Fifth Round of Talks

As a result of the Secretary-General's efforts the fifth round of the intercommunal talks was held in Vienna from 17 to 20 February 1976. The Greek Cypriot side again participated in a spirit of goodwill and was ready for constructive discussion of the two main issues of the problem - the territorial and the constitutional. It was agreed that an exchange of written proposals on both the territorial and the constitutional aspects should take place in Cyprus within six weeks through the then Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General in Cyprus, Mr. Perez de Cuellar, and to hold a new round of talks under the auspices of the Secretary-General again in Vienna, in May. The Greek Cypriot side submitted, within the six weeks specified, detailed proposals on the constitutional and territorial aspects, indicating the areas in the occupied region which should be returned to the Greek Cypriot side. The Turkish Cypriot side limited itself to submitting general principles on the constitutional aspect, which in fact envisaged a confederation instead of federation, while on the territorial aspect the Turkish Cypriot side carefully avoided making any proposals, concrete or otherwise, in violation of the agreement reached.
The Turkish Cypriot side demonstrated once more that it had never intended to submit any proposals or to enter into meaningful negotiations. Rather, it showed that it merely wished to use the procedure of the talks as a cover to gain time in order to further the faits accomplis.
Furthermore, when the Greek Cypriot proposals were received by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, he demanded that the section on the territorial aspect be substantially modified. This attitude of Mr. Denktash showed that the Turkish Cypriot side wanted to dictate to the Greek Cypriot side not only the format of the talks but also the content of the Greek Cypriot proposals. This is certainly contrary to the principle of free negotiation. In view of the negative attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side, the talks, inevitable came to a dead end.
The Greek Cypriot side, however, continued to express its belief in the talks as the most appropriate procedure for achieving a peaceful and lasting settlement. On the other hand the Turkish Cypriot side insisted on acceptance by the Greek Cypriot side of the "new realities" created by the invasion and the forcible expulsion of the indigenous population as the basis for any settlement, indeed as a basis and prerequisite for negotiations.


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Giorgos Zacharia ( 1995-1999.