152. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Greece1

432. While we are continuing to seek a permanent solution of the Cyprus problem we have been giving further study as to how we can:

a.
prevent deterioration in the relations between Greece and Turkey that may lead to a dangerous explosion;
b.
create a climate in which we can prosecute a productive search for a permanent settlement; and
c.
widen the scope of negotiations in order to get the discussion off dead center.

The first order of urgency is to bring about the relaxation of tensions on the Island and restore a more stable—if still uneasy—relation between the two communities.

The second is to prevent the Turks, Greeks, or Cypriots from setting in train a chain reaction of retaliation and counter-retaliation.

With these objectives in mind we are considering the floating of a possible arrangement between the GOT and GOG, aimed at a wide range of Greek-Turkish issues. Each side would explicitly recognize this arrangement as an effort to prepare the conditions in which a final settlement may be possible. Each side would agree to continue to search for such a settlement urgently and in good faith.

There would be several advantages to such an arrangement if it could be negotiated. If both sides complied, it could reduce the probability of an explosion. If the arrangement broke down because one side or the other proved unwilling or unable to carry out its share of the commitments, we would at least have isolated responsibility and made it easier to handle a major row in the Security Council.

Assumptions

The assumptions upon which we are suggesting the general lines of an arrangement are the following:

a.
The GOG has sufficient military force under its control on the Island to enable it to assure that the peace is kept—if it has the will to do so. There are in the neighborhood of 10,000 Greek troops on the Island and in addition the 30,000 Greek Cypriot National Guard has been placed under the command of Greek officers.
b.
The GOG would genuinely like to narrow the engagement of its own military forces in relation to the Cyprus problem. At the same time it would like assurance that the GOT will not intervene capriciously. (Support for this assumption implied in Costopoulos’ suggestion to Labouisse, reported in Athens 470 [471] to Department.)2
c.
The GOT would like to avoid the creation of a situation in which it feels compelled to intervene with military force. It would, therefore, welcome an arrangement that contributed to the quieting down of the Island and the improvement of the welfare and safety of the Turk-Cypriot population.

Main Lines of Arrangement

Commitments by GOG:

1.
The GOG would use its best efforts to assure that the GOC did not interfere with the rights reserved to the GOT by the Treaties of Guarantee, Alliance and Establishment, including the right of the GOG [ GOT ] to rotate its garrison.
2.
The GOG would undertake to assist the restoration of more normal conditions on the Island. It would use its best efforts to prevent the GOC from interfering with aid to Turk-Cypriots from outside organizations and agencies. It would assist in the rehabilitation and resettlement of Turk-Cypriot refugees. It would endeavor to end the economic blockade, etc.
3.
The GOG would undertake not to provide military support to the GOC against Turkish action, except in case of an unprovoked attack by Turkey.
4.
The GOG would undertake to prevent the GOC from seeking or obtaining military equipment or personnel or any other form of military assistance, from any nation not a party to the London-Zurich Agreements.
5.
The GOG would refrain from any acts of discrimination or harassment against Turkish nationals living in Greek territory, including Western Thrace.

Commitments by Turkey:

1.
The GOT would extend for at least an additional six months the special privileges granted to Greek nationals under the 1930 Treaty of Establishment, Commerce, and Navigation3 and would undertake not to engage in any acts of discrimination or harassment against Greek nationals living in Turkey.
2.
The GOT would undertake not to exercise its rights of military intervention under Article 4 of the Treaty of Guarantee unless the GOC were acting in such a manner as (a) to deprive the GOT of substantial rights accorded it under the London-Zurich arrangements or (b) to endanger the lives or welfare of the Turk-Cypriot population.
3.
The GOT would use its best efforts to prevent the Turkish Cypriots from engaging in any provocatory acts.
4.
The GOT would avoid any provocation against the Government of Greece, including interference with fishing rights, etc.

Method of Procedure

Obviously the points included above are merely suggestive of the general scope of an arrangement. Each point would necessarily have to be articulated and expanded through negotiation. Some points might have to be excluded and additional points added.

The development of such an arrangement could be approached through several possible ways. We might ask Brosio to undertake this through NATO channels since what is contemplated is an arrangement between two NATO members. Alternatively we might undertake the negotiation by asking the GOC and GOT to send representatives to meet with Mr. Acheson in Washington—or possibly Rome. Or we might have Embassy Athens first put the proposition to the GOG and—if that yielded promising results—have Hare follow through in Ankara.

In any event we are faced with a tight time schedule since several prospective actions are scheduled for the middle of the month. The termination of the special privileges accorded Greek nationals under the Treaty of Establishment will take place on September 17. The Security Council discussion of the extension of the UN Peacekeeping Force is scheduled for the second week in September. At the same time the Turkish Government has indicated that it may wish a Security Council review of the economic blockade.

Each of these actions may contribute to a deterioration in Greek-Turkish relations. Taken together their cumulative effect could be serious.

We would appreciate your prompt reactions to these very preliminary suggestions. We shall look forward to reviewing them with Mr. Acheson upon his return to Washington.4

Rusk
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted and approved by Ball and cleared by Jernegan. Also sent to Ankara, Paris for USRO, Nicosia, and London to deliver to Acheson at breakfast. Acheson left Geneva on September 2, stopped in London September 2–4, and returned to Washington on September 4.
  2. Document 151.
  3. For text, see 124 LTS 371.
  4. In telegram 475 from Ankara, September 5, Hare commented that the suggested proposals would help get through a difficult situation “while a permanent solution being sought,” and offered some specific revisions. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP)