276. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State0
3261. Deptel 4477.1 We met yesterday with Crowley of CRO and Jamieson of FonOff to discuss Cyprus situation. They had report Talbot–Killick conversation including suggestion promoting informal bilateral talks between GOG and GOT designed to achieve coordinated approach to respective Cypriot communities. In course two-hour review Cyprus situation, following points emerged:
- HMG is gratified at Department’s initiative and will welcome any assistance which USG feels able to give to resolve municipalities dispute.
- HMG has serious doubts, however, that any GOG–GOT talks are likely to be constructive step to advance settlement municipalities dispute. In HMG’s view, crux of problem lies in GOT and Makarios’ attitudes.
Re proposed GOG–GOT talks, Jamieson expressed doubt they likely soften GOT’s rigid position. He recalled that when municipalities dispute first developed, Erkin wrote to Averoff suggesting they meet in Istanbul or Alexandropolis to discuss problem in context “gentleman’s agreement” reached during Zurich Accord as preliminary to tripartite meeting. Averoff told UK Ambassador Athens he knew of no such “gentleman’s agreement” and never replied to Erkin’s proposal.
Nevertheless, in British view, GOG has consistently hewed to constructive line and has endeavored, thus far successfully, to keep current municipalities dispute out of Greek politics. British are fearful that GOG–GOT talks will quickly degenerate because of existing tensions between two countries most recently prompted by (a) abrupt GOT action in proclaiming twelve-mile limit, (b) unresolved Maritza case, and (c) GOT attitude toward Patriarchate. Sour taste left by these issues likely carry over to Cyprus talks and, in HMG view, could force GOG introduce municipalities issue into Greek politics, which British believe would be retrogressive step. Moreover, GOG’s influence on Makarios very limited.
Latest GOT position known to HMG is that reported Embtel 3257.2 Jamieson recalled GOT suggestion possible need of guarantor powers hold informal tripartite talks (Embtel 2987).3 HMG sees “grave objections” to this since whatever disguise may be given them, they are still likely be viewed as talks under treaty of guaranty.
Instead, HMG believes effort should be made to persuade GOT remain quiet for time being to enable Greek and Turk Cypriot communities to arrive at solution. Jamieson pointed out that if solution acceptable to Turk Cypriot community can be developed, especially if it contains reasonable safeguard such as willingness scrap joint councils after one year if they prove unsuccessful, this should go long way make it palatable to GOT, Turkish Parliament and public. In this connection, any help which Department believes US Ambassador in Ankara can give to restrain GOT from curbing Turkish Cypriot community’s efforts to work out fair settlement with Greek Cypriots will, in HMG’s view, be most helpful. We recalled USG currently engaged in delicate negotiations with GOT which might make direct US pressure in Ankara re Cyprus problems somewhat difficult (Ankara’s 983),4 but agreed put British suggestion to Department.
- Re Makarios, HMG remains deeply concerned at his flippant and provocative attitude. When UK/HICOM in Nicosia saw Makarios last week to tax him on his attitude, Makarios apparently quite unrepentant but did agree take no further steps to implement unified municipalities scheme pending further talks with Kutchuk. Crowley suggested that any help US Ambassador in Nicosia might give in stressing to Makarios need for a “statesmanlike” approach to delicate communal relations problem will be greatly appreciated. If Department willing have US Ambassador Nicosia approach Makarios along these lines, Crowley suggested consultations between Ambassador Wilkins and UK/HICOM Clark to determine how they may best work in concert.
- HMG suggests that any “coordination” of UK–US initiatives re Cyprus municipalities dispute be done in London.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 18 Cyp. Confidential. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia.↩
- Telegram 4477, February 21, reported the substance of the February 20 Talbot–Killick discussion. (Ibid.) See footnote 3, Document 274.↩
- Telegram 3257, February 22, reported that the Turkish Government was taking a hard line on the Cyprus issue. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 18 Cyp)↩
- Dated February 6. (Ibid.)↩
- Document 275.↩