255. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Department of State0

329. Department telegram 302; Embassy telegram 318.1

I spoke with Foreign Minister this noon re current communal crisis, urging restraint and moderation and saying it seemed to me pending questions could best be resolved once Greek and Turkish Cypriots met again to discuss them.

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Foreign Minister expressed appreciation of our interest and went on to stress Makarios believed that as President he could not permit obstruction of functioning of state if Turkish Cypriots utilized tax veto provision to force pace of implementation of constitution to disadvantage of Greek Cypriots.2 Makarios had responsibility for Greek Cypriot majority as well as Turkish Cypriot minority.

Foreign Minister added Makarios was making efforts to discuss matters with Turkish Cypriots and had recently talked with leader of Turkish Cypriot rebel group in House re tax matters. Foreign Minister thought some Turkish Cypriots now believed they had gone too far and would be more reasonable on additional tax legislation pending in House. Foreign Minister drew distinction between more moderate Turkish Cypriots under Kutchuk and more radical ones under Denktash and Ali Riza, saying Kutchuk had always been helpful, but Denktash and company seemed convinced only hope for Turkish Cypriots lay in separating themselves from Greek Cypriots to widest extent possible.

Foreign Minister thought GOT would best be able to persuade Turkish Cypriots to see reason and suggested it would be helpful if US would use its influence in Ankara to this end. I replied that although we were not guarantor power, we wanted to be helpful and were in fact urging restraint and moderation in Ankara and Athens as we were here. Foreign Minister commented that he hoped we might go step further and express opinion on substance of current dispute in support of Makarios petition. GOC was moving as fast as possible on 70/30 and division of municipalities. Present Turkish tactic of forcing pace through tax veto was harmful. Foreign Minister concluded GOT could really help by urging Turkish Cypriot rebel group to abandon opposition and cooperate with GOC.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 780A.00/1–1262. Confidential. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, and London.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 254.
  3. The Cypriot Constitution gave the Turkish minority a veto over taxation bills. Makarios was seeking to put into law a bill permanently setting tax rates. The Turkish Cypriots insisted that any tax bill must be on an annual or biannual renewal basis.