Cyprus: Status of U.N. Negotiations and Related Issues
Cyprus: Status of U.N. Negotiations
and Related Issues
Updated October 2, 2008
Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Cyprus: Status of U.N. Negotiations and Related Issues
Cyprus has been divided since 1974. Greek Cypriots, 76% of the population,
live in the southern two-thirds of the island and lead the internationally recognized
Republic of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots, 19% of the populace, live in the “Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC), recognized only by Turkey, with about
36,000 Turkish troops providing security. United Nations peacekeeping forces
(UNFICYP) maintain a buffer zone between the two. Since the late 1970s, the U.N.,
with U.S. support, has promoted negotiations aimed at reuniting the island as a
federal, bicommunal, bizonal republic. The U.N. Secretary-General’s April 5, 1992,
“Set of Ideas” was a major, but unsuccessful, framework for negotiations for a
settlement. Next, both sides accepted U.N. confidence-building measures only in
principle and they were not recorded or implemented.
The prospect of Cyprus’s European Union (EU) accession and its eventual
membership intensified and complicated settlement efforts. On November 11, 2002,
Secretary-General Kofi Annan submitted a comprehensive settlement Plan based on
Swiss and Belgian government models, but the two sides did not agree on it. After
more negotiations, Annan announced on March 11, 2003 that his efforts had failed.
Cyprus signed an accession treaty to join the EU on April 16.
The December 14, 2003, Turkish Cypriot parliamentary elections produced a
new government determined to reach a settlement. The U.N. led negotiations from
February 19-March 22, 2004, and continued in Switzerland, with Greek and Turkish
leaders present. Annan presented a final, revised Plan on March 31. In referenda on
April 24, 76% of Greek Cypriot voters rejected the Plan, while 65% of Turkish
Cypriot voters accepted it. Annan blamed (Greek) Cypriot President Tassos
Papadopoulos for the result. Cyprus joined the EU on May 1, 2004. More than two
years later, Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed, on
July 8, 2006, to discuss “issues that affect day-to-day life” and, concurrently,
substantive issues. The accord was not implemented.
Dimitris Christofias’s election as (Greek) Cypriot president on February 24,
2008 ended the impasse. On March 21, he and Talat agreed to resume the settlement
process, with working groups and technical committees. In September, they began
direct negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus issue.
Some Members of Congress have urged the Administration to be more active,
although they have not proposed an alternative to the U.N.-sponsored talks. After the
referenda, the Administration worked to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots in
order to diminish economic disparities between them and the Greek Cypriots and
pave the way for reunification. Some Members questioned this policy. Members are
maintaining their interest in Cyprus in the 110th Congress partly due to keen
constituent concern. This CRS report will be updated as developments warrant.
Most Recent Developments..........................................1
Settlement Efforts and Other Developments ............................3
1977 Makarios-Denktash Meeting.............................3
1979 Kyprianou-Denktash Communique.......................4
1984 Proximity Talks.......................................4
March 1990-April 1992.....................................4
Set of Ideas...............................................4
Other Developments 1997-2001..............................6
2004 Referenda and After..................................10
Developments in 2006, Including the July 8 Agreement...........12
Developments in 2007.....................................14
Developments in 2008.....................................15
Other Factors Affecting the Talks....................................16
Domestic Politics in Cyprus.....................................16
Policies of Greece and Turkey...................................18
U.N. Peacekeeping Forces..........................................23
110th Congress Legislation..........................................26
List of Figures
Figure 1. Map of Cyprus...........................................28
Cyprus: Status of U.N. Negotiations
and Related Issues
Most Recent Developments
On May 23, 2008, (Greek) Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish
Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met for a second time in the presence of the U.N.
Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Cyprus Tay-Brook Zerihoun to review
progress in talks between bicommunal teams of experts (which began work on April
21). In their joint statement, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a
bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality. The partnership will have a
federal government with a single international personality as well as Greek- and
Turkish-Cypriot constituent states of equal status. They met again on July 1 to
discuss the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship which they agreed in
On July 25, Christofias and Talat decided to start full-fledged negotiations on
September 3 with the goal of a solution that would be accepted by both sides and that
would secure legal basic rights and interests of both. The solution reached would be
subject to referenda in the two sides simultaneously. The two leaders also approved
confidence building measures in the areas of the environment, cultural heritage, crisis
management, and criminal matters and gave instructions for their full and immediate
implementation. In addition, they instructed their representatives to take up the issue
of Limnitis/Yesilirmak and other crossings. After ceremonial talks on September 3,
substantive negotiations on governance and power-sharing began on September 11th
and continued on the 18.
Christofias has said that he would be willing to accept a maximum of 50,000
Turkish settlers as legal citizens of the Republic of Cyprus.1
On July 20, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan extended full
support to Talat and said that “a comprehensive solution will be possible in a new
partnership where the Turkish Cypriot people and the Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus will equally be represented as one of the founder states. This new partnership
will be built upon such indispensable principles as bizonality, political equality, and2
Turkey’s effective guarantorship.” Greek Cypriots do not accept that the TRNC
will be a “founder state” or Turkey’s guarantorship and see the state as a continuation
1 Thomas Kettenis, “ Cyprus President Outlines Vision of a Solution,” CNA (Cyprus News
Agency, September 5, 2008.
2 “Erdogan Warns Against Attempts to Water Down Parameters of Cyprus Settlement,”
Turkish Daily News, July 21, 2008.
of the Republic of Cyprus. Christofias has requested Secretary General Ban Ki-
moon to appeal to Turkey “irrespective of my friend Mehmet Ali Talat’s reaction, the
key lies with Ankara. This way the Turkish Cypriot side will become more logical
on the issues we are discussing on governance....”3
On July 28, the U.S. State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman applauded the
agreement to start direct negotiations and stated, “The United States stands ready to
support the two leaders and the U.N. in this process. We look forward to rapid
progress over the coming months and hope that these negotiations will result in an
agreement on the reunification of the island.” New U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus
Frank Urbancic affirmed this view when presenting his credentials to President
Christofias on September 9.
On July 18, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named former Australian
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to be his Special Advisor on Cyprus.
The island Republic of Cyprus gained its independence from Great Britain in
1960. The 784,000 Cypriots are 77% of Greek ethnic origin, and 18% of Turkish
ethnic origin. (Maronite Christians, Armenians, and others constitute the remainder.)
At independence, the Republic’s constitution defined elaborate power-sharing
arrangements between the two main groups. It required a Greek Cypriot president and
a Turkish Cypriot vice president, each elected by his own community.
Simultaneously, a Treaty of Guarantee signed by Britain, Greece, and Turkey ensured
the new Republic’s territorial integrity and a Treaty of Alliance among the Republic,
Greece, and Turkey provided for 950 Greek and 650 Turkish soldiers to help defend
the island. However, at that time, the two major communities aspired to different
futures for Cyprus: most Greek Cypriots favored union of the entire island with
Greece (enosis), and Turkish Cypriots preferred to partition the island (taksim) and
unite a Turkish zone with Turkey.
Cyprus’s success as a new republic lasted from 1960-1963. After President (and
Greek Orthodox Archbishop) Makarios III proposed constitutional modifications in
favor of the majority Greek Cypriot community in 1963, relations between the two
communities deteriorated, with Turkish Cypriots increasingly consolidating into
enclaves in larger towns for safety. 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 Cypriots. On March 4,
1964, the U.N. authorized the establishment of the United Nations Peacekeeping
Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to control the violence and act as a buffer between the
two communities. It became operational on March 27 and still carries out its mission
today. (See “U.N. Peacekeeping Forces” below for details.)
3 Apostolis Zoupaniotis, “President Christofias Praises Ban’s Interest for Cyprus Solution,”
CNA, September 22, 2008.
In 1974, the military junta in Athens supported a coup against President
Makarios, replacing him with a more hardline 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, took control of more than 36% of the island. This military
intervention4 had many ramifications. Foremost was the widespread dislocation of
the Cypriot population and related refugee and property problems. The Athens junta
fell, civilian government was restored in Athens and in Nicosia, Greece withdrew
from NATO’s military command to protest NATO’s failure to prevent Turkey’s
action, and Turkey’s civilian government entered an extended period of instability.
U.S. relations with all parties, each of which blamed its fate on Washington’s lack
of support, suffered.
After 1974, Turkish Cypriots emphasized a solution that would 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 to
be a unilateral declaration of independence. Only Turkey has recognized the TRNC.
Denktash argued that creation of an independent state is a necessary precondition for
a federation with the Greek Cypriots. He ruled out a merger with Turkey and
pledged cooperation with U.N. settlement efforts.
Settlement Efforts and Other Developments
After 1974, U.N. negotiations focused on reconciling the two sides’ interests
and reestablishing a central government. They foundered on definitions of goals and
ways to implement a federal solution. Turkish Cypriots emphasized bizonality and
the political equality of the two communities, preferring two nearly autonomous
societies with limited contact. Greek Cypriots emphasized the freedoms of
movement, property, and settlement throughout the island. The two parties also
differed on the means of achieving a federation: Greek Cypriots wanted their
internationally recognized national government to devolve power to the Turkish
Cypriots, who would then join a Cypriot republic. For the Turkish Cypriots, two
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 many unsuccessful rounds of U.N.-sponsored direct and
indirect negotiations to achieve a settlement:
1977 Makarios-Denktash Meeting. Agreed that (1) Cyprus will be an
independent, nonaligned, bicommunal, federal republic; (2) each administration’s
control over territory will be determined in light of economic viability, productivity,
and property rights; (3) 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.
