200. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State 0
Athens, May 12, 1958, 1 p.m.
3146. Rome for McSweeney.
- Reliable Cypriot source who has just seen Makarios states he decided on own initiative to bring conversation our attention. He informs us that he found Makarios in particularly conciliatory mood. He apparently recognizes need for realism in light present critical situation and told source he felt that if British were able to come forth with self-government formula for fixed period of years with provision for subsequent Cypriot self-determination, he personally would be willing to throw his weight into balance in favor. Source believes, and I agree, that were it possible for British to bring themselves to discuss formula with Makarios prior to announcement, there is some hope Makarios would lend his undoubted prestige to obtaining acceptance.
- Source states he queried Makarios on desirability of establishing some form contact with Embassy and offered himself as possible intermediary.1 After thinking matter over, Makarios said he opposed at this time to any surreptitious or private meetings. He gave no reason but it possible he may be either (a) holding out for “official” public contact with Embassy, or (b) reluctant to use as intermediary person not in his immediate entourage.
- We have just seen Pesmazoglou who is here convalescing from recent accident. He reiterated most of views expressed last December (Embtel 1823),2 emphasizing continually increasing Turkish intransigence, growing danger to west as long as solution not found, and his conviction that solution can be achieved through, and only through, strong but impartial pressure on both GOG and GOT. As to substance of solution, he believes Turkish base-Enosis solution cannot be considered for same reasons partition cannot, i.e. (a) Greek public opinion could not be brought to accept it and (b) more importantly, official GOG presence on island would sooner or later inevitably lead to armed conflict. [Page 609] He sees buying time as only way out of present situation and suggests as one alternative three 5-year periods starting with modest self-government and ending with full self-determination after 15 years. He recognizes that Turks would insist on unilateral caveat refusing to recognize an eventual Enosis decision but feels GOG, as well as British and ourselves, would just have to pass such statement off on “that remains to be seen” basis.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5–1258. Secret. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, Nicosia, and Rome.↩
- In telegram 3130 from Athens, May 9, Riddleberger informed the Department of State that unless it objected he intended to “discreetly arrange for Penfield to meet Makarios shortly after the elections.” (Ibid., 747C.00/5–958) In telegram 3338 to Athens, May 12, the Department of State instructed Riddleberger not to establish contacts with Makarios without its specific authorization. (Ibid.)↩
- Telegram 1823 from Athens, December 28, 1957, reported that the Greek Government hoped to keep the Cyprus situation calm until Foot, Makarios, or Spaak could produce constructive proposals for a solution. (Ibid., 747C.00/12–2857)↩