Recent News

Proposal of Greek Cypriot side on the demilitarisation of Cyprus (17 December 1993)

Letter from the President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides, to the UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali (17/12/1993):

"Your Excellency,

I am writing to inform you that I have paid special attention and gave deep consideration to paragraph 102 of your report to the Security Council of the 22nd of November 1993, document (S/26777), in which you point out that ‘ there is every justification for demanding that the two sides on the island, as well as Turkey and Greece, work more effectively for a negotiated settlement, in return for the great efforts of the international community’ .

During my deliberations regarding what could be done by my Government to contribute effectively towards a negotiated settlement I took into consideration, inter alia, the paragraph 101 of your report which states ‘ the status quo, which the Security Council has deemed to be unacceptable, was established through the use of military force and is sustained by military strength’ , and paragraph 105 which states ‘ I would urge once again that as a first step towards the withdrawal of non-Cypriot troops envisaged in the Set of Ideas, the Turkish forces on the island be reduced to their level of 1982 and this be reciprocated by a suspension of weapons acquisition programmes on the Greek Cypriot side’ .

There is no doubt that the massive presence of Turkish military forces in the occupied part of Cyprus creates serious anxieties and mistrust amongst, the Greek Cypriot Community regarding Turkish intentions. It also imposes on the Government of the Republic the need to increase the defensive capabilities of the country by purchasing arms. Further it makes it necessary to request military help from Greece and to include Cyprus in the Greek defensive plans. There are also indications that the above preparations, though entirely defensive in their nature, are misinterpreted and cause anxiety and mistrust within the Turkish Cypriot Community regarding Greek intentions.

After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that in order to brake the counter productive climate of fear and mistrust and thus enhance the prospects of a negotiated settlement the Government of the Republic should take the following steps:

a. Repeal the National Guard Law, disband the National Guard and hand all its arms and military equipment to the custody of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force.
b. Undertake to maintain the Police Force of the Republic at its present numerical strength armed only with light personal weapons.
c. Undertake the total cost of a substantially numerically increase United Nations Peace-Keeping Force.
d. Agree that the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force will have the right of inspection to ascertain compliance with the above.
e. Agree that the National Guard armour cars, armour personnel vehicles and tanks, which will be handed to the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force for custody, can be used by the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force to patrol the buffer zone and to prevent intrusions in it.
f. Deposit in United Nations account all money saved from disbanding the National Guard and from stopping the purchase of arms, after deducting the cost of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force, to be used after the solution of the problem for the benefit of both Communities.

The above offer is made provided the Turkish side agrees also that parallel to the above the Turkish Forces are withdrawn from Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot armed forces disband and hand their weapons and military equipment to the custody of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force.

I wish also to reaffirm what I have told Mr. Feissel before leaving for New York, i.e. that I am ready to discuss the modalities regarding the implementation of the confidence-building measures and of course the solution of the Cyprus problem.

I hope, Your Excellency, the Turkish side will respond positively to my proposal, otherwise the only logical inference to be drawn will be that the massive presence of Turkish forces is not for the alleged safety of the Turkish Cypriot Community, but for the perpetuation of the status quo which, as stated in your report, has been created by military force and is sustained by military strength and which the Security Council has deemed unacceptable. Such an inference will impose on my Government the need to substantially increase the defensive capabilities of the Republic and to enter into arrangements with Greece regarding a common defensive plan."