324. Telegram From the Department of State to the Consulate General in Nicosia0

477. Contels 454, 507.1

We would be most reluctant to become involved in direct US military assistance to Cypriot armed forces. Instead, we think Cypriots should look to Greeks and Turks as source of military equipment for their small army. It seems to us joint Greek-Turk cooperation in the provision of economic aid to Cyprus, as suggested in communique following Karamanlis-Menderes talks in Ankara,2 might well be extended to field of military assistance. Tripartite military alliance and tripartite headquarters embracing Greek and Turkish training contingents could provide ready organizational framework through which equipment could be channeled.
Moreover, any US military assistance program for Cyprus would inevitably present us with problem of coordinating Cypriot requests with Greeks and Turks, and very probably, mediating among them.
We recognize we may be asked by Greeks and Turks to permit them to transfer to the Cypriot armed forces MAP equipment no longer required for purposes for which made available. Such transfers would require USG approval rather than bilateral agreement with Cyprus under Mutual Security Act.
If pressed by Foot for US views, Congen authorized reply along lines paras 1 and 2.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747.56/6–459. Secret. Drafted by Blood; cleared with the Department of Defense, International Cooperation Administration, Ellis, Rehm, McClellan, and Swihart; and approved by Rountree. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, London, Paris for USRO, and pouched to Rome for the Liaison Officer.
  2. Telegram 454 from Nicosia is printed as Document 322. Telegram 507 from Nicosia, June 4, reported that Foot had again pressed for U.S. military aid for Cyprus. Belcher told him that the United States was reluctant to be involved in arms supply. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.56/6–459)
  3. May 7–9.