[UK] FOREIGN SECRETARY [(Malcolm Rifkind)]:
Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, The timing of my visit, and its purpose, are no coincidence. Progress in trouble spots elsewhere in the world have focused attention once more on the tragic problems of this island and the need to resolve them. The international community, in which Britain is an active participant, is seeking to break the log-jam. 1997 provides a genuine opportunity, not least because of the prospect of the opening of accession negotiations with the European Union. Both Cypriot communities will need to make compromises if solutions to the issues between them are to be found.
I do not under-estimate the task facing us all, but I am determined that Britain will do its utmost to assist the United Nations, and the two communities, in the search for a comprehensive settlement.
I have had lengthy and detailed discussions over the last two days with the Leaders of the two communities in Cyprus. They have given me thorough accounts of their positions. These are of course far from identical. And I would not wish to under-estimate the gaps which remain. But I feel that the following elements offer the best basis for making progress.
- Firstly, the aim should be a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Cyprus problem, which will be based on a by-zonal, by-communal federation in conformity with the high level agreements and the Security Council resolutions.
- Secondly, the federation and its constitution will reflect the principle of political equality of the two communities as defined by the United Nations Secretary General,
- Thirdly, the federation will have a single international personality, Its existence and powers will derive from separate referenda in the two communities.
- Fourthly, there will be no right of partition or cession, nor will there be domination of the federation by either side.
- Fifth, the security of each of the two communities, and of the settlement as a whole, will be achieved by means of international guarantees and by such measures of international collective security as may be agreed by the parties.
- Sixth, the boundary of the two federated zones will not conform to the present ceasefire line. The adjustment should contribute to a solution of the problem of refugees.
- Seventh, before the end of the first half of 1997 there should be an open-ended session of face-to-face negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations, aimed at securing a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem. The further preparation of these face-to-face negotiations, by an intensified process, will start early in 1997.
- Eighth, the success, of these negotiations will depend on the creation of genuine mutual confidence between the two sides. It will therefore be important for both sides to encourage steps designed to achieve that and to avoid any action which will increase tension over the coming months, and in particular they will work to ensure the success of United Nations efforts on unmanning, unloading and rules of military conduct.
- Ninth, EU membership should be of benefit to all the people of the island and the terms of accession will need to take account of the basic interests of each of the two communities.
- And finally, tenth, the negotiation of the terms of accession of Cyprus to the European Union will, if a political settlement can be reached in 1997, be conducted on behalf of the by-zonal, by-communal federation, taking account of the European Union's agreement to start such negotiations six months after the conclusion of its Intergovernmental Conference.