Historical Documents

Volumes

Browse by Administration

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977-1980, Volume XXI, Cyprus; Turkey; Greece

Editor:
David Zierler
General Editor:
Adam M. Howard

United States Government Printing Office
Washington
2014

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs



Overview

This volume is part of a Foreign Relations subseries that documents the most important foreign policy issues of the Jimmy Carter administration. The focus of this volume is on U.S. policy towards the Eastern Mediterranean region. The Carter administration’s major goals during this period were to broker a peace deal to unify Cyprus, which was divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974; to lift the arms embargo enacted by Congress on Turkey as a result of the invasion; and to reintegrate Greece into the NATO military alliance, from which Athens had withdrawn in protest of Turkey’s actions in Cyprus. President Carter was keenly interested in securing a negotiated settlement between the divided Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, and he made it a high-level priority at the outset of his term. Despite intensive efforts headed by the Department of State and Carter’s emissary Clark Clifford, an agreement to unify Cyprus eluded the Carter administration; today the island remains divided. The Carter administration was more successful in its campaign on Capitol Hill to lift the arms embargo on Turkey, thereby alleviating a significant source of tension between Washington and Ankara, while at the same time convincing the Greek leadership to re-join NATO’s military command structure. Although the Carter administration was unable to resolve the Cyprus dispute, it secured a significant diplomatic and strategic victory by ensuring that NATO’s southern tier was much stronger by the time President Carter left office.

Ways to Explore