297. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State0

2295. From Thurston. In separate encounters with Greek Foreign Minister (Averoff) and Turkish Ambassador Bonn (Iksel) at NATO Ministers Meeting,1 following information gleaned on present Greco-Turkish effort to achieve measures of rapprochement between themselves on Cyprus question:

Averoff said that in discussions with Turks (presumably between himself and Zorlu) attempt being made to arrive at mutually acceptable formula for an independent Cyprus. Talks only in initial stage but involve practical questions as to share of Turkish community in future government of island. In certain spheres Turks were asking “too high a price”, i.e., a fifty-fifty arrangement. In Averoff’s opinion, Turks motivated in their current show of friendship by three factors: (1) widespread sentiment expressed in UNGA for independence as best solution, (2) genuine concern over ME developments, and (3) desire to reach relatively favorable settlement before possible advent Labor government in UK. He concluded by stating he was not sure UK entirely happy over Greek-Turkish get together, but that he hoped US would use its influence in London and Ankara to encourage continuance of this bilateral effort.

Iksel (who until recently was Turkish Ambassador in Athens) struck note of cautious optimism in commenting on improved atmosphere between two countries. He said all depended on whether Greeks were engaging in talks with good will. He then displayed other side of coin classified by Averoff as Turkish motivation by expressing fear that Greeks may simply have in mind a stalling operation until UK elections in hope return of Labor government would turn balance their favor.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/12–1958. Confidential; Noforn. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia.
  2. December 16–18.