4 Turkey officially refers to its action as a “peace operation.” The Greek Cypriots and much
of the international community refer to it as an “invasion.”
1979 Kyprianou-Denktash Communique. Cypriot President Spyros
Kyprianou (Makarios’s successor) and Rauf Denktash agreed to talk on the basis of
the 1977 guidelines and address territorial and constitutional issues, giving priority
to Varosha (Maras to Turkish Cypriots) and demilitarization, and to eschew union
in whole or part with any other country. (Varosha is a formerly prosperous tourist
area just north of the U.N. buffer zone. See map at end of report.)
representatives conducted proximity or indirect talks on constitutional arrangements,
withdrawal of foreign troops, and the status of international treaties and guarantees.
1988-89 Talks. After futile informal direct talks, Cypriot President George
Vassiliou and Denktash submitted papers that hardened positions. In April 1989,
U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar proposed separate meetings.
Denktash balked, but the U.N. believed the parties had agreed to “separate and
periodic joint meetings.” In June, Perez de Cuellar circulated draft ideas for an
agreement. Turkish Cypriots argued that the U.N. had exceeded its good offices role
and would accept only a document drafted by the parties.
March 1990-April 1992. U.N. Security Council Resolution 649, May 13,
1990, reaffirmed the Secretary-General’s right to make suggestions. It referred to the
federal solution as bicommunal in its constitutional aspects and bizonal in its
territorial aspects — the first U.N. reference to bizonality, a key concept for the
Turkish Cypriots, who believe that it responds to their desire for separation.
In June 1991, Perez de Cuellar called for an international meeting. On August
2, President George H.W. Bush announced that Greece and Turkey had agreed to a
U.N. conference on Cyprus. The Secretary-General insisted, however, that the two
sides be within range of agreement first. The Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers
were unable to find common ground and, on October 8, de Cuellar reported that a
conference was not possible. He blamed the failure on Denktash’s assertion that each
side possessed sovereignty, which U.N. resolutions attribute solely to the Republic.
Set of Ideas. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s April 1992 Report
to the Security Council presented a framework for a settlement, which he referred to
as a “Set of Ideas.” The Secretary-General suggested 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. A 7:3 ratio
would prevail in the federal executive. Each community would be guaranteed to
have a majority of the population and of land in its area. Non-Cypriot forces not
foreseen in the 1960 Treaty of Alliance — that is, most Turkish troops — would
withdraw. In June, Boutros-Ghali presented what diplomats referred to as a
“non-map” of his territorial suggestions.
A revised U.N. draft provided for separate referenda in 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
(CSCE) principles, an end of the Greek Cypriot trade embargo of Turkish Cypriots,
free movement, a time-table for the return of Greek Cypriot refugees and their
property, three constitutions (one for each community and one for the central
government), vice-presidential (Turkish Cypriot) veto power, an island-wide
referendum on European Community membership, and the return of Varosha and
about 30 villages to Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots would receive aid and
compensation. Greek Cypriots would get Morphou. Denktash claimed that the
territorial proposal would displace 40,000 Turkish Cypriots or about one-quarter of
the north’s 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 said that Denktash’s territorial ideas were not
close to his “non-map,” but that Vassiliou was ready to negotiate an agreement based
on it. The Secretary-General concluded that an accord was possible if Turkish
Cypriots foresaw territorial adjustment in line with his map, which Denktash
rejected. U.N. Security Council Resolution 774, August 26, 1992, endorsed the Set
of Ideas and non-map. The Secretary-General’s November 19 Report implied
Denktash’s responsibility for the lack of progress. On February 14, 1993, Glafcos
Clerides, who accepted the Set of Ideas only “in principle,” was elected president of
Confidence-Building Measures. On November 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;
bicommunal projects; a U.N.-supervised island-wide census; cooperation in U.N.
feasibility studies on resettlement and rehabilitation of people to be affected by
territorial adjustments. From May 24 to June 1, 1993, Clerides and Denktash
discussed opening Varosha 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 balked at that idea and claimed that CBMs would benefit Greek
Cypriots more than Turkish Cypriots. U.N. experts later determined that both sides
would benefit and the Turkish Cypriots relatively more.
On January 28, 1994, Denktash agreed to CBMs in principle. He later argued
that a March 21, 1994, U.N. draft of the CBMs unbalanced their equities. 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 was
not unbalanced. Boutros-Ghali blamed the Turkish Cypriots’ lack of political will for
the lack of agreement. On May 31, however, Denktash had said that he would accept
the CBMs if improvements agreed to after March 21 were incorporated. Clerides
would not negotiate beyond the March 21 document. Boutros-Ghali determined that
there was sufficient progress to implement CBMs based on the March paper and
clarifications, and planned identical letters to each leader expressing his intentions
and to request the Security Council to endorse the March 21 paper. Neither side
accepted this procedure.
Missiles. On January 4, 1997, Cyprus contracted to purchase S-300 (SA-10)
anti-aircraft missiles from Russia. The missiles have a 90-mile range able to reach
southern Turkey and were to protect air and naval bases in southern Cyprus that
would be used by Greece. On January 20, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and
Denktash reacted by signing a joint defense declaration, stating that any attack on the
TRNC would be an attack on Turkey. In October, Turkey conducted exercises in
northern Cyprus, including the mock destruction of missile launchers. The air base
at Paphos became operational for use by Greek fighters on January 24, 1998, and
Greece sent planes there in June. Turkey responded by sending its planes to northern
Cyprus. Cypriot troops completed S-300 training in Russia in July with a test-firing.
On December 29, 1998, Clerides decided not to deploy the missiles after the
EU, United States, Britain, and the U.N. provided an acceptable face-saving or
political context for his decision. The key apparently was U.N. Security Council
Resolution 1218, December 22, which requested the Secretary-General to work with
the two sides on limiting the threat or use of force, reducing tension, building trust,
and on efforts to achieve progress toward a settlement. In December 2007, Cyprus
formally transferred the S-300 missiles to Greece, where they have been stored on the
island of Crete, in exchange for TOR M1 and SUZANA missile systems.
Other Developments 1997-2001. In 1997, Secretary-General Annan called
for indirect talks followed by open-ended, direct talks between Clerides and
Denktash. As goodwill gestures, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots exchanged
visits to holy sites and held bicommunal events and meetings. During joint
Greek-Greek Cypriot military exercises, Greek planes did not overfly Cyprus for
about six months. Turkish planes did not overfly Cyprus for the same time. (The
parties have generally held annual military exercises or made hostile gestures when
progress is not being made in the settlement process and exercises have been called
off when talks are held or prospects improve.) Clerides and Denktash met under
U.N. auspices at Troutbeck, New York, July 9-12, and in Switzerland, August 11-15.
Beforehand, Denktash said that he would not sign documents until the European
Union (EU) suspended accession negotiations with the (Greek) Cypriot government
as the sole representative of Cyprus. He refused to sign a joint declaration at the end
of the talks. (See “European Union,” below.)
After the December 12, 1997, EU formal decision to begin accession talks with
Cyprus, Denktash informed the U.N. that “intercommunal talks have ended,” and
that he would only participate in talks between states having equal status. The TRNC
suspended all bicommunal activities except religious pilgrimages. On April 23,
1998, Denktash and Demirel called for negotiations only between sovereign, equal
states and said that the special relationship between Turkey and the TRNC would be
On June 20, 1999, the G-8 summit of leaders of major industrialized countries
and Russia urged the Secretary-General to invite the Cypriot leaders to negotiate
without preconditions. On June 29, the Security Council called upon the two leaders
to support a comprehensive negotiation with no preconditions, all issues on the table,
and to negotiate in good faith until a settlement is reached, with full consideration of
all U.N. resolutions and treaties. Another resolution said that the goal is a Cyprus
with a single sovereignty that comprises two politically equal communities in a
bicommunal, bizonal federation.
Proximity Talks. Annan and his Special Advisor Alvaro de Soto began
proximity talks with Clerides and Denktash in December 1999. Five rounds of talks
were held through November 2000. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1283,
December 15, 1999, reaffirmed all relevant resolutions on Cyprus, without specifying
a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty as its goal. Annan’s
addendum noted “The Government of Turkey has indicated that it concurs with ... the
position of the Turkish Cypriot party, namely that the UNFICYP (United Nations
Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) can operate on both sides of the island only on the
basis of the consent of both parties ....” The Turkish Cypriots interpreted the wording
as a move toward recognition of their state, and the Greek Cypriots were upset with
the Turkish Cypriot view. The Cypriot and Greek governments prevented inclusion
of a similar addendum to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1303, June 15, 2000.
