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

3439. NATUS Info.

When I made initial call on Prime Minister Paraskevopoulos today I found Cyprus issue at top of his mind. He said GOG trying to persuade Makarios not to distribute Czech arms, and may call for U.S. assistance. He now preparing communication to go to Makarios within few days and would decide on next steps after getting Archbishop’s reply.2 I responded that we also much concerned, as we have made clear in Nicosia and New York where as his government knows, we have been pressing for effective UN action to defuse issue.
He reiterated his desire and intention to resume dialogue with Turks, if Turks willing, but in response to my question said he had not yet completed discussion with leaders of major parties on how far his government could go in dialogue. I reminded him that USG had not sponsored any particular plan as best solution for Cyprus, but had repeatedly made clear its strong belief that peace in Eastern Mediterranean can be [Page 523] secured only when Greece and Turkey have settled their problems. As in Arab-Israel and India-Pakistan disputes, I said, time seems to be on no one’s side. All would suffer greatly if continuing failure to achieve solution should some day result in an explosion. He insisted that he fully agrees, and that his strong ambition is to move vigorously in direction of settlement with Turkey while he is Prime Minister.
Prime Minister said he thought time probably not ripe for Greek Crown Council to meet on Cyprus, but he would be examining this question also with party leaders.

Comment: Political realities here make it clear that Paraskevopoulos can move only as far with Turkey as Kanellopoulos and George Papandreou will permit. I have no fresh reading on Papandreou’s private views, but Kanellopoulos told me later today that he favors continuation of dialogue by Paraskevopoulos government. He expressed himself as persuaded that settlement with Turkey can be obtained only if both major Greek parties agree on terms. For that reason he believes present period as propitious as any other for negotiations since both parties support Paraskevopoulos during current interim. At same time he showed himself still bearish on chances of getting agreement, since he sees enosis as only basis Greek parties can accept and professes to be unable to discover what sort of compensation to Turkey could be devised that would be both payable by Greeks and acceptable to Turks. Kanellopoulos favors early meeting of Crown Council to get briefing on dialogue, though presumably not to set guidelines for its continuation (Ankara’s 3361).3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Confidential. Repeated to Ankara, Nicosia, London, and Paris.
  2. On December 13, 1966, Secretary-General Thant reported that the Cypriot Government had confirmed the importation from Czechoslovakia of a quantity of arms to be distributed to the Cyprus Police. (U.N. Doc. S/7611/Add.1) Makarios agreed to delay issuing the arms for 2 months.
  3. Telegram 3361 from Ankara, January 16, summarized press reports that the Turkish Government was unwilling to deal with a caretaker government in Greece without the endorsement of the Crown Council. (Ibid.)