No. 373
The Department of State to the British Embassy1



The Secretary of State refers to the British Aide-Mémoire of January 28, 1954,2 expressing the British Government’s concern at the apparent intention of the Government of Greece to raise the issue of Cypriot Enosis at the next session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Embassy’s Aide-Mémoire states that the British Government would welcome an assurance that the Government of the United States believes that the joint strategic interests of our two Governments demand there should be no change in the status of Cyprus. This Government recognizes that Cyprus is of strategic importance to the United States but is unable to confirm that United States strategic interests require that there be no change in sovereignty over Cyprus.

Nevertheless this Government is persuaded that political considerations of importance to the United States militate against such a change at this time.

The Embassy’s Aide-Mémoire further requests that the United States Government continue to advise the Greek Government not to press their claim to Cyprus, particularly in the United Nations, and to make clear that the United States would oppose placing this item on the agenda of the General Assembly. Consistent with its practices of the past several years, the United States has availed itself of several recent opportunities both in Washington and Athens to impress upon the Greek Government the conviction of this Government that no useful purpose would be served, and in fact serious harm would be caused to Western interests, by the introduction [Page 696] of this controversial subject in the General Assembly. The United States will make further representations of this type.

For the present the Department only wishes to note that, should the Greek Government raise the matter in the United Nations, the United States Government would be confronted with the problem of reconciling general political considerations with the importance which it attaches to the principle of the self-determination of peoples.

  1. Drafted by Hamilton and Baxter and cleared by Barbour and Andrew B. Foster (BNA); approved by Dulles.
  2. See Document 361.