Denktash then linked his attendance at talks to steps proving that UNFICYP
needed Turkish Cypriot cooperation. Turkish forces set up a three-man checkpoint
outside Strovilia, a small Greek Cypriot village in the no-man’s land separating the
Turkish Cypriot-administered area and a British base, where UNFICYP forces cross
between north and south. The Turkish checkpoint thus blocked UNFICYP access.
At the talks in September, Annan said that he had concluded that the equal
status of the parties “must and should be recognized” explicitly in a comprehensive
settlement. Denktash was pleased, but Clerides boycotted talks until reassured that
they would take into account U.N. resolutions that call for a federal solution.
On November 8, Annan gave his “assessment” in a diplomatic “non-paper.”
Media sources reported that he called for one sovereign, indissoluble, common state
with a single international legal personality; common state law would overrule
regional law; political equality would be defined as effective “participation” in
government, not numerically; component states would be to a great extent self-
governed; the return of an “appreciable amount of territory” to Greek Cypriots, with
as little dislocation of Turkish Cypriots as possible and return of as many Greek
Cypriots as possible; and a security regime including an international military force,
police, and a political mechanism.5 Clerides welcomed these views. Denktash
rejected them and, at a November 24 “summit” with Turkey’s civilian and military
leaders, announced his withdrawal from the talks because no progress could be made
until two separate states were recognized. Turkey supported his decision.
On September 5, 2001, Alvaro de Soto said that the Secretary-General had
invited the two leaders to meet with him separately on September 12. Clerides
accepted. Denktash did not because, “The necessary foundation has not been
established.” Denktash proposed a face-to-face meeting with Clerides and, although
de Soto did not think it was a good idea, Clerides and Denktash met on December 4
for the first time since August 1997. The two leaders agreed to begin direct talks
with no preconditions, all issues on the table, and to continue until a comprehensive
settlement is achieved. On December 5, Clerides attended a dinner at Denktash’s
residence, thereby becoming the first Cypriot president to travel to the north since
5 Maria Myles, “Cyprus Problem - UN Non-Paper,” CNA, Foreign Broadcast Information
Service (FBIS) Document GMP20001109000182, November 9, 2000.
Developments, 2002-2003. On January 16, 2002, Clerides and Denktash
agreed to hold intensive peace talks beginning January 21 at Nicosia Airport, a U.N.
base. Annan’s September 6 Report to the Security Council noted that “the elements
of a comprehensive settlement ... exist,” and “that the gaps dividing the parties can
be bridged.” Clerides observed, however, that there appeared to be no way of
approaching sovereignty and whether there would be a new state or a continuation
of the Republic of Cyprus. On September 16, Denktash proposed Belgium as a
model for foreign affairs and Switzerland as a model for domestic affairs.
Annan Plan. The Secretary-General presented a draft of The Basis for
Agreement on a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem, commonly
referred to as the Annan Plan, on November 11, 2002. It called for a “new state of
affairs,” in which the “common state” government’s relations with its two politically
equal component states would be modeled on the Swiss federal example. It would
have a single international legal personality. Component states would participate in
foreign and EU relations as in Belgium. Parliament would have two 48-seat houses.
Each state would have equal representation in the Senate. Seats in the Chamber of
Deputies would be allocated in proportion to population, provided that no state would
have less than 25% of the seats. A Presidential Council would have 6 members; the
offices of President and Vice President would rotate every 10 months among its
members. No more than two consecutive presidents could come from the same state.
Greek and Turkish troops could not exceed a four-digit figure (9,999). U.N.
peacekeepers would remain as long as the common state, with the concurrence of the
component states, decides. Cyprus would be demilitarized. During a three-year
transition, the leaders of the two sides would be co-presidents. The 1960 Treaties of
Establishment, Guarantee, and Alliance would remain in force. There would be a
single Cypriot citizenship and citizenship of a component state; residence in a
component state could be limited by citizenship, but such limits would have
restrictions. Provisions would be made for return or compensation of property.
Turkish Cypriot territory would be reduced to 28.5% of the island.
Clerides and Denktash submitted comments. Greek Cypriot concerns included
power-sharing, the length of the transition period, insufficient Greek Cypriot
repatriation, and the large Turkish settler population. Turkish Cypriots criticized
sovereignty provisions, the loss of water resources and territory, which would
displace many Turkish Cypriots, and the return of Greek Cypriots to the north.
Annan’s December 10 revised Plan reduced the number of foreign troops and settlers
and increased the number of returning Greek Cypriots, but reduced their numbers
moving into Turkish Cypriot territory. He asked both sides to be in Copenhagen
during an EU summit. Clerides and his National Council of all Greek Cypriot
political party leaders were there, but Denktash went to Ankara for medical care and
sent his “foreign minister” in his place. Annan had wanted a Founding Agreement
signed by December 12, but this did not take place.
Turkish Cypriots demonstrated for EU membership for a reunified island, a
settlement based on the U.N. Plan, and Denktash’s resignation between November
2002 and February 2003. On January 2, 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chairman of
the Justice and Development Party that had won the November 2002 parliamentary
elections in Turkey, called for heeding the wishes of the people and pointedly said
that he did not favor the policy of “the past 30 to 40 years....”6 Denktash and Clerides
held talks from January 15 until mid-February 2003.
On February 21, Greece and Turkey began talks on security issues related to
Cyprus. Annan presented his third revised plan on February 26. It included a British
offer to transfer 45 square miles or almost half of its sovereign base areas on the
island: 90% to the Greek Cypriots and 10% to the Turkish Cypriots, if the two sides
agreed to the Annan Plan. Revisions allowed Turkish Cypriots to retain the Karpass
Peninsula, with Greek Cypriots settling there as well. Turkish Cypriot territory
would decrease to 28.2%, and the number of Greek Cypriots returning north would
increase to 92,000, but be capped at 21% of that region’s population at the end of 15
years, and the number of Turkish settlers allowed to remain on the island would
increase. Annan asked Denktash and the newly elected President of Cyprus Tassos
Papadopoulos to permit separate, simultaneous referenda on the Plan on March 30.
On March 10, 2003, Annan met Papadopoulos and Denktash in The Hague. The
next day, Annan announced that he had been unsuccessful. Papadopoulos wished to
be sure that gaps in federal legislation and constituent state constitutions would be
filled, that Greece and Turkey would commit to security provisions, and that there
was time for a campaign on the referendum. He was prepared not to reopen
substantive provisions if Denktash did the same. (On November 20, 2003,
Papadopoulos asserted that he would not have signed even if Denktash had done so.7)
Denktash objected to basic points of the Plan, would not put it to a referendum, and
argued that negotiations should begin anew. Annan suggested that negotiations
continue until March 28 and that referenda be held on April 6. The parties did not
agree. Annan announced that it was not possible to achieve a settlement before
Cyprus signed the EU accession treaty on April 16. Annan’s April 1 Report said that
Denktash “bears prime responsibility” for the failure, a conclusion echoed by U.N.
Security Council Resolution 1575, April 14, 2003. On April 18, Annan stated the
Plan could be amended, but it “must be accepted as a basis for negotiating first.”
On April 23, the Turkish Cypriot administration opened border checkpoints. The
Cypriot government declared the decision illegal, but facilitated free movement.
Residents have since made millions of border crossings with very few incidents.
Papadopoulos said that he was ready to negotiate based on the Annan Plan if it
were improved to take into account the Treaty of Accession to the EU and to create
a more viable and workable solution. Denktash stated “there is nothing to discuss.”
In his November 12 Report, Annan reiterated that “no purpose would be served” in
renewing his mission of good offices unless both Cypriot parties, Greece, and Turkey
were ready to finalize negotiations on the basis of his February 2003 Plan and to put
the results to referenda shortly thereafter.
6 “Turkey’s Erdogan Faults Circles Seeking One-Sided Solutions in Cyprus,” CNN Turk,
January 3, 2003, FBIS Document GMP20030103000112.
7 Statement made in November 20, 2003 interview published as “Cypriot President
Interviewed on Cyprus Problem, EU Accession,” Politis, November 23, 2003, FBIS
2004 Referenda and After. On January 12, 2004, after meeting with
Turkish officials, Denktash admitted, “The Annan Plan is still on the table....” On
January 23, the Turkish National Security Council — the country’s highest ranking
military and civilian leaders — reiterated its determination to reach a solution with8
the Plan as a reference. On January 24, Prime Minister Erdogan told Annan that
Turkey wanted talks to resume to reach an agreement and hold referenda before May
1 (when Cyprus was scheduled to join the EU). Erdogan declared that if the two
sides could not fill in all the “blanks,” then Turkey would allow Annan to do so if the9
Greek Cypriots accept that as well.
Following talks with Annan in New York, Papadopoulos and Denktash agreed
to resume negotiations on February 19 on Cyprus. They failed to agree on revising
the Plan in talks held until March 22. On March 17, Denktash said that he would not
attend follow-on talks in Switzerland beginning on March 24, and later declared that
he would campaign against an accord. “Prime Minister” Mehmet Ali Talat
represented northern Cyprus. On March 29, Annan presented a final revised Plan.
