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

159364. NATUS Info. Ref: (A) Ankara’s 4448; (b) Athens’ 4249, para 4; (C) EKN 1398; (D) Nicosia’s 1338.2

Now that dialogue may be resumed (ref A), GOG and GOT have moved one more step and achieved useful precedent: GOT willing continue dialogue with a new GOG. It is no longer limited to relations of two men, Toumbas and Caglayangil.
Next problem would appear to be an agenda. Dept concerned that after rehashing NATO base concept, GOT may be tempted pull out on grounds there nothing further discuss. In view imminence Greek elections a Cyprus solution now seems unlikely. Alternatively GOG and GOT might be discreetly encouraged again open question reducing size Greek and, later, Turk military forces on Island:
In view Grivas’ intransigent behavior and such incidents as Bozkurt removal and Kophinou3 Dept no longer persuaded Greek or Turk forces are a stabilizing influence.
Stabilizing force should be UNFICYP.
Since solution not now in sight we face problem that supporting and contributing nations likely during coming months take further actions reduce UNFICYP. It would only be possible reduce UNFICYP and maintain its viability if size Greek and Turkish forces on Island reduced.
Reduction forces, no matter how gradual, would give all concerned some sense of progress which has been lacking in Cyprus.
Would save GOG and GOT money neither can afford.
Would facilitate UN rep. Tafall’s efforts on Cyprus to achieve greater freedom of movement for population. (See below)4
Atmosphere may be ripe. George Papandreou has raised subject (ref B) in Athens and position Turk military elements appears to have been weakened as result Kuneralp’s findings during his visit (ref C). If [Page 559] Papandreou comes into power after elections, his Government could continue dialogue on this subject.
On basis above Dept requests views Ambassadors Talbot and Hart on possibility they suