226. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State0

3534. 1. Immediately upon receipt Deptel 36761 I had the President’s letter delivered to Prime Minister. Last night Karamanlis asked me to call at which time I had lengthy discussion of which highlights follow. Prime Minister began by expressing grateful thanks for President’s letter and then launched into another discussion of difficulties facing him in Greece because of content and manner in which British plan had been presented. As most of this was largely repetition what he had told me June 11,2 I do not repeat it here. He made no mention of resigning from office. He concluded in asserting that while he deeply appreciated the letter, he was not certain it represented any real change in American attitude. He referred once more to the great danger of Turk Cypriot violence.

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2. In reply, I called his attention to several sentences of President’s letter and in particular our feeling respecting recent outburst against Greek Cypriots. I emphasized again our fervent hope that his worst fears would not be fulfilled and repeated what I had said to Averoff.3 Also called his attention to President’s statement that US is using its influence in seeking to avoid any occurrences in Cyprus or elsewhere which might exacerbate situation.

3. Turning to question of present attitude, I underlined significance of first sentence of paragraph 2 of letter and urged Prime Minister to recognize significance of final paragraph. At this point Prime Minister broke in to say that original Greek appeal to NATO4 had been designed to prevent further violence by Turk Cypriots and not raise entire issue of Cyprus in NAC. I replied that I understood this but that aide-memoire given me by Foreign Office5 might under certain contingencies jeopardize entire structure of NATO, and that in view of gravity with which Government of Greece envisaged possible course of events it was only natural that NAC should now discuss entire Cyprus issue. I referred to President’s remark in last paragraph of letter where he points out that Council is now deliberating the question and constructive suggestions are being prepared. I said I was certain Government of Greece would recognize significance of this paragraph in connection with our attitude. This seemed to satisfy Karamanlis that American position had undergone a change and he then proceeded to outline his position.

4. He thought if we could get through present crisis there were several suggestions which could be discussed in future and which he hoped US Government would seriously consider supporting. These were: (a) granting of self-government to Cyprus with no promise of and no mention of future plans for self-determination; (b) self-government with arrangement whereby self-determination and partition would be categorically excluded; and (c) self-government under democratic constitution which would exclude both Enosis and partition indefinitely. Karamanlis emphasized hope of Government of Greece that such suggestions eliminating self-determination, Enosis and partition would eventually provide basis for fair settlement and thought they demonstrated conciliatory attitude of Government of Greece.

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5. Atmosphere of our interview was vast improvement over that of June 11. Although Prime Minister is very much worried over internal repercussions here, he has obviously moved into a negotiating mood. There is, however, one point of great concern to him and that is UK decision to make a declaration in Parliament June 17. He is fearful that if substance of UK plan is announced rioting may break out here and he begged me to use all our influence at least to postpone any statement divulging contents of plan. In view rejection of plan by both Government of Greece and Government of Turkey, he recommended UK be urged to make no statement or declare that UK dropping plan but will revert to issue in near future, making no mention of partition or Enosis. He thought if we could get over this date whole question could be reexamined in calmer circumstances in which serious negotiations for a settlement in accordance with President’s letter could be undertaken. I promised to transmit this urgently.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/6–1558. Secret; Niact; Presidential Handling. Received at 11:01 a.m. Repeated to Paris for USRO, London, and Ankara. A note on the source text reads: “Sec saw.”
  2. Telegram 3676 to Athens, June 13, transmitted Eisenhower’s letter to Karamanlis. (Ibid., 711.11–EI/6–1358) For text of the letter, see Document 221.
  3. See Document 211.
  4. See Document 215.
  5. June 8.
  6. Transmitted in Document 219.