrawal of Turkish forces; accounts for all Americans and Greek Cypriots missing since 1974; provides for the rights of refugees; ensures the territorial integrity of the state; and establishes a democratic constitution which guarantees the rights of both communities. His Apr. 21, 1993 report to Congress said that the 'set of ideas' offered the best chance for a resolution. Later reports endorsed CBMs. On October 26, 1994, the President appointed Beattie his special envoy for Cyprus to signal determination to work toward a solution. (This is in addition to a Special State Department Coordinator for Cyprus.) The United States supports EU membership for a united, federated island.
On June 1, 1995, pursuant to a P.L. 103-206 requirement, the State Department reported on the situation in Cyprus, summarizing diplomatic activity since August 1994. The House International Relations Committee was displeased that the Report failed to draw conclusions, and some Members expressed frustration that the Administration is concerned with process more than progress. Congress appropriated token aid for Cyprus until 1975-76 when it provided $25 million. In 1977, it fell to $17.5 million and since 1978 it has been $14 million or $15 million -- $15 million for FY1997.
Five Americans and 1,614 Greek Cypriots were claimed missing on Cyprus since 1974. A U.N. Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, comprised of a U.N. official, a Greek Cypriot, and a Turkish Cypriot, has met irregularly since 1984. Turkish Cypriots raised the issue of an estimated 800 persons missing since communal violence in 1963- 64 and suggested that some Greek Cypriot missing had resulted from internecine fighting between rightists and communists after the 1974 coup. When the U.N. Committee met in December 1995, it had received files of 1,493 Greek Cypriots and 500 Turkish Cypriots. Clerides had admitted that the examination of files revealed that 96 missing had been killed in action. On Mar. 1, 1996, Denktash said that, in 1974, the Turkish Army captured Greek Cypriots and handed them over to Turkish Cypriots fighters. Some fighters had lost families and villages and revenge "massacres happened." Asked if that meant that all of the missing are dead, Dentash responded, "Unfortunately." Clerides insisted that investigations of each case continue.
In April 1996, Boutros-Ghali asked the parties to reach agreement by June on the categories of cases of missing persons; the sequence of investigations; the priority to be accorded cases which could be concluded most expeditiously; and the expeditious collection of information about cases where there were no known witnesses. As of October 1996, the parties had not taken those steps. An August 1996 Amnesty International report charged that as a result of structural flaws, insufficient powers, lack of experienced staff and confidential procedures, the U.N. Committee had not been effective.... It called for the creation of a new international commission of inquiry into disappearances, missing, and arbitrary killings in 1963-64 and 1974.
P.L.103-372, Oct. 19, 1994, called on the President to investigate U.S. citizens missing from Cyprus since 1974. Information on other missing discovered during investigation is to be reported to international or nongovernmental organizations. The investigation focuses on countries and communities which were combatants in 1974, all of which receive U.S. foreign aid. Both communities assured U.S. officials of the cooperation. On May 15, 1995, retired U.S. Ambassador Robert Dillon was appointed Director of the investigation. No report on the investigation has been issued.
H.Con.Res. 42 (Engel)
A concurrent resolution supporting a resolution to the dispute regarding Cyprus. Reaffirms that the status quo is unacceptable; welcomes the appointment of a Special Presidential Emissary; expresses continued strong support for U.N. Secretary General and the U.S. Government efforts to help resolve the problem; insists that all parties agree to seek a solution based upon the relevant U.N. resolutions, including paragraph (2) of U.N. Security Council Resolution 939 of July 29, 1994; reaffirms that all foreign troops should be withdrawn from Cyprus; (6) considers that ultimate, total demilitarization would meet the security concerns of all parties, would enhance prospects for peaceful resolution, would benefit all of the people of Cyprus, and merits international support; and (7) encourages the U.N. Security Council and the U.S. Government to consider alternative approaches to promote a resolution based upon Security Council resolutions, including incentives to encourage progress in negotiations or effective measures against any recalcitrant party. Introduced Mar. 16, 1995; referred to Committee on International Relations, which approved it, amended, on July 19, by a vote of 24-6. Agreed to in the Housed by a voice vote on September 18. Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, September 19, 1995.
H.R. 1274 (Andrews)
Same as S. 578. Introduced Mar. 21, 1995; referred to Committee on International Relations. The Committee considered the bill as an amendment to H.R. 1561 (American Overseas Interests Act), but rejected it.
H.R. 1868 (Callahan)
Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill as passed in the House on July 11, 1995 would have limited economic aid to Turkey to $21 million because of Members concern, inter alia, about its lack of withdrawal of troops from Cyprus. The Senate struck the limit on aid to Turkey and passed the bill on September 21. Conference Report filed on October 26 cut aid to Turkey only to $33.5 million. The House agreed to the report on October 31 and the Senate on November 1. Incorporated by reference into H.R. 2880 signed into law as P.L. 104-99, Jan. 16, 1996. H.R. 1868 was signed into law separately as P.L. 104-107 on February 12.
H.R. 2223 (Ros-Lehtinen)
Eliminates restrictions on the enclaved people of Cyprus. (These are about 500 GreekCypriots who live primarily in the Karpass Peninsula of northern Cyprus and who, according to the Greek-Cypriot government and others, are denied the exercise of various human rights by the Turkish-Cypriots.) Introduced and referred to Committee on Foreign Relations, Aug. 4, 1995.
H.Con.Res. 124 (Torricelli)
Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should suspend the proposed sale of the Army Tactical Missile System to Turkey until it improves its human rights record, terminates its embargo of Armenia, and progress is made to resolve the conflict on Cyprus. Introduced and referred to Committee on Foreign Relations, Dec. 21, 1995.
S. 578 (D'Amato)
Turkish Human Rights Compliance Act. Limits assistance for Turkey until it complies with certain human rights standards. The President shall withhold $500,000 of FY1996 assistance for each day that Turkey does not meet certain conditions. The President may waive the conditions if he determines that it is in the national security interest of the United States. Conditions are met when the President certifies, inter alia, that Turkey has taken demonstrable steps toward the total withdrawal of its military forces from Cyprus and demonstrates its support for a settlement. Introduced Mar. 20, 1995; referred to Committee on Foreign Relations.
S. 1200 (Snowe)
Same as H.R. 2223. Introduced and referred to Committee on Foreign Relations, Aug. 11, 1995.
S.Con.Res. 11 (Snowe)
Same as H.Con.Res. 42. Introduced and referred to Committee on Foreign Relations, Apr. 26, 1995, which approved it unanimously on December 12.