253. Memorandum of Conversation0



Paris, December 14, 1961, 7:30 p.m.


  • United States
    • The Secretary of State
    • Mr. Brown
  • Cyprus
    • Foreign Minister Kyprianou


  • Economic Assistance for Cyprus

The Foreign Minister said that Cyprus needs outside assistance to carry out its five-year development program. It is self-financing about 30 million pounds for the period and needs external aid of about 32 million pounds. Cyprus hopes to be completely self-sustaining in seven to ten years, provided it can get its plan financed and operative.

The Secretary said that we have re-organized our approach to aid. We have put the responsibility on our Ambassadors in the field who are equipped to aid new countries explore the sources available to them. We also want to see the new nations turning to the Western European countries, especially towards those who had been associated with them in the past. We do not want our aid to replace that formerly given by others but rather to supplement their assistance.

The Foreign Minister said that they were exploring these sources. He did not expect much from the UK. Some assistance has been received from the Federal Republic. There are some pressures in Cyprus, which the Government is resisting, to accept aid from the Soviets, who have already made offers. The Government is confident the US will help, however. It hopes that assistance will be bilateral as well as through a consortium; bilateral assistance from the US will have a significant political impact.

The Secretary said we would take account of these suggestions. The attitude of the Bank would be of great importance. If the Cypriot Government convinces the Bank that it has a logical plan, this would affect [Page 520] favorably the attitude of governments. He expressed the hope that the Cypriot people themselves would be seized with the idea of development. It’s a persuasive argument for aid when the people themselves are moving. He asked the order of priorities.

The Foreign Minister said that water is the immediate problem. Extensive surveys are needed. Much of the development plan money will initially go into water projects. Later the mines can be developed. Other projects include a new port and the improvement of tourist accommodations. Finally, agriculture must be modernized and perhaps transformed into the production of more exportable commodities.

The Secretary said that tourism could be a most profitable resource. He suggested Cyprus try to attract international meetings. We will try to get conclusions soon on assistance. In the meantime, Cyprus should present its plans to the Bank and talk to other countries in Europe, especially DAG members.1

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 65 D 366, CF 2004. Confidential. Drafted by Brown and approved in S on December 24. The meeting was held at the U.S. Embassy Residence. Kyprianou was attending the conference of Cyprus guarantor powers, which was being held at the same time as the NATO Ministerial Meeting.
  2. On December 15, the Cypriot Foreign Ministry issued an official statement regarding the RuskKyprianou meeting that included the statement: “Mr. Rusk assured Mr. Kyprianou that American aid will cover a considerable part of the five-year development plan.” The text of the Cypriot press release was sent to the Department of State in airgram A–110 from Nicosia, December 27. (Ibid., Central Files, 611.80A/12–2761)