163. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State1
685. Re Deptel 609.2 Cyprus. Basic Greek policy seems to be to continue build up Greek military and political capabilities on the island, to exercise all possible influence to reduce tensions (including overt collision between GOG and Makarios), and move ahead toward discussion of problem in the General Assembly. We find little indication of high level intention to take any initiatives in immediate future toward unseating Makarios. As reflected by recent press attack against Grivas and return of Delipetros from Nicosia to Athens, GOG efforts on island are producing obvious tensions and subterranean struggle between Makarios and GOG is now becoming apparent. Vigorous reaction by Makarios would seem imply GOG efforts have made or were about to make certain degree of progress.
While GOG has no illusions that debate in UNGA will of itself produce a solution, it assumes that the sentiments which it expects to be reflected and which are now being prepared in Cairo by Makarios will provide additional political restraint on Turks. GOG officials display considerable degree confidence in ability of Cypriots, strengthened by Greek personnel and equipment, effectively to deter Turkish military intervention. Although genuinely disturbed at prospect of increasing Soviet influence in Cyprus and in Mediterranean, GOG undoubtedly feels (as reflected in Andreas Papandreou’s Le Monde interview) that introduction of Soviet factor serves not only as additional restraint on Turks but also possibly as useful element to force US and Britain to take more realistic view of situation.[Page 324]
I do not believe Andreas Papandreou’s statement, particularly regarding possible NATO base, reflects current views of GOG in general or of Stephanopoulos or Garoufalias in particular. (I do believe, despite Andreas’ rather weak protestations when I discussed matter with him, that reportage probably reflects rather accurately his own orientation and unfortunately his influence with his father is a factor determining high-level GOG Cyprus policy.) There is no doubt, however, GOG and Greek public opinion feel deep-seated resentment at failure of NATO and US to make a categoric condemnation of Turkish aerial attack and use of NATO weapons. Both Costopoulos and Andreas Papandreou have spoken to me in this sense in last few days when I taxed them with Andreas’ interview, and I am certain this is one of reasons GOG considers UN will provide more effective forum than NATO.
Lurking in minds of all high GOG officials is keen awareness that Cyprus solution would provide tremendous political prize to those individuals who bring it about. They are also aware potential entry of Makarios in Greek politics in event of enosis. Some Greeks believe (as Eralp appears to do, USUN 204 to Dept)3 that Makarios not categorically opposed to enosis providing it is Makarios who brings about realization on his terms and is thereby in position to profit from his victory. Viewed from this perspective the issue becomes not only enosis, but whose enosis? In this context, Andreas Papandreou’s reported opposition to possible Cyprus NATO base might be construed as effort to outflank Makarios on issue.
We find no evidence here that anyone is thinking of reexamining Acheson proposals and certainly not of improving previous Greek offer. Consensus seems rather to be, as Nicosia has pointed out, that evolution of situation has made it unrealistic to think in these terms and that in many respects, notwithstanding hazards of increasing Soviet influence, situation is evolving in manner generally favorable to Greek and Cypriot aspirations.
Sossides in recent conversation told DCM that if, however, US Government prepared in conjunction with British to stand the Turks down, GOG prepared utilize its military and political assets on island to precipitate enosis. This would mean US support for solution which could be politically acceptable in Cyprus—a solution which could withstand counterattack from Makarios. Sossides said under current circumstances this solution would require “unconditional enosis”, protection of Turkish minority, and eventual conversion of British base into NATO base with Turkish participation. He estimated that, if this formula were accepted, GOG could precipitate enosis within a month or two. Sossides [Page 325] is in touch with Grivas and participated in arranging Delipetros mission to Nicosia which was designed to strengthen GOG capabilities there in the press, radio, and among certain political personalities.
In contacts with other Greek officials in recent days, we have had no confirmation of Sossides’ statements to DCM regarding present willingness GOG to move ahead in event US and UK prepared to support a solution providing for “unconditional” enosis and British base converted into NATO base. Prime Minister and Garoufalias have stated to DCM and me on several occasions in past that if US would support a solution which could be made politically acceptable on the island, Greek armed forces and Grivas would take measures forcibly to remove Makarios if necessary. We will seek new reading on their views.
Evidence seems clear GOG actively seeking extend its control on island a) in order deter Turk intervention which would lead to Greek-Turk war and b) in anticipation that situation might develop in which GOG assets could be effectively applied to bring about enosis.
As I see it there are two principal contingencies in which GOG would consider it feasible openly to challenge Makarios and attempt precipitate enosis: a) Cypriot involvement with bloc to degree which obviously approaches satellization, or b) US prepared support solution which GOG considers can be made politically acceptable on the island.
Have appointment with Papandreou for tomorrow morning in effort determine his analysis current situation and likely GOG course of action.4
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution. Repeated to Ankara, London, Nicosia, USUN, and Paris for USRO.↩
- Telegram 609 to Athens, October 8, requested an analysis of Greek efforts to gain influence with Makarios’ civilian advisers. (Ibid.)↩
- Telegram 204 from USUN to Athens, repeated to the Department of State as telegram 1039, October 8. (Ibid.)↩
- In telegram 639 from Athens, October 10, Labouisse reported that Papandreou was adopting a wait-and-see approach to the Cyprus question pending U.N. action and U.S. and British elections. (Ibid.)↩