Changes called for a Presidential Council with six voting members and additional
non-voting members to be decided by Parliament to exercise executive power. The
offices of President and Vice President would rotate every 20 months. Greek
Cypriots displaced in 1974 who return north would be limited to 18% of the
population there; Turkish military forces on the island would be reduced to 6,000
over 42 months and further in subsequent years; when Turkey joins the EU, the
number falls to 650 Turkish troops and 950 Greek troops. Greek Cypriots would
have more property returned. Annan announced on March 31 that the Plan would be10
put to referenda on April 24.
In an emotional speech on April 7, Papadopoulos rejected the Plan for a number
of reasons. Among them were doubt about whether the Turkish parliament would
ratify the settlement plan; belief that Turkish Cypriots would gain immediate benefits
(i.e., the end of the Republic of Cyprus and creation of a United Republic of Cyprus),
while the Greek Cypriots would only see gains in the future; restrictions on Greek
Cypriot acquisition of property in northern Cyprus and on return of refugees there,
and the denial of political rights of (Greek Cypriot) returnees to the north; Greek
Cypriot insecurity due to the authorization of even a small number of Turkish troops
and increased Turkish guarantor rights; doubt about the economic viability of the
Plan and concern about its harm to the Greek Cypriot standard of living; and belief
that the island would not really reunify because there would be two states living
separately and governmental decision-making procedures could create “paralyzing
impasses.” Finally, Papadopoulos admitted his preference for a solution after
8 “Turkey: MGK Notes Need to Begin Initiatives to Revive Cyprus Negotiation Process,”
TRT 2 Television, FBIS Document GMP20040123000189.
9 Karl Vick, “Turkey Asks U.N.’s Annan to Restart Cyprus Talks,” Washington Post,
January 25, 2004.
10 For the final Plan, see [http://www.annanplan.org/].
Cyprus’s accession to the EU when it would have more leverage over Turkey given
Turkey’s aspirations to become an EU member.11
The U.N., EU, and United States criticized Papadopoulos’s speech as part of a
distortion of and propaganda campaign against the Plan to feed the Greek Cypriots’
sense of insecurity, and the three objected to government restrictions on broadcasting
views favoring the Plan.12 Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis half-heartedly endorsed
the Plan, saying that positive elements outweighed “difficulties.” As noted above,
Denktash rejected the Plan, but “Prime Minister” Talat called for a “yes” vote. The
Turkish government supported the Plan.
The United States and Britain tried to address the guarantee or insecurity issue
with a U.N. Security Council resolution to replace UNFICYP with a U.N. Settlement
Implementation Mission in Cyprus (UNSIMIC), and other measures. On April 21,
Russia vetoed the draft, saying that, while it supported Annan’s efforts, the Council
should not act before the referenda and that the draft should have been discussed
more. (Greek) Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iakovou had previously visited
Russia to explain his government’s opposition to the Annan Plan.
In referenda held on April 24, 76% of Greek Cypriot voters rejected the Plan,
while 65% of Turkish Cypriot voters accepted it. Afterwards, Talat urged the
international community to end northern Cyprus’s isolation by lifting restrictions on
trade, travel, sports, and flights in order for it to develop economically and attract
foreign investment. He said that he would not seek international recognition of the
TRNC because Turkish Cypriots voted for and want reunification of the island.
(Greek) Cypriot officials argued that direct flights and exports from the north would
not contribute to reunification and that it was the sovereign right of the Republic of
Cyprus to determine legal ports of entry for persons, capital, and goods.
In his May 28, 2004 Report, Annan described developments leading to the
referenda. He said that the Greek Cypriots’ vote must be respected, but they need to
demonstrate willingness to resolve the Cyprus problem through a bicommunal,
bizonal federation and to articulate their concerns about security and implementation
of the Plan with “clarity and finality.” As a contribution to reunification, he called
for the elimination of restrictions that have the effect of isolating the Turkish
Cypriots. He concluded, “A solution ... also needs bold and determined political
leadership on both sides of the island, as well as in Greece and Turkey, all in place
at the same time, ready to negotiate with determination and to convince their people
of the need to compromise.” He criticized Papadopoulos in particular. On June 7,
Papadopoulos wrote to Annan about “inaccuracies” in his Report, which Annan stood
by.13 The Security Council has not endorsed the Report due to Russian objections on
behalf of the Greek Cypriots.
11 “Cyprus President Calls for Rejection of UN Reunification,” BBC Monitoring European,
April 8, 2004.
12 “U.S. Accuses Greek Cypriot Leaders of Derailing Unification Vote,” New York Times,
April 27, 2004.
13 The text of President Papadopoulos’s letter to the Secretary-General is available online
In his September 24 Report, Annan stated that he still saw no basis for resuming
his good offices mission, and that Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders had
ceased contacts and signs of mutual distrust had reappeared. Annan asserted that he
did not intend to appoint a new Special Advisor on Cyprus (to replace de Soto, who
was reassigned).14 On February 10, 2005, Annan observed that the Turkish side,
particularly Erdogan, had indicated a possible readiness to resume talks. Annan
urged Papadopoulos to put on paper the changes that he would want to have in the
Plan. On March 21, 2005, Papadopoulos asserted,
When the Greek Cypriot side gives in writing and in detail the changes it wants
to a U.N. settlement plan, then the U.N. Secretary-General will decide if ... ‘we
are proving our political will for a settlement.’ This means that he will have the
right alone ... to ... decide if what we are asking for is reasonable, if it provides
the basis for the resumption of his initiative.... We will not accept another
mediating role of the U.N. Secretary-General. The national issues ... can(not) be15
... solved through the mediation of a foreigner....
He added that Cypriots must have a reasonable expectation of success in the next
talks, which have to be well prepared.
On May 27, 2005, Annan again reported little sign of improvement. He
maintained that Greek Cypriot litigation against those buying Greek Cypriot property
in the north in southern courts and in the European Court of Human Rights against
Turkey “poses a serious threat to people-to-people relationships and to the
reconciliation process.” Implicitly challenging a Greek Cypriot view, Annan asserted
that the rotation of Turkish troops and equipment did not imply a “reinforcement”
because numbers and types remain unchanged. Under Secretary-General for Political
Affairs Kieran Prendergast visited Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey and reported on June
22 that there was neither a level of mutual confidence nor a disposition to
compromise and that “launching an intensive new process prematurely would be
inadvisable.” Papadopoulos reportedly told Prendergast that he wanted to reopen
most of the issues in the Annan Plan. On October 26, Papadopoulos said that he
wants a U.N. initiative with more active EU involvement. On November 1, Talat
responded that the EU cannot promote a solution because it is not an “unbiased
organization” since only the Greek Cypriot side is in the EU. In his November 29
Report, Annan again concluded that time is not ripe to appoint a full-time person to
carry out his good offices mission.
Developments in 2006, Including the July 8 Agreement. On January
24, 2006, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul presented a 10-point Action Plan
(sometimes called the Gul Plan) to the Secretary-General, proposing the opening of
Turkish ports, airports, and airspace to Greek Cypriot ships and planes; opening of
ports and airports in northern Cyprus; inclusion of Turkish Cypriots in international
activities; and special arrangements to include north Cyprus in the EU customs
union. It also recommended quadripartite talks among Turkey, Greece, and Turkish
14 There is still a Special Representative, who is Chief of the U.N. mission and head of the
U.N. Peacekeeping Force on Cyprus (UNFICYP).
15 “Cyprus President Wants New UN Initiative for Cyprus Settlement,” CNA, March 21,
and Greek Cypriots.16 The (Greek) Cypriot government rejected the proposal, saying
that it was an attempt by Turkey to evade its EU obligations and upgrade the status
of the Turkish Cypriot community, and reiterated proposals concerning the opening
of Famagusta (Gazimagusa to Turkish Cypriots). (See “European Union” below.)
On February 5, 2006, Papadopoulos reiterated conditions for resuming talks:
no mediation, no timetables, and a referendum on a solution. On February 23, Talat
responded that there could be no resolution without a deadline and arbitration.
On February 28, Annan and Papadopoulos met in Paris. Annan stated that the
Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders had agreed to undertake bicommunal
discussions at the technical level on a series of issues to benefit all Cypriots, with the
aim of restoring trust and preparing for the earliest full resumption of the negotiating
process. Annan and Papadopoulos also agreed that it would be beneficial if progress
could be made on disengagement of forces, demilitarization of the island, and the
complete demining of Cyprus, and on Famagusta. The meeting prompted new
disagreements between the parties.
On April 26, Talat said that he is ready to start settlement talks from scratch, but
that it would be more rational to begin with the Annan Plan. On May 10,
Papadopoulos declared that he would never accept the reintroduction of the Annan
Plan even with marginal changes and asserted, “The objective is a new solution that
will effectively deal with the concerns of Cypriot Hellenism.”17
In his May 23, Report, Annan stated that there have been “no tangible indicators
of an evolution in the respective positions” of the two sides that had produced the
impasse, although they had signaled some willingness to begin to re-engage.18 On
July 3, Papadopoulos and Talat met for the first time since March 2004, on the
sidelines of a meeting of the U.N. Committee on Missing Persons.
