246. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State1

3093. 1. Former Foreign Minister Toumbas2 told me last evening he had returned from Paris strongly heartened by tone and apparent progress achieved in his extended discussions with Caglayangil. For first time he felt optimistic that Greek-Turkish agreement could be reached by careful negotiation. Believing that Turks anxious to settle and get rid of Cyprus issue, he had telephoned Caglayangil in Ankara when Stephanopoulos government fell to assure him Greece continues equally eager to settle issue.

2. As described by Toumbas, he and Caglayangil started Paris meeting with each side putting down in writing the basic principles underlying its position. As anticipated, this exercise resulted in reaffirmation of Turkish insistence on condominium or an independent Cyprus while Greece stood firmly for enosis. However, once the record had been made he and Caglayangil went on in oral discussions for another 10 hours in the course of which Caglayangil proved not only willing but apparently anxious to explore doctrine of enosis and what it would mean for Turk Cypriots and for Turkey. In their discussion of enosis, Toumbas discerned no issue that seemed likely to become a final sticking point except question of a Turkish base area on island. Caglayangil had insisted that Turkey would need to obtain sovereignty over Dhekelia base area. Toumbas had tried to persuade him that in practical terms a lease for a number of years would be just as valuable as sovereignty and also that Turkish needs could be equally well served by an arrangement that put Dhekelia under a NATO umbrella with Turkish, Greek, British and perhaps other participation. Although they did not reach accord on this point, Toumbas did not believe it had brought them to the breaking point. On contrary, he felt optimistic that with skillful negotiation agreement could be reached even on this question.

3. Toumbas said he had returned to Greece with the impression that Turks would definitely be prepared to make a deal on basis of enosis once base question resolved. He described mood of conversation as forthright and friendly throughout. On arrival in Athens he had reported this to Stephanopoulos and had predicted that agreement with Turkey was within reach provided that Makarios should not be brought into the [Page 522] picture until the Athens-Ankara settlement was final. He had also given press conference—though without divulging details of talks—to correct false impression in Greek press that Paris talks had ended in near collapse of dialogue.

4. Toumbas said he would make similar reports to new Prime Minister Paraskevopoulos and to the King. Except to them, he said, he would not reveal the contents of his talks to anyone so that secrecy of dialogue and its future prospects could be protected.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Ankara, Nicosia, London, and Paris.
  2. Prime Minister Stephanopoulos resigned on December 21 following the withdrawal of ERE support.