361. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cyprus 0

185. Paris for USCINCEUR. Rome for Liaison. Ankara’s 735; Athens G–295.1 GOT/GOG joint efforts solve problem equipping Cypriot Army, as reported reference communications, strike us as welcome and realistic approach to matter at this stage. We hope momentum can be maintained. Efforts supply Cypriot Army out of Greek and Turkish MAP surplus are fully consistent with established USG policy and we desire be as flexible and accommodating as possible in meeting Greek and Turkish requests this regard.

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While USG has received no formal requests for transfer MAP surpluses and therefore unable make specific commitments at this time, addressee posts may draw on following background as appropriate in discussing question with Governments concerned:

Equipping Cypriot Army is of course matter for GOT, GOC and GOG to handle in manner they deem appropriate under their Treaty of Alliance. We are not familiar with details their thinking this regard, but would seem logical for Cypriot arms requirements to be coordinated through mechanism established in Treaty—i.e., Tripartite Hq and, if necessary, Tripartite Ministerial Committee or subsidiary body designated by it.
USG pleased note that (a) such procedure now apparently being contemplated (b) GOG and GOT already holding preliminary discussions and (c) attention being focused on what has to us always seemed natural starting point—i.e., serious examination of Greek and Turkish stocks to determine what can be spared to fill Cypriot needs which are after all on small scale.
USG prepared view sympathetically GOG and GOT requests for certification of reasonable quantities and types MAP arms and equipment as surplus to their needs and for authority to transfer such surplus to Cypriot Army. USG agencies for coordinating such requests are MAAGs in Greece and Turkey which will be instructed give them priority and sympathetic consideration but cannot commit USG to replace equipment furnished to Cypriot Army.
We assume Governments concerned in drawing up list of Cypriot Army requirements will be guided by realities of Cypriot economic situation and military needs. Would seem to us Cypriot Army should be in effect lightly armed constabulary-type force with internal security mission and that its activation should be phased over period of several years.

Defense concurs.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 780A.56/11–2560. Confidential. Drafted by Atherton. Also sent to Ankara, Athens, London, and Nicosia and repeated to Paris for USRO and to Rome.
  2. Telegram 735 from Ankara, November 22, reported on Turkish progress in preparing a supply program for Cypriot armed forces. (Ibid., 780A.56/11–2260) Airgram G–295, November 25, reported that the Greek Government was preparing for discussions with the Turks on supplying Cypriot armed forces and favored shipments of U.S. arms. (Ibid., 780A.56/11–2560)