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Situation in Cyprus (recent political developments)

Recommendation 1259 (1995)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 2 February 1995 (7th Sitting) (see Doc. 7206, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Lord Finsberg). Text adopted by the Assembly on 2 February 1995 (7th Sitting).
1. The Assembly believes that the situation in Cyprus is one of the potentially destabilising problems in the Mediterranean region. It directly concerns four member states of the Council of Europe, namely the Republic of Cyprus and the three guarantor powers of its 1960 Constitution, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
2. In all its texts adopted on Cyprus, the Assembly has expressed its unwavering support for the efforts of the Secretary General of the United Nations to reach a comprehensive settlement of the problem.
3. In August 1992, the Secretary General of the United Nations submitted a "set of ideas" to the two communities - Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot - to serve as a basis for an overall framework agreement. However, the talks on this proposal showed that there was deep-seated mistrust separating the two parties. In order to overcome this, the Secretary General of the United Nations proposed, in November 1992, a series of "confidence-building measures" designed to create a new climate, more favourable to the negotiation process.
4. After more than a year of intercommunal talks, and faced with the absence of agreement between the two sides, in July 1994 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 939 in which it reiterated that the maintenance of the status quo is unacceptable and requested the Secretary General to begin consultations with the two parties, the guarantor powers and members of the Security Council.
5. The Assembly welcomes the proposal for the demilitarisation of the island set out by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, and urges the Turkish Cypriot administration to give it proper consideration. Such demilitarisation would mean that Turkish troops now illegally present in the country, as resolved by the United Nations, would withdraw according to an agreed timetable.
6. The Assembly considers that the Council of Europe should continue to back the efforts of the Secretary General of the United Nations to progress towards a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem while preserving the unity of the island and accommodating the two communities within a federal bi-zonal state. The Council of Europe should also help to build a climate of trust between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Direct contacts between them are the best way of creating confidence.
7. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
7.1 urge the political leaders of both communities to accept the proposals of the Secretary General of the United Nations forthwith and thus demonstrate that the political will for a settlement really exists by accepting at the same time all the Secretary General's proposals for implementation of the "confidence-building measures";
7.2 ask the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot administration to allow at the earliest possible moment the exercise of the right to free movement of persons between the two parts of the island together with all other rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights;
7.3 invite the Government of Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot administration and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to co-operate to allow normal international telephone and postal access to the northern part of the island;
7.4 launch an appeal to both communities to refrain from using propaganda against the other community;
7.5 invite both communities to revise, with the Council of Europe's assistance, the textbooks used in schools on both sides in order to put more emphasis on what unites the two communities than on what separates them;
7.6 promote the establishment of a climate of trust between the two communities by sponsoring practical initiatives for this purpose, in particular in the fields of culture, education, youth, sport and commerce;
7.7 play a more active role as regards the settlement of the Cyprus problem, in accordance with its Declaration of 10 November 1994 on compliance with commitments accepted by member states of the Council of Europe, and ask the Government of Turkey to co-operate in the implementation of United Nations resolutions and the rule of law.