Cyprus Table of Contents
The second half of 1990 saw little action in Cyprus settlement efforts, in large measure due to the Iraq-Kuwait crisis and the demands it placed on the UN and on much of the world community. Some in Cyprus found parallels between the Gulf situation and Cyprus, and hoped that the resolution of the Gulf crisis would renew international interest in a Cyprus settlement. Greek Cypriots saw in the world condemnation of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait possible new interest in pressing for removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus, and in using U.N. resolutions more effectively to resolve outstanding disputes. Greek Cypriots also saw the continued withdrawal of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe as further impetus to bring Cyprus into conformity with these regional and world trends. At the same time, Turkey's pivotal role in the Gulf crisis, including its decision to close Iraq's oil pipeline and its importance as a staging area for Kurdish refugee relief, appeared to deepen some Western countries' support for Turkey, and the prospect for new pressures on Turkey were uncertain. Turkish President Turgut Özal did cite willingness to work on Cyprus among the features of a dynamic Turkish foreign policy he envisioned in the post-Gulf crisis period.
The two sides, at the end of 1990 had not disavowed their interest in UN efforts, and were aware of Pérez de Cuéllar's strong personal interest in seeing progress on Cyprus before his retirement as secretary general in late 1991. Although no formal meetings between the two Cypriot leaders occurred, there was a slight increase in ministerial and nongovernment contacts between the two communities, which many considered helpful to confidence building. Continued work by the United States Special Cyprus Coordinator, Nelson Ledsky, and by UN officials kept the two communities engaged in thinking about settlement prospects, with the expectation that 1991 would be a more active year.
Data as of January 1991