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

946. Ref: Athens 1041 and 1071, Deptel 403 to Nicosia.2 Para 1 Athens 1071 suggests that GOG misunderstands US views on question of including reference to international treaties in any GA resolution on Cyprus. Might be useful to set Costopoulos or Pilivakis straight next time either raises Cyprus question.

As indicated Deptel 403 to Nicosia (rptd other addressees) US feels strongly that GA should not interpret or modify international agreements or give moral sanction to their unilateral repudiation except in accordance with agreement’s abrogation clause if any. GA powers under Article 14 to recommend measures for peaceful settlement of disputes are to be interpreted consistently with Charter’s objective of promoting “respect for the obligations arising from treaties …” (Preamble). We feel sure this view shared by large number UN member states.

It is not, however, our position that any resolution, regardless of its terms, must inevitably contain paragraph affirming continued validity of L/Z agreements. Whether US would advocate inclusion in any resolution on Cyprus of language specifically upholding legal validity of Agreements will depend on circumstances, including question of whether such resolution tended to call into question validity those Agreements.

While as GOG knows, US holds L/Z Agreements still legally valid, we do not consider them immutable. In fact, realities of situation make clear they will have to be changed in some respects. However, any changes in Agreements should be product of negotiations among parties.

FYI: We prefer not to tell GOG at this time whether Cypriot draft Res would meet test outlined in foregoing. GA debate on Cyprus item still some weeks off, and Cypriot Res in present form may, or may not, be an active document when debate begins. However, as stressed in Deptel 403, Cairo type resolution would cast doubt on validity of Treaty Guarantee [Page 346] and certain basic articles of Cyprus Constitution. Draft Res floated by Cyprus UN Del (USUN’s A–857)3 is stripped down version of Cairo Res and presents same problems in terms our position. Operative para 1 of Cyprus draft Res obviously intended imply that L/Z Agreements at variance with UN Charter and therefore invalid under Article 103 of Charter.

Operative para 2 of Cyprus draft would have GA call on “all states in conformity with their obligations under the Charter, and in particular Article 2, paragraphs 1 and 4 …” to refrain from threat or use of force or “intervention directed against Cyprus.” This obviously included as challenge to Article 4 Treaty of Guarantee. End FYI.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret. Drafted by Moffitt; cleared by Sisco, Buffum, GTI, and L/UNA; and approved by Jernegan. Repeated to Ankara, London, Nicosia, USUN, and Paris for USRO.
  2. Telegram 1041 from Athens, January 8, reported Greek concern that U.S. insistence on inviolability of treaties would strengthen Turkey’s position in U.N. discussions. (Ibid.) In telegram 1071 from Athens, January 15, Labouisse reported that he had repeated to Costopoulos that the United States was concerned about efforts to use the General Assembly to undermine existing international agreements. (Ibid.) Regarding telegram 403 to Nicosia, see footnote 3, Document 167.
  3. Airgram A–57, January 7, summarized conversations with Cypriot and Turkish representatives on the issues involved in U.N. consideration of the Cyprus question. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP)