321. Telegram From the Consulate General in Nicosia to the Department of State 0

438. Joint State-USIA. Deptel 405 sent Athens Usito 234 repeated information London Usito 255 Ankara Usito 196.1 Believe we should seriously consider giving Cypriots “right of first refusal” on VOA installation. We could go to Archbishop (either direct or through British) explaining we had all but signed agreement with British when London agreement reached and everything placed in abeyance; GOG was opposed but now appears possible install in Rhodes. Issue could be put clearly to Makarios pointing out value of investing substantial sum in Paphos area and of continuing annual local expenditures roughly similar to FBIS Karavas of $350,000. If Greek Cypriots agreed to installation this would set pattern and simplify situation with regard existing facilities (Contel 437)2 although latter facet need not be raised at same time.

Understand Cyprus better spot technically and several hundred miles closer to target area. “Offer” of additional U.S. investment now would be sign our interest and good will. Archbishop can only say no and we at least would have made offer to regime anxious for new investments.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/4–1459. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Athens, and Ankara.
  2. This telegram, April 13, informed the Embassy in Athens that the USIA preferred a site on Rhodes rather than Cyprus for new VOA facilities. (Ibid., 511.47C4/4–1359)
  3. In telegram 437 from Nicosia, April 14, Belcher reported on discussions with British officials regarding an approach to the Cypriots for discussions on retention of U.S. communications facilities on the island. (Ibid., 116.1/4–1459)
  4. On April 15, the Department of State replied that a final choice of Cyprus had been made. (Telegram 409 to Nicosia, April 15; ibid., 511.47C4/4–1559)