From July 3-9, U.N. Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim
Gambari visited Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus. After meeting Papadopoulos and Talat,
Gambari presented a joint statement known as the July 8 agreement to begin
discussing “issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those
that concern substantive issues, both of which will contribute to a comprehensive
settlement.” Moreover, “to ensure that the ‘right atmosphere’ prevails for this
process to be successful,” they agreed that “an end must be put to the so-called
‘blame game.’” Technical committees dealing with day-to-day issues were to begin
work provided that the two leaders exchanged lists of issues of substance to be
studied by expert bicommunal working groups. The two leaders would meet from
time to time to instruct the working groups and review work of the technical
16 For text, see [http://www.mfa.gov.tr/].
17 U.S. Embassy Nicosia Public Affairs Office, Greek Cypriot Media Reaction Report May
18 See [http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/] for the Secretary-General’s May 23, 2006, Report on
the United Nations Operation in Cyprus as well as all earlier reports and U.N. resolutions
On July 31, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots exchanged lists of issues to
be discussed, but they differed on the agenda and procedures. For Talat, technical
issues included environmental protections, missing persons, and policing. Essential
ones include Turkish troops, property rights, territory, and the government of a
(re)united Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots want to pursue both tracks simultaneously,
with direct talks between Talat and Papadopoulos on essential issues. For the Greek
Cypriots, technical issues reportedly included checkpoints, introduction of the Euro,
drug trafficking, money laundering, policing, and movement of persons. Core issues
include governance, central bank, Turkish troops, settlers, citizenship, property, and
the like. The Greek Cypriots wanted technical committees to prepare the ground for
As has often been the case when no major efforts are being made to advance an
overall settlement, the focus shifted to other issues. On December 29, the Turkish
Cypriots began dismantling a footbridge (a metal overpass) at the Ledra Street
crossing in Nicosia to facilitate the reopening of the crossing. Greek Cypriots said
that reopening did not depend solely on the removal of the footbridge but also on
security for those using it. Papadopoulos said that he would take down a defense
wall on his side of the street if Turkey withdrew its troops from the vicinity (i.e., to
100 meters from the crossing) and turned the area over to U.N. control or if the
walled city of Nicosia is totally demilitarized and police and UNFICYP take over
responsibility to police it. He also called for the removal of all symbols, such as
Turkish Cypriot flags, that indicate a border checkpoint and not a crossing point.
Although the Greek Cypriots removed the wall on March 9, 2007, Papadopoulos
reiterated that his preconditions must be met for the crossing to open.
Talat questioned concerns about security at the crossing and stated that police
and not soldiers would be on duty when the crossing is opened. He asserted that
demilitarization of the city could only be realized in a comprehensive solution to the
Cyprus problem. Similarly, the Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected preconditions for
reopening the crossing. Five other crossing points are in operation, but the pedestrian
shopping area of Ledra Street could be the busiest.
Developments in 2007. In January 2007, the (Greek Cypriot) government
of Cyprus signed an agreement with Lebanon to delimit an exclusive economic zone
for oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. (In 2005, it had signed a
similar agreement with Egypt.) Turkish Cypriots and Turkey argued that, because in
their view Greek Cypriots do not represent the entire island and ignore the rights of
the Turkish Cypriots, the agreement is not valid. The Turkish Foreign Minister said
that Turkey was determined to protect its rights and interests in the eastern
Mediterranean, and the Energy Minister of announced that the Turkish Petroleum
Corporation (TPAO) planned to start oil exploration in the Mediterranean with
seismic studies. On February 15, (Greek) Cyprus began the process of granting
exploration and development licenses to international companies, and Turkey called
on it not to do so. Few companies expressed interest, perhaps because of the
reportedly questionable commercial value of the reserves.
Tassos Tzionis and Rasit Pertev, representatives of the Greek Cypriot and
Turkish Cypriot leaders, held many meetings with the Secretary-General’s Special
Representative for Cyprus Michael Moeller on implementation of the July 8
agreement, but they failed to work out modalities for launching working groups and
technical committees. According to the Secretary-General’s June 4, 2007 Report to
the Security Council, the two sides differ on what constitutes day-to-day matters and
on mechanisms for resolving disagreements.
In an interview with Turkish television, Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato
Kozakou-Markoullis said that internal issues would have to be discussed by the
leaders of the two communities, but that the Greek Cypriots wanted to discuss the
international aspect, i.e., the presence of Turkish troops, the guarantee system, and
the security of Turkish Cypriots, with either Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan or the
Turkish military forces. She said that the Turkish military forces hold the key, not
the Turkish politicians.19
On September 5, Papadopoulos and Talat met, but achieved no results.
Papadopoulos claimed that Talat had attempted to change the parameters of the July
8 agreement by beginning negotiations without committees and lacked the necessary
political will to implement the agreement.20 The (Greek) Cypriot spokesman also
charged that Talat had tried to revive the Annan Plan, but that Papadopoulos
reminded him that the only agreed procedure now is the July 8 accord. Talat said that
he had proposed five committees or working groups on the basic aspects of the
Cyprus issue and one for EU affairs as well as the resumption of full negotiations in
two and a half months with the goal of reaching a solution by the end of 2008. He
maintained that the Greek Cypriots were not psychologically ready to start
negotiations and that Papadopoulos wanted an unlimited preparation period.
Developments in 2008. In his February inaugural address, the new (Greek)
Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias expressed hope to achieve a “just, viable, and
functional solution” to the Cyprus problem. He said that he seeks to restore the unity
of the island as a federal, bizonal, bicommunal Republic, exclude any rights for
military intervention, and provide for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and,
ultimately, the demilitarization of the island. He said that the starting point would
be implementation of the July 8 agreement. As a candidate, Christofias had
maintained that Greek Cypriot refugees must be given the right to choose whether
they want to return to their homes under Turkish Cypriot administration and that21
Turkish settlers cannot become citizens of the Republic. Christofias also reaffirmed
that the 2004 Annan Plan is null and void.
19 Interview by Selim Sayari, NTV, date not given, Open Source Center Document
20 Interview by Efi Ioannou, Alithia, September 10, 2007, Open Source Center Document
GMP20070912430010, “Cyprus President Discusses Solution Initiatives with Turkish
Cypriot Leader,” CNA, September 11, 2007, and Jean Christou and Simon Bahceli, “Back
to Square One?” Cyprus Mail, September 6, 2007.
21 “Christofias: I Will Take Initiatives to Solve the Cyprus Problem,” CNA, February 7,
After Christofias’s election, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said, “A
solution in Cyprus is possible by the end of 2008....”22 He also declared that “the
goal is to establish a new partnership state in Cyprus, based on the political equality
of the two peoples and the equal status of two constituent states.”23
On March 21, Christofias and Talat met and agreed that their advisors, George
Iakovou and Ozdil Nami, would establish working groups and technical committees
and their agendas. The two leaders also decided to meet in three months to review
the work of the committees and groups and use their results to start negotiations
under U.N. auspices. In addition, they agreed to reopen the Ledra Street crossing
between the northern and southern parts of Nicosia. Iakovou and Nami later decided
to set up six working groups on issues related to a comprehensive settlement,
including governance and power-sharing, EU matters, security and guarantees,
territory, property, and economic matters, as well as seven technical committees to
address day-to-day issues of crime, economic and commercial matters, cultural
heritage, crisis management, humanitarian matters, health, and environment. On
April 3, the Ledra Street crossing reopened for the first time since December 1963.
On April 11, the Secretary-General named Taye-Brook Zerihoun of Ethiopia as
his Special Representative to Cyprus and head of UNFICYP.
Other Factors Affecting the Talks
Domestic Politics in Cyprus
Greek Cypriots. On February 16, 2003, Tassos Papadopoulos was elected
President of Cyprus as the candidate of several parties: his right-wing Democratic
Party (DIKO), the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL/communist), the
United Democratic Union of Cyprus (EDEK/Socialist), and the Greens. AKEL leader
Dimitris Christofias, as President (Speaker) of the House, acted for the president
when he was absent or incapacitated. The 1960 Constitution reserves the vice
presidency for a Turkish Cypriot.
In the May 21, 2006, elections for the 56-seat unicameral (Greek) Cypriot House
of Representatives, AKEL placed first with 31.16% of the vote and 18 seats (down
two from 2001), and the opposition Democratic Rally (DISY) led by Nikos
Anastasiadis was second with 30.33% and 18 seats (down one). Papadopoulos’s
DIKO was third, scoring gains with 17.91% of the vote and 11 seats (up 2). EDEK
took 8.91% and 5 seats (up 1); the European Party (EVROKO), 5.73% and 3 seats
(up 1); and the Greens, 1.95% and 1 seat. DIKO’s gains as well as those of EDEK,
EVROKO, and the Greens, which share Papadopoulos’s views on a settlement, were
seen as an endorsement of his hardline policies. Christofias was reelected Speaker.
22 “I am Hopeful about a Solution, TRNC President Talat,” Anatolia, February 25, 2008,
BBC Monitoring European, February 26, 2008.
23 Letter to the Editor, Financial Times, March 5, 2008.
The three-party (DIKO/AKEL/EDEK) coalition dissolved after AKEL decided
on July 8, 2007 to nominate Christofias as a candidate for president in the February
2008 election because it disagreed with the government’s handling of the Cyprus
(settlement) issue. Four AKEL ministers resigned from the cabinet on July 11; their
nonpartisan replacements included former Ambassador to the United States Erato
Kozakou-Markoullis as Cyprus’s first woman Foreign Minister.
