INTRODUCTION: A group of top-ranking Commonwealth diplomats in visiting Cyprus to examine the situation there, three years after Turkish troops occupied a substantial part of the dominantly Greek populated island.
GV INTERIOR Greek-Cypriot leader Archbishop Makarios seated with Commonwealth committee members, Nicosia, Cyprus
SV Committee members
SV Makarios seated with NA Njiroge of Kenya PAN TO other members
GV INTERIOR Commonwealth committee members seated with Greek-Cypriot negotiators in Vienna talks
CU Njiroge sorting papers in briefcase PAN TO Greek-Cypriot negotiators
The talks in Vienna started on Thursday (March 31), and were deadlocked on the first day. The Turkish-Cypriots, who form 18 per cent of the population, have indicated they would settle for 32 per cent of the island. They oppose implementation of the rights demanded by the Greeks, as it could result in the return of the 200,000 Greek-Cypriot refugees uprooted by Turkish army in July 1974.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A group of top-ranking Commonwealth diplomats in visiting Cyprus to examine the situation there, three years after Turkish troops occupied a substantial part of the dominantly Greek populated island. The committee will report back to the heads of Commonwealth countries when they meet in London, England, next month.
SYNOPSIS: Archbishop Makarios, President of the Greek-Cypriot Republic of Cyprus, told the committee that irrespective of their conclusions, the island had been the victim of aggression.
The committee, headed by Kenyan High Commissioner Mr. N. Njiroge, includes senior diplomats from Commonwealth member countries of Australia, Britain, Guyana, India, Malta, Nigeria and Zambia. They were staying a week on the island.
After their meeting with Archbishop Makarios, the committee held talks with two advisers to the Greek-Cypriot negotiators who were meeting Turkish-Cypriots in Vienna, Austria, in an effort to solve the problem once and for all. President Makarios told the Commonwealth committee earlier that the Greek-Cypriot side had accepted the principle of federation.