252. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cyprus1

129683. NATUS.

Following, based on uncleared memcon of Secretary’s meeting with Cypriot Ambassador Rossides on February 2, is FYI Noforn and subject to revision upon review.2
Rossides, citing Caglayangil remarks of January 6 (Ankara’s 3249)3 and other evidence, made opening statement which he summed up by saying Turkey insists on an impossible solution (partition) by the use of force (invasion). Turkey should be discouraged from the use of force, in his opinion, by the US.
Secretary replied, in our view situation had been relatively calm on the Island and efforts were being made to reach a solution when everyone was surprised by the importation of arms. Those arms could only have one purpose: to use against the Turkish Cypriots. He inquired about arrangements with the Secretary General and said he had heard some arms had been distributed for training.
Rossides said arms not intended for use against Turk Cypriots “because we have sufficient arms.” He insisted on new rationalization: arms for police who have paramilitary duties in defense of Island.
He claimed in discussions with SecGen latter had suggested small arms distributed at end February, but not heavy arms which to be kept locked and inspected. Makarios had replied we won’t distribute arms of either type “for time being.”
Secretary said defense Cyprus depends on good sense of Greece and Turkey, on the efforts of the UN and on the support of nations interested in peace such as the US. Arms imported by Cyprus would not have major effect in case of invasion. Fact they came in surreptitiously made very unfortunate impression, especially if police already had enough arms. He asked if it wise for Rossides to ask US to seek assurances from Turks without being able give US assurances on how arms would be used. He emphasized GOT concerned about attack on Turk Cypriots for whatever reason or pretext.
Rossides said there was no sign of GOC attack on Turk Cypriots.
Secretary inquired about SAM missiles. Suggested they were junk and should be left where they were.
Rossides speaking personally suggested “balance” whereby GOC would abandon missiles and import no arms in return for which no invasion from Turkey.
Secretary said GOC not having taken US into confidence originally now wanted US go to GOT not knowing what might be done on Cyprus tomorrow. Secretary asked if arms import had been discussed with GOG or UN Commander.
Rossides said not to his knowledge. This sovereign matter. Many previous arms imports not discussed.
Wood raised SC Resolution of 4 March 64 (S/5575)4 and gave document to Rossides who read aloud para 1: “… all member States … to refrain from any action or threat of action likely to worsen the situation in the sovereign Republic of Cyprus …”
Rossides suggested since US opposed use force it should oppose use force by GOT. Secretary replied US equally against use force against Turkish community.
Secretary emphasized that he had participated in discussions of Cyprus for some years. There had been many suggestions about what US should do. Henceforth he intended to ask each nation separately how it could contribute towards keeping the peace.
Rossides said GOC would leave arms alone for time being, perhaps for some time, but if necessity arose would have to use them sooner. GOC had right use arms.
Secretary said nations have many rights which they do not exercise in interest avoiding international danger.
Campbell (IO) later tried pin Rossides down on circumstances under which arms would be distributed. Rossides refused to say.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Wood, cleared by UNP and NEA, and approved by Rockwell. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, USUN, London, and Paris.
  2. In telegram 129862, February 2, the Department informed the Embassy that this telegram was a full and complete report of the discussion and that no memorandum of conversation would be prepared (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 3249 from Ankara, January 7, reported Caglayangil’s statement to Parliament that Turkey retained its full right to military intervention in Cyprus. (Ibid.)
  4. Reference is to Security Council Resolution 186; see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1964, pp. 566–567.