LIMASSOL, Cyprus -- Commonwealth leaders closed their biennial summit Monday with a final communique that covered everything from Cyprus to South Africa and democracy to debt, but was empty of new thoughts on any of them.
Under pressure from the host government, the final statement included a section reiterating the need for a settlement to the dispute over the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, calling for the removal of Turkish troops and settlers and criticizing the 'negative attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side' to U.N. initiatives.
Previous Commonwealth statements had been slightly weaker, by calling for the removal of all foreign troops but not referring specifically to Turkey, which invaded and occupied the northern part of the island in 1974.
'It was a very successful summit,' Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides said, pleased with his effort to refocus some world attention on the problems in his country.
Before the Cyprus summit the Commonwealth secretariat said a central issue would be development of a declaration of a 'global humanitarian order' but no agreement could be reached on specifics of conflict resolution and human rights and the issue was postponed with the appointment of a group to study the problem.
As in previous years, South Africa was a key topic, but unlike in the past the Commonwealth leaders spoke mostly in the 30-page communique of how to encourage the process toward non-racial democracy rather than how to punish the apartheid government.
They confirmed the decision to lift economic sanctions, but said an arms embargo should remain until a new government is in power.
The heads of government reaffirmed committments to democracy and human rights made at the last summit in the 1991 Harare Declaration and welcomed positive moves by some countries, but they had little to say specifically about the military rulers of Sierra Leone and Nigeria who were at the meetings.
Sierra Leone's delegation spent the meeting parrying demands that they hold quick elections and seeking to assure other leaders of their committment to democracy.
'We are a military government and we have all right to hold office,' said Capt. Karefa Kargbo, acting foreign minister of the National Provisional Ruling Council that seized power in April 1992. 'As things were in Sierra Leone there was no means for changing things for the better.'
Kargbo said the military government intended to hold elections within three years, but would not give a date.
The Commonwealth heads of government had a full day of working meetings and ceremony Monday after returning from a two-day informal retreat isolated at a resort at Paphos, on the south of Cyprus, to the main conference hotel at Limassol.
While the leaders were on their retreat, lower-level officials spent the weekend and Monday morning in the 'Committee of the Whole' -- which officials have taken to calling the 'committee of the black hole' -- to hammer out a communique acceptable to four dozen countries of widely varying size and interests.
Before the five-day summit began, the organization's secretariat announced the centerpiece of the meeting would be 'the emergence of a global humanitarian order' with a separate, strong declaration on the topic including provisions for conflict resolution.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoko of Nigeria said Sunday, however, that plans for a separate declaration had been dropped and the topic would be included in the general communique.
The change was evidence that the issue caused deep divisions among the delegations, which include several countries involved in internal or bilateral conflicts in which they do not want outside interference, and others with poor human rights records.
The Commonwealth leaders did decide Sunday to conditionally accept Cameroon as a member because of improvements in human rights, but with the condition that by the next meeting in Auckland in 1995 it fully meets requirements of the Harare Declaration on pluralism and human rights adopted by the Commonwealth in 1991.
Earlier in the meeting the leaderswere able to agree that free trade worldwide was desireable, and issued a declaration Friday speaking of a moral imperitive to come to a quick conclusion to the GATT talks.
They also agreed to send a five-country delegation representing the Commonwealth to Paris, Tokyo, Washington, Brussels, Bonn and Geneva to push for a quick agreement in the current round of talks on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.