On February 24, 2008, Soviet-educated, 61-year-old, Dimitris Christofias was
elected President of Cyprus in a second round of voting with 53.36% of the vote and
the backing of his AKEL, DIKO, EDEK, and the United Democrats. Former Foreign
Minister Ioannis Cassoulides of DISY placed second with 46.64% of the vote.
Ousted President Papadopoulos and several other candidates had been eliminated in
the first round of voting on February 17. Both Christofias and Cassoulides
campaigned by opposing Papadopoulos’s uncompromising policies of toward the
Turkish Cypriots and stagnation in settlement efforts.
Christofias appointed ministers from AKEL, DIKO, and EDEK, reviving
Papadopoulos’s coalition. He named Markos Kyprianou of DIKO, a former European
Commissioner of Health and Consumer Protection and Member of the European
Parliament, and son of former President Spyros Kyprianou, to be foreign minister.
DIKO party leader Marios Karoyan was elected Speaker of the House.
Turkish Cypriots. Rauf Denktash led northern Cyprus from 1975 to 2005.
The December 14, 2003, parliamentary elections had produced a tie between
supporters and opponents of the Annan Plan in the 50-seat legislature. A coalition
of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Peace and Democracy Movement
(BDH) had hoped to oust Denktash as negotiator and achieve a solution based on the
Annan Plan by May 2004, when Cyprus was to enter the EU. Instead, a close race
produced a coalition government with Mehmet Ali Talat as Prime Minister and
Serdar Denktash, Rauf’s son and head of the Democrat Party (DP), as Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister. After several members resigned, the government was
reduced to a minority and could not legislate. Early parliamentary elections were
held on February 20, 2005. With an 80% voter turnout, the CTP took 44.45% of the
vote and 24 seats, while the National Unity Party (UBP) won 31.71% and 19 seats,
DP won 13.49% and 6 seats, and BDH 5.81% and 1 seat. Talat and Denktash formed
a new coalition.
On April 17, 2005, Talat had been elected “President” of the TRNC with 55.6%
of the vote to 22.7% for UBP’S Dervis Eroglu, in a field of nine. Ferdi Sabit Soyer
of the CTP became Prime Minister.
On June 25, 2006, mid-term elections for vacancies changed the distribution of
seats in parliament to CTP 25, UBP 17, DP 7, and BDH still 1. On September 8,
three UBP deputies and one DP deputy resigned from their parties; CTP then ended
its coalition with DP. The UBP and DP defectors formed the Freedom and Reform
Party (ORP) or Free Party for short, chaired by Turgay Avgi. UBP and DP charged
that unethical methods had been used to effect the change, and some suggested that
the Justice and Development Party (AKP) ruling party in Turkey had assisted in the
defections.24 Soyer formed a new coalition of CTP and the Free Party; Avgi is
Foreign Minister. UBP and DP then boycotted the parliament and, in January 2008,
Serdar Denktash and the remaining DP deputies resigned from parliament.
Policies of Greece and Turkey
The “motherlands,” Greece and Turkey, defend and protect their ethnic kin, and
their bilateral relations, strained over Aegean Sea issues, have been further harmed
because of Cyprus. On November 16, 1993, Greek Prime Minister Andreas
Papandreou and (Greek) Cypriot President Clerides agreed to a still-effective joint
defense doctrine whereby their governments would decide on the Cyprus issue
jointly, Greece would include Cyprus in its defense plan, and any Turkish advance
would lead to war between Greece and Turkey. Clerides announced in April 1994
that Greece would provide air cover for Cyprus, while Cypriot bases would refuel
Greek Air Force planes, a naval base would be set up, and elite Greek troops would
bolster land forces.
In July 1999, Greece and Turkey began a dialogue, excluding Cyprus and the
Aegean, that has led to many bilateral accords and a rapprochement. In 2004, new
Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said that a resolution of the Cyprus issue
should not be a precondition for Turkey joining the EU or for improving Greek-
Turkish relations. Some analysts have suggested that Athens has advised Nicosia
that its actions must not harm Greece’s national interest, defined as diminishing the
Turkish threat to Greece by keeping Turkey on the path to EU membership.
Therefore, in this view, Athens will tolerate any action by Nicosia in the EU short of
the exercise of its veto power against Turkey’s EU progress.
Meanwhile, Turkish governments had argued for years that the Cyprus problem
was not acute because Turkish Cypriot security had been ensured since 1974, and that
dialogue was the appropriate channel for resolution. Turks agree that their armed
forces should not withdraw from Cyprus until Turkish Cypriots’ rights are guaranteed
effectively. In a policy shift in 2004, the Turkish government decided that no
solution is not a solution and sought U.N. action. Turkey has promised $1.8 billion
in aid to the TRNC over three years, from 2007 to 2009. In 2007, it provided
approximately $571 million.
Some powerful circles in Ankara may create difficulties for Turkish Cypriot
leader Talat’s efforts to achieve a settlement. Then Chief of the Turkish General
Staff General Yasar Buyukanit visited Cyprus on March 29, 2008, and stated, “Our
soldiers are here for the security of the Turkish Cypriots and they will continue to be
here. Reaching an agreement is not enough alone for withdrawal of (Turkish)
soldiers from Cyprus.... We should see how safe Turkish Cypriots are. We should
believe they are safe.”25 On April 11, Turkish Land Forces Commander General
24 U.S. Embassy Nicosia, Public Affairs Office, Turkish Cypriot Media Reaction Report,
September 12, 2006.
25 “Military Gives Support for Cyprus Peace,” Turkish Daily News, March 27, 2008, and
“Turkish Chief of Staff says Agreement on Cyprus not Enough to Pull Out for Troops,”
Ilker Basbug (now Chief of Staff) visited northern Cyprus and asserted that Cyprus
is an issue concerning the security of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus; therefore, the 1960 Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance should not be diluted.
A customs agreement between Cyprus and the European Community (EC) came
into force in 1988. On July 4, 1990, Cyprus applied for EC membership. Turkish
Cypriots objected because, by accepting the application, the EC recognized the
Republic’s government and not their own. Greece’s EC membership and Turkey’s
lack thereof led Turks and Turkish Cypriots to view increased EC/EU involvement
with Cyprus as favoring Greek Cypriots to their detriment.
The EU was to set a date for Cyprus’s accession negotiations in January 1995.
The EU preferred a prior settlement of the Cyprus issue, but was willing to begin
talks without one. In December 1994, Greece had vetoed an EU-Turkey customs
union and some Europeans demanded that the veto be lifted before addressing
Cyprus’s application for membership in the EU. On March 6, 1995, the EU
separately ratified the customs union accord and scheduled accession talks with
Cyprus. At Greece’s insistence, the Greek Cypriot government of the Republic was
the EU’s interlocutor. Turkish Cypriots were excluded from accession talks.
On July 10, 1997, the European Commission reconfirmed that membership talks
with Cyprus would open in 1998. On July 20, 1997, then Turkish Deputy Prime
Minister Bulent Ecevit and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash issued a joint
declaration, noting the July 10 statement and calling for a process of partial
integration between Turkey and TRNC to parallel that of Cyprus and the EU.
On several occasions, then Greek Deputy Foreign Minister George Papandreou
said that Greece would block the EU’s eastward expansion (to Poland and the Baltic
countries) if Cyprus were not accepted because it is divided. On November 10, 1998,
the EU began accession negotiations with Cyprus. On July 10, 1999, Greek Alternate
Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis said that Greece would not object to Turkey’s
EU membership candidacy if assured that Cyprus’s accession would go ahead even
without a solution. The EU Helsinki summit’s conclusions on December 10, 1999,
said, “If no settlement has been achieved by the completion of accession negotiations,
the ... decision on accession will be made without the above (i.e., a settlement) being
a precondition. In this the Council will take account of all relevant factors.” The
summit also affirmed Turkey’s EU candidacy.
In December 2002, the EU concluded accession talks with Cyprus. At the same
time, the EU and NATO agreed on EU use of NATO assets, stipulating that Cyprus
would not take part in EU military operations conducted using NATO assets once it
became an EU member because it is not a member of NATO nor of NATO’s
Anatolia News Agency, March 29, 2008, BBC Monitoring European.
26 European Union statements, official reports, and news releases may be found at
Partnership for Peace. After Cyprus became an EU member in 2004, however, the
EU said that it could not restrict Cyprus’s participation in EU operations cooperating
with NATO. This led Turkey to veto Cyprus’s participation in the EU’s discussions
with NATO on issues such as terrorism and its participation in an EU police mission
in Kosovo, although it did not oppose EU-NATO cooperation there. Turkey’s stance
also has affected NATO-EU cooperation in Afghanistan.
