169. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey1

722. Nihat Erim discussed Cyprus situation with Under Secretary December 29.2 Ball said we see no solution in direction either enosis or double enosis. If progress appears possible toward independent Cyprus with protection of Turk minority, we should strive for this. Ball said we would do our best preserve sanctity of treaties in GA. He said he was [Page 344] assured that UK will support our position in GA. Since there is general agreement that present treaty system not working and since we hold to principle that treaties can be changed only by agreement, next step should be negotiations looking toward security of rights of Turk Cypriots in manner that does not impair sovereignty of an independent Cyprus.

Erim said he much comforted by position outlined by Under Secretary. In his view, adequate security for Turk Cypriots meant federal system with separated communities. Ball responded by repeating his views as indicated above. (In earlier conversations with Talbot and Jernegan, memcon being pouched, Erim had already heard difficulties we see in federation concept as means satisfying Turk needs.)3

Erim said island is quiet, but Makarios getting everything his way. Only obstacles to complete Makarios victory are continued separation Turkish community and strong points in Turkish hands. If Turk community accedes to proposals by Makarios or Galo Plaza to return to homes and give up strong points to UNFICYP, Makarios will have completed “fait accompli” and can claim no further problem exists. Erim said this assessment accounts for Turk refusal discuss Makarios proposals.

Erim said, after US stopped Turk invasion, Greeks sent 10,000 troops to island without public condemnation from US. Turk leaders might understand reasons, but impossible explain to Turkish people. Russians successfully exploiting situation with strong propaganda effort.

On next steps after GA, Under Secretary asked whether Erim thought UK might appropriately call for negotiating meeting. Erim said UK was reluctant become further involved but might make suggestion if requested by US. Ball said we would discuss this with British.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Confidential. Drafted by Churchill, cleared by Talbot, and approved by Ball. Repeated to Athens, London, Nicosia, Paris for USRO, and USUN.
  2. A memorandum of their conversation is ibid.
  3. A memorandum of this conversation is ibid.