256. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cyprus0

334. Ref: Embtels 367 and 368.1 Dept and AID seriously concerned possible implications increasingly exaggerated Cypriot press fabrications re US aid plans. From here it seems buildup popular expectations, in which GOC apparently acquiescing if not actually contributing, likely unless firmly handled henceforth to cause GOC domestic political problems, as well as embarrassing US, as necessarily gradual nature US aid approach becomes public knowledge.

Proposed Makarios visit Washington (Deptel 331),2 which we assume you plan discuss with Makarios Feb 9, would presumably further arouse Cypriot expectations when announced unless steps taken to counter. As noted previously, firm USG policy precludes use this visit as occasion for major aid announcements. Dept’s preliminary thinking is that if situation develops to point where it seems probable visit unaccompanied by major aid handout would cause popular disillusion sufficiently serious endanger US-Cypriot relations, we might be forced in interest such relations regretfully to consider deferral invitation. Appreciate your comments.

Suggest you convey our concern to Makarios at Feb 9 meeting, noting particularly that figure of £20–25 million without any basis whatsoever, is misleading Cypriot public, and is likely embarrass both GOC and US. Not for us to advise Makarios how to handle own press but would hope for some official statement setting record straight while noting continued US intent aid Cypriot development in significant way. As you know, not one alleged “factual” statement in Eleftheria article as summarized Embtel 368 has any basis in fact.

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Department reserving decision whether call in Rossides pending account your talk with Makarios.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 811.0080A/2–762. Confidential; Niact. Drafted by Coon; cleared by AID, G, S/S, and NEA; and approved by Marcy. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, and London.
  2. Telegram 367, February 7, summarized an erroneous press report on U.S. aid to Cyprus. (Ibid., 811.0080A/2–762) Telegram 368, also February 7, warned that the Cypriot press was “beginning to run wild” over the issue of future U.S. aid, apparently based on information provided by Cypriot Government officials in Washington and Nicosia, and suggested means of curbing these stories. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 331, January 2, instructed the Embassy to sound out Makarios about a June visit to the United States. (Ibid., 780A.11/1–262)
  4. In telegram 377 from Nicosia, February 9, Wilkins reported that he had met with both Makarios and Kyprianou in an effort to control misinformation. Both men promised to “try to calm the situation.” (Ibid., 811.0080A/2–962)