Cyprus signed the Treaty of Accession to the EU on April 16, 2003, to become
an EU member on May 1, 2004. An attached Protocol suspends the application of
the acquis communautaire (EU rules and legislation) to those areas “in which the
government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control.” On July
14, 2003, the (Greek) Cypriot parliament ratified the Treaty on behalf of the entire
On June 3, the European Commission had proposed measures to bring northern
Cyprus closer to the EU, including 12 million (US$14 million) in aid. It suggested
that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce certify the movement of goods
between Cyprus and the EU (to circumvent a de facto EU embargo on Turkish
Cypriot goods that began with a 1994 European Court ruling that certificates of
origin and sanitary quality issued by Turkish Cypriot authorities were not valid, in
other words requiring Greek Cypriot certificates). The (Greek) Cypriot government
authorized the Chamber only to issue certificates of origin, but said that exports
required further certification to be done at legal (southern) ports to ensure that EU
specifications were met. Denktash accepted the aid, but rejected the trade measures.
On November 5, 2003, the Commission’s annual report on Turkey’s progress
toward accession warned that “absence of a settlement on Cyprus could become a
serious obstacle to Turkey’s EU aspirations,” while the December 12 European
Council (summit) declaration said that “a settlement would greatly facilitate Turkey’s
The EU regretted the Greek Cypriots’ rejection of the Annan Plan and
congratulated the Turkish Cypriots for their “yes” vote in the April 24, 2004,
referenda. EU foreign ministers said that they were “determined to put an end to the
isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community and facilitate the reunification of Cyprus
by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community.”
They called on the Commission to submit proposals. “Green Line Regulations,”
adopted on April 29 and effective on August 23, require Greek Cypriot authorities
to end restrictions on EU citizens’ travel between the two parts of the island and
allow Turkish Cypriots to export more products through the south. On May 1,
Cyprus officially joined the EU. EU laws and regulations are suspended in the north.
On July 7, 2004, the Commission proposed additional measures to end the
Turkish Cypriots’ isolation and to help eliminate the economic disparities between
the two communities on the island, including 259 million (US$307 million) in aid
for 2004-2006 and preferences to allow direct trade between northern Cyprus and EU
countries. The (Greek) Cypriot government agreed to the aid but rejected the trade
measure as illegally based on an EU provision providing preferential treatment for
third parties which, it argued, would allow the TRNC to acquire characteristics of
state short of international recognition. The Greek Cypriots also insisted that all
trade between the north and Europe be conducted via the south. The Turkish
Cypriots viewed the EU aid and trade proposals as indivisible, arguing that aid
without trade would not grow their economy and that required use of southern ports
would force the north’s economy southward and make it smaller over time.
In June 2005, the EU held unsuccessful talks to break the stalemate. The Greek
Cypriots proposed that Varosha be returned to them with joint operation of the port
at Famagusta and a moratorium on the sale of or construction on Greek Cypriot
property in the north. They argued that opening northern ports and airports would
lead to the development of separate economies and the permanent division of Cyprus.
The Turkish Cypriots offered Varosha in return for open ports and airports in the
north. In December, a draft European Commission declaration echoed the Greek
Cypriot proposal and was opposed by the Turkish Cypriots.
On December 17, 2004, the EU had decided to begin accession talks with
Turkey on October 3, 2005, welcoming its “decision to sign the Protocol regarding
the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement (customs union), taking into account the
accession of ten new Member States” (including Cyprus) “prior to the actual start of
accession negotiations.” On July 30, 2005, Turkey signed the Protocol but
simultaneously issued a unilateral declaration, noting that its signature did not
amount to recognition of the Republic of Cyprus or prejudice Turkey’s rights and
obligations emanating from the treaties of 1960.
On September 21, the EU declared that Turkey’s unilateral declaration had no
legal effect on its obligations under the Protocol; called for its full, non-
discriminatory implementation, and the removal of all obstacles to the free movement
of goods (meaning that Turkey must open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot
ships and planes); stated that the EU will evaluate implementation in 2006 and that
failure to implement in full will affect progress of Turkey’s accession negotiations
with the EU; and noted that recognition of all member states is a component of the
accession process and underlined the importance of normalization of relations
between Turkey and all EU member states. Cypriot President Papadopoulos
expressed satisfaction with the EU declaration’s non-linkage of Turkey’s recognition
of Cyprus to a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Turkish Cypriot leader Talat was disappointed that the declaration did not call
on the Republic to lift restrictions on the north. The Turkish Foreign Ministry
expressed sadness over its one-sidedness and reaffirmed that recognition of Cyprus
is “out of the question before a comprehensive settlement.” Turkish officials insist
that their ports and airports will not open to Cyprus before the isolation of northern
Cyprus ends. The EU’s Negotiating Framework for Turkey’s accession requires
Turkey to work toward normalizing relations with Cyprus and to align its position
within international organizations (such as NATO) toward membership of EU
member states (Cyprus) of those organizations with the policies of the EU and its
member states. Cyprus has not applied to join NATO, but Turkey has blocked
Cyprus from joining the Treaty on Open Skies, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the
Organization of the Black Sea Economic cooperation (BSEC), and the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Cyprus has vetoed Turkey’s
participation in the European Defense Agency.
On February 24, 2006, the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives
(COREPER) approved a financial aid package for northern Cyprus of 139 million
(U.S.$165 million) for 2006, decoupled from trade measures. (120 million
scheduled for allocation in 2005 was no longer available.) The European Council
adopted the regulation on February 27. The (Greek) Cypriot government welcomed
it, but the Turkish Cypriot administration would not accept aid given under Greek
Cypriot supervision. Nonetheless, on June 27, the European Commission decided to
open an office in the north to administer the aid. (The Council has not adopted the
separate regulation on direct trade, and little aid has been disbursed. According to a
September 2007, European Commission report, impediments to aid include low
absorption capacity of the Turkish Cypriot administration and the propensity of both
communities to block projects for political reasons.)
On June 12, 2006, Turkey provisionally completed the first and easiest of 35
negotiating chapters, on Science and Research, in the process of joining the EU.
However, the EU conclusions that day referred implicitly to Turkey’s refusal to open
its ports to Cyprus, as required by Turkey’s customs union with the EU. The EU
asserted that Turkey’s failure to “implement its obligations fully will have an impact
on the negotiating process” and that, in view of this consideration, “the EU will, if
necessary, return to this chapter.”27
The Finnish Foreign Minister, for the Finnish EU Presidency, reportedly called
on Turkey to open one or several ports and an airport to (Greek) Cypriot ships and
planes, to allow the deserted resort of Varosha to be placed under U.N.
administration for a two-year interim period, the port of Famagusta to be open to
trade by both sides under EU administration, and for the (Greek) Cypriots to lift their
veto on progress in membership negotiations with Turkey.28 Both sides raised
objections. The Turkish Cypriots opposed the arrangement for Varosha and the
failure to include the opening of their airport at Ercan (Tymbou to Greek Cypriots)
to international flights. The Greek Cypriots wanted Varosha returned to its former
Greek Cypriot inhabitants expeditiously and would not discuss opening Tymbou
because they believe it would legitimize a separatist Turkish Cypriot state. On
November 16, the Finnish Foreign Minister declared that “circumstances” do not
permit an agreement during the Finnish Presidency, which ended with 2006.
On November 16, the EU Enlargement Commissioner stated that Varosha “is
a separate issue from the introduction of direct trade between the Turkish Cypriot
community and the rest of the EU.” He explained that trade links with northern
Cyprus are a “European question,” while Varosha is a U.N. issue — part of a general
solution of the Cyprus question.29 The Greek Cypriots rejected this distinction.
27 Jamie Smyth, “Turkey Takes a Further Step to EU Membership,” Irish Times, June 13,
28 Stavros Liyeros, “Nicosia Delineates ‘Red Line,’” I Kathimerini, October 15, 2006, Open
Source Center Document EUP20061020143003, Turkish Daily News, October 16, 2006.
29 “European Commission Cool on Cypriot Demands Over Turkey,” Agence France-Presse,
November 16, 2006.
On November 29, the European Commission recommended suspending
negotiations on 8 out of 35 chapters (of EU laws and regulations) to be completed
before Turkey accedes to the EU. The chapters to be suspended cover policy areas
related to Turkey’s restrictions on the free movement of goods vis-a-vis Cyprus. The
Commission also recommended that no chapter be provisionally closed until Turkey
fully implements its commitments regarding Cyprus. The EU Enlargement
Commissioner affirmed that accession negotiations would continue at a slower pace.
The (Greek) Cypriot government was not pleased with the Commission’s
recommendation, charging that it did not pressure Turkey to comply with its
obligations, and sought to have the EU impose a deadline for compliance. Greek
Cypriot officials said that they were not asking for the full interruption of Turkey’s
accession but for sanctions to be imposed if Turkey failed to meet its obligations.
On December 7, Turkey offered to open one port and an airport to traffic from
Cyprus for a trial period of one year if the EU backed the goal of reaching a
comprehensive settlement on Cyprus in 2007 and reduced the isolation of northern
Cyprus by opening Ercan Airport to international traffic. The Finnish Prime Minister
said that the Turkish offer was “not enough.” On December 11, EU foreign ministers
agreed to the Commission’s recommendations, but did not set a deadline for Turkey’s
compliance with the Ankara Protocol. On December 15, the European Council
(summit of European leaders) endorsed the foreign ministers’ conclusions.
