Milestones in the United Nations Settlement Process

Cyprus Table of Contents

In the immediate aftermath of the 1974 crisis, acting Greek Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides met with Rauf Denktas in September. These intercommunal talks were initially limited to humanitarian issues, such as the exchange of population between the two sides of the island. Later, at the urging of the United States, the two men, with Clerides the intercommunal negotiator in a restored Makarios government, resumed a substantive agenda and met in Vienna in January 1975. They both declared their support for the principle of an independent, nonaligned, and demilitarized Cyprus. Beyond these broad concepts, however, there were serious differences over the form of government, the size of the area to be retained by Turkish Cypriots, the return of refugees and compensation for property losses, and the timing of the withdrawal of Turkish troops.

By February 1976, the two sides, according to statements, had discussed territorial and constitutional issues and had agreed to exchange written proposals before May. Before the May meeting, however, difficulties arose within the Greek Cypriot camp. Clerides resigned as negotiator because of differences of view with Makarios and allegations that he was willing to accept a bizonal federation, an idea that Makarios opposed at the time.

Makarios appointed Tassos Papadopoulos, deputy president of the House of Representatives, to replace Clerides. Denktas, who declined to deal face to face with Papadopoulos because he had been an active member of the EOKA, appointed Ümit Süleyman Onan to serve as negotiator.

More about the Government and Politics of Cyprus.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress