254. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State 0

2518. British Government seriously concerned over statement January 4 by President Makarios of Cyprus that he would seek amendment certain provisions Cyprus constitution.1 In talk with Ambassador January 5, Jamieson of Central Department said Makarios effort this direction not only illegal in terms basic agreement but could stimulate communal violence in Cyprus.

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As consequence:

UK instructing Embassy Athens see Greek Government and state move by Makarios could provoke crisis reopening Cyprus settlement and possibility invocation treaty of guarantee. UK desires avoid this at all costs. Embassy to ask Greeks to urge moderation on Makarios.
Although doubting representations to Turks would be helpful at moment, British Ambassador to urge patience on Turkish Government. UK does not desire, however, raise question treaty of guarantee with Turks at this point.
UK Embassy Cyprus will also be instructed urge moderation on Makarios.
UK Embassy Washington being instructed review various UK messages with Department and request some parallel US action.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 780A.00/1–562. Confidential. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia.
  2. In the January 4 statement, Makarios stated that he would “disregard or seek revision” of parts of the Cypriot Constitution because their abuse by the Turkish minority was endangering the Republic’s existence.
  3. In telegram 302 to Nicosia, January 6, the Department noted that the British request for parallel action had been relayed on January 5. The telegram requested the Embassy’s analysis of the internal situation in Cyprus. (Department of State, Central Files, 780A.00/1–562) In telegram 318 from Nicosia, January 8, the Embassy reported that “we doubt that Makarios actually intends press for constitutional revision at this time,” and that the British High Commission shared this judgment. However, both Wilkins and the High Commissioner planned to “counsel moderation” at separate meetings with Makarios. (Ibid., 780A.00/1–862)