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

1559. Ref.: Deptel 1545.2 Matsas called on Talbot June 18 to report Isik-Sgourdeos talks not progressing well because of unacceptable Turkish territorial demands. (It was not clear whether he was speaking under instructions.)

Said after three sessions Isik still proposing in exchange enosis area equivalent 18–20 per cent Cyprus. Said area north of line from Dhidhimotikon to Bulgarian border had been discussed. Matsas described proposal as exorbitant and expansionist; GOG was coming to conclusion GOT not negotiating seriously on basis enosis, GOG might be forced renounce talks and suggest GOT continue discussions with Makarios on basis independence. Pointed out this would be unfortunate development with Bandung II and another UNGA session in offing.

To Talbot question whether GOG had presented any GOG counterproposals, Matsas said none advanced. Turkish starting point too remote from anything GOG could sell Greek public. Claimed GOG started talks expecting GOT seeking face-saving formula, not expansionist acquisition. Claimed Turkish initial offer less forthcoming than last year. Talbot challenged this and reiterated line of Deptel 1545. As Talbot pressed need GOG counterproprosal, Matsas said Plaza report’s recommendations [Page 416] for independent Cyprus inhibited making substantial concessions to Turks for something which many assume will come about naturally.

Matsas inquired re Kyprianou meetings in Washington, and asked if armaments discussed. Talbot confirmed that they were and that we had said we would be unhappy to see them on Cyprus. Matsas asked whether Kyprianou had said there were missiles on Cyprus; Talbot replied no.

Comment: While Matsas raised specter of abandoning talks, his tactic apparently was to spur USG into pressuring Turks to lower ante similar to gambit Costopoulos used in reporting first meeting to Anschuetz (Athens 1801).3

Ref Embtel 1863,4 this was first conversation with Greek Embassy officials during which 672 miles has been mentioned.

Detailed memcon by pouch.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret; Limdis; TOG. Drafted by Neil, cleared by Bracken, and approved by Talbot. Repeated to Ankara, London, and Nicosia.
  2. Telegram 1545 to Athens, June 16, instructed the Embassy to point out to the Greeks that Turkish territorial demands were extremely limited and more than compensated for by the land Greece would acquire through union with Cyprus. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 1801, June 4, reported that Costopoulos had stated that Turkey was seeking territorial compensation in return for enosis. (Ibid.)
  4. Telegram 1863 from Athens, June 18, summarized press reports of alleged U.S. efforts to secure a compromise over Cyprus. (Ibid.)
  5. Not found.