On January 1, 2008, Cyprus joined the eurozone.
U.N. Peacekeeping Forces
The United Nations has had forces on Cyprus since 1964. As of November
2007, UNFICYP consisted of 853 military personnel and 69 civilian police from 19
countries. It emphasizes liaison, observation, and mediation rather than the
interposition of forces. The Secretary-General proposed a budget of $46.6 million
for UNFICYP for the period from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. The government
of Cyprus contributes one-third of the cost and the government of Greece contributes
$6.5 million annually. UNFICYP costs not covered by contributions are treated as
assessed U.N. expenses. The United States provided an estimated $6.412 million
for UNFICYP in FY2008 and the Administration has requested $4.54 million for
The Secretary-General has proposed a budget of $54.9 million for the period
from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. It is still under consideration by the General
Since 1974, the United States has supported U.N. efforts to achieve a settlement
on Cyprus. There were sharp divisions between the Ford and Carter Administrations
and Congress over Turkey’s role on Cyprus from 1974-1978. A congressionally
mandated arms embargo against Turkey was in place until September 1978. In
general, Congress favored measures to pressure Turkey to withdraw its troops and
encourage concessions by Denktash, while successive administrations argued that
pressures were counterproductive and preferred diplomacy. Although Members did
not propose an alternative to the U.N. talks, some sought a more active U.S. role. In
response, President Reagan created the State Department post of Special Cyprus
Coordinator, and President Clinton named a Presidential Envoy for Cyprus. The
current Bush Administration did not name a Presidential Envoy and, since June 2004,
the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs has been
performing the duties of Special Cyprus Coordinator without the title.
On February 14, 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell affirmed that the
Administration “fully supports the ongoing U.N. efforts.” The Administration
championed the Annan Plan. Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston openly
aided the Turkish Cypriot political opposition before the December 2003 elections
to increase the chances of a settlement. At a donors’ conference on April 15, 2004,
the United States pledged $400 million over four years if the Annan Plan were
approved in the April 24, 2004, referenda. Secretary Powell urged all parties to vote
“yes” in the referenda.
After the referenda, the State Department accused Greek Cypriot leaders of
manipulating public opinion by restricting news media and taking other steps to
ensure a “no” vote.30 Weston said that the Department would seek ways to end the
isolation of northern Cyprus and to improve its economy. He said that if the Turkish
Cypriots were able to move toward economic equality with the Greek Cypriots, then
some Greek Cypriot concerns about the cost of a settlement might be removed.
Official gestures also were made. For example, Powell referred to “Prime Minister”
Talat by his title when they met in New York on May 4, 2004, and U.S. Ambassador
to Cyprus visited Talat in the Prime Minister’s Office on May 21. The State
Department considers Talat “leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.” On May 28,
the U.S. Embassy on Cyprus said that a TRNC passport holder seeking to travel to
the United States would be eligible for a visa for up to two years.
In June, the Administration authorized U.S. government and military personnel
to travel directly to northern Cyprus, and Weston visited the TRNC’s representatives
in New York and Washington. In October, U.S. Transport Security Service agents
examined Ercan Airport in northern Cyprus. On February 17, 2005, representatives
from 12 U.S. companies and the commercial attache from the U.S. Embassy in
Ankara landed at Ercan. The Republic of Cyprus has not designated ports or airports
in the north as legal ports of entry and charged that the delegation’s, especially the
U.S. diplomat’s, use of the airport was illegal. On May 31, three members of the
U.S. House of Representatives Turkish Study Group landed at Ercan. A State
Department spokesman said that the congressional trip did not violate international
or U.S. law which the Department maintains applies to U.S. carriers not citizens.
There have been no reports of U.S. carriers applying to fly to northern Cyprus.
30 “U.S. Accuses Greek Cypriot Leaders of Derailing Unification Vote,” New York Times,
April 27, 2004.
On October 28, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Talat in Washington
as part of U.S. efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue and to ease the isolation
of the Turkish Cypriots in a way that supports reunification. The State Department
maintained that there was no change in U.S. policy of non-recognition of the Turkish-
Cypriot state and that the United States still wanted both parties to re-engage to find
a solution. Talat asked Rice to continue steps to end the isolation of northern Cyprus,
with direct flights to Ercan Airport, and to encourage international organizations to
do the same. Cypriot President Papadopoulos charged that the meeting promoted
“secessionist tensions.” On February 15, 2006, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State for European Affairs Matthew Bryza told a Greek newspaper that President
“Papadopoulos must, clearly, finally and in writing, say what changes he wants in the
Annan Plan” and that “the ball” is in the President’s court.31
In a subsequent interview on April 2, Bryza said, “we must respect the
democratic and clear decision of the Greek Cypriots not to approve the Annan Plan.”
He added that Turkey must honor its commitment to implement the protocol for the
expansion of its customs union with the EU.32 In June, Assistant Secretary of State
for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried also said, “Turkey should open its
ports to Cypriot ships and airplanes and fulfill its responsibility for expanding the
Customs Union agreement (with the European Union) in a way to include the
Republic of Cyprus.” 33
On July 18-19, Bryza visited Cyprus. Because he was to meet Talat in his
official office, Bryza did not meet either Papadopoulos or Foreign Minister Lillikas.
Instead, he met Speaker Christofias and other Foreign Ministry officials. In the
north, he met Talat, “Prime Minister” Soyer, and “Foreign Minister” Denktash.
In March 2007, U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Ronald Schlicher encouraged
representatives of the two communities to meet with the U.N. Secretary-General’s
Special Representative for Cyprus Moeller to find a way to complete the work
necessary for the reopening of Ledra Street. He added, “Let’s use the progress on
Ledra Street as a stimulus for broader progress on the basis of the July 8 agreement.”
U.S. officials have repeatedly said that the United States favors implementation of
the July 8 agreement.
On May 16, Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns told a Greek-American
audience that the 2004 Annan Plan was “a good effort in good faith which the U.S.
supported,” but “we don’t need to return to something that has been tried and failed.”
He reported that Secretary Rice had encouraged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-
moon to appoint a special envoy to Cyprus. On July 20, the Cyprus News Agency
reported that Burns had told it, “We hope that the Secretary-General of the United
31 Interview conducted by Dhimitris Apokis on February 15, 2006, “The Whole Bush
Administration Likes Dora,” O Kosmos tou Ependhiti, February 25, 2006, Open Source
Center Document, EUP20060227141001.
32 Interview conducted by Anni Podhimata, To Vima tis Kiriakis, April 2, 2006, Open Source
Center Document, EUP20060403431002.
33 Speech to the 17th annual Cyprus Conference of the International Coordinating
Committee - Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the World Council of Hellenes (SAE).
Nations will undertake a renewed effort to achieve a peaceful settlement of the
Cyprus dispute, and the United States will support such an effort.”
The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia welcomed the outcome of the March 2008
Chrisofias-Talat meeting and wished them success in their efforts to reach a
comprehensive settlement. The State Department vowed “full support for this
constructive dialogue, and for efforts by the United Nations to forge a just and lasting
On July 9, 2004, the State Department announced that $30.5 million (in
reprogrammed funds) would be provided for economic development of northern
Cyprus to lessen the cost of reunification. Some Members were concerned that the
(Greek) Cypriot government might be bypassed. P.L. 109-102, November 14, 2005,
appropriated $20 million for FY2006 as the Administration requested, providing that
the funds should be made available only for scholarships and their administration,
bicommunal projects, and measures aimed at reunification and designed to reduce
tensions. This restriction pertained in FY2007 and continues in P.L. 110-161,
December 26, 2007, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, which provides the
Administration’s requested $11 million in Economic Support Funds (ESF) for
Cyprus. The Administration has requested $11 million in ESF for Cyprus for
110th Congress Legislation
S. 695, the American-Owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act. To
amend the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 to allow for claims against
Turkey by U.S. nationals excluded from property they own in Turkish-occupied
Cyprus. Introduced and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, February
S.Res. 331, To express the sense of the Senate that Turkey should end its
military occupation of Cyprus, particularly because Turkey’s pretext has been refuted
by over 13 million crossings of the divide between north and south without incident.
Introduced and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, September 25, 2007.
H.R. 1456, introduced and referred to the House Committees on Foreign Affairs
and on the Judiciary on March 9, 2007, is the same as S. 695 above.
H.Res. 405, expresses strong support for implementation of the Papadopoulos-
Talat July 8, 2006 agreement. Introduced and referred to the Committee on Foreign
Affairs, May 15, 2007. The Committee agreed to seek consideration under
suspension of rules, September 26. The House agreed to a motion to suspend the
rules and agree to the resolution, as amended, by a voice vote; motion to reconsider
laid on the table and agreed to without exception on October 9.
H.Res. 407, expresses strong support for the Government of Cyprus aimed at
opening additional crossing points along the cease-fire line. Introduced and referred
to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, May 15, 2007.
H.Res. 620, Introduced and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs,
August 3, 2007, is the same as S.Res. 331 above.
H.Res. 627, supporting the removal of Turkish occupation troops from the
Republic of Cyprus. Introduced and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs,
August 4, 2007.
Figure 1. Map of Cyprus