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

423. As cease-fire arrangements are progressively improved, there is more and more speculation as to political future of Cyprus and attitude not only of guarantor powers, but also US, USSR and UAR. I have [Page 602] had talks with Lebanese, Chinese, Italian, French, Israeli and Greek Ambs. I have not seen Brit HICOM lately as he has been out of running with bad throat part of time and tied up with Sandys in meetings at other moments, but I have been in touch with his deputy. Turk Amb has generally been inaccessible, although I spoke with him by phone.

It is commonly believed that Republic of Cyprus has been dealt deep wound which it will be difficult, if not impossible, to heal. Some believed after Christmas that Makarios’ political position within Greek Cypriot community had been weakened because he agreed to cease-fire before Greek Cypriot forces had achieved their objectives and because he agreed to ask UK to come back and command tripartite group supervising it. This view may still be heard, but has been partially replaced by comment that present situation proves Makarios has been correct all along in calling for changes in Constitution and treaties and is now more than ever justified in moving ahead to revise them.

Recent statements by Makarios, Kyprianou, Kutchuk and Denktash are cited in evidence that old order has been severely damaged. Greek Cypriots’ remarks are interpreted as continuing to call for amendment to Constitution and dropping of Greece and Turkey from Treaties of Guarantee and of Alliance. Turkish Cypriot remarks are read as calling for partition although we believe Turkish Cypriots might settle for autonomy with more effective guarantees, such as larger Turkish military contingent. Most observers do not see how these divergent views can be reconciled. Political discussion, much less meeting of minds, between Greek and Turkish Cypriots is presently unlikely in view of prevailing tension accompanied by charge and countercharge here and elsewhere. Many observers suggest that guarantor powers should again take up this problem as they did in 1959. Others suggest UN or US or combination of all of these.

In past US has been charged, without foundation, of favoring Turkey. During recent violence this Greek Cypriot myth was again heard. More recently, however, rumors from Athens that American Sixth Fleet was in Aegean and would prevent Turkish invasion of Cyprus have appeared and American name is again in better standing. In past few days, there have been some press comments that Cyprus should seek assist-ance from USSR. This may be Soviet or Communist “fishing in troubled waters” or it may be prompted by Makarios who is prone to make use of press and if true may be designed to pressure Turks. Greek Cypriot leadership has still not welcomed Greek Cypriot Communists into fold. It did not, for example, arm them or make use of them in recent fighting, although Communists must have pressed hard to be included in hope of washing away stigma that they stood aside during fight with British several years ago. UAR Amb has called on Makarios two or three times during past few days. UAR may be trying to get back into Makarios[Page 603] good graces; Makarios would listen because he still would like to have Arab support at UN.

Cyprus’ political future on eve of new year is thus far from clear, but with consolidation of cease-fire and gradual calming of passions, Greek and Turkish Cypriots may think about this future more rationally. I would hope that, instead of turning to radical solutions, such as partition which might lead to movement of population, they would maintain unity of Cyprus by moving toward some form of federation. Turkish Cypriot call for partition might be countered with suggestion that Turkish Cypriot community be allowed to manage its own affairs for time being, with help whenever possible from central government, and that this set-up continue until there is time for further discussion as to political future of Cyprus. Separate municipalities, for example, have been functioning in this way without geographic division of areas since 1958.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 25 Cyp. Confidential. Passed to the White House; the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; CIA; and USUN and repeated to Ankara, Athens, and London.