Security Council Resolution 716 (1991)

The U.N. Secretary-General in his report submitted to the Security Council on 8 October, 1991, revealed that in the course of discussion with Mr. Denktash, "he (Mr. Denkatsh) stated that each side possessed sovereignty which it would retain after the establishment of a federation, including the right for secession, and sought extensive changes in the text of the ideas that were discussed".
In paragraph 19 of his report the Secretary-General clearly rejected the Turkish side's new demands by taking an unequivocal position that the introduction of the new concept of separate sovereignty and a right to secession by the Turkish Cypriot community "would in this context fundamentally alter the nature of the solution provided in the 1977 and 1979 high-level agreements and which the Security Council has consistently foreseen." The Secretary-General also reiterated that the Security Council has proposed a solution based on the existence of one State of Cyprus comprising two communities, a solution that would preserve the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. Following the Secretary-General's report the Security Council met on 11 October 1991 and unanimously adopted resolution 716 (1991)1. In this resolution the Council, inter alia, reaffirmed all its previous resolutions on Cyprus, endorsed the report of the SecretaryGeneral and reaffirmed the high-level agreements of 1977 and 1979 and the fundamental principles of a Cyprus settlement based on the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus excluding union in whole or in part with any other country or any form of partition or secession. All the above constitute a clear rejection of the demands of the Turkish side for "sovereignty" and the "right to selfdetermination ". This is why the Denktash regime and the Turkish Government attacked the resolution, threatening to interrupt any further contacts unless the resolution is revoked or interpreted in a way that would suit their secessionist positions.


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Giorgos Zacharia ( 1995-1999.