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

150. Rome for Liaison Officer. Contel 171.1 From earlier indications (Athens 656)2 we had expected request for US assistance Cypriot armed forces would come indirectly from Greece and Turkey. Direct request from Makarios gives rise to several delicate questions, quite apart from basic issue of desirability or undesirability of US military assistance to Cyprus. (1) Was Makarios’ request made with knowledge and approval Kuchuk and other members Transitional Committee and does it therefore represent coordinated Cypriot request? (2) What is relationship, if any, between Makarios’ request and current talks of Cypriot-Greek-Turkish military committee in Athens? (3) If none, are Greek and Turkish Govts privy this request?

Foregoing presumably cannot be put directly to Makarios without appearing challenge his competence speak at this time for Cypriot Govt-to-be, or implying he may have been indiscreet or playing Greek community politics. Similarly query Turkish Cypriots would run risk of arousing them if by chance Makarios’ request turns out to be purely Greek Cypriot initiative. We have similar concern vis-a-vis Greek and [Page 802] Turkish Govts, though we have noted Congen’s guess that Greek Govt already involved.

In light foregoing we contemplate no immediate reply to Makarios’ request and are referring to Defense for study lists of requested equipment when they are received. Meanwhile comment action addressees desired as well as any information concerning above questions which they able develop without discussing matter with Cypriots or Greek or Turkish Govts. Nicosia authorized in its discretion discuss with Foot.

Our position on direct military assistance to Cyprus continues as set forth Deptels 477 to Nicosia 601 to Athens and 2380 to London.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.56/10–2859. Secret. Drafted by Blood and Marcy. Also sent to Nicosia, Athens, Ankara, and London and pouched to Rome.
  2. Document 332.
  3. Telegram 656 from Athens, September 4, reported on Greek soundings regarding possible U.S. military assistance to Cyprus. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9–459)
  4. See footnote 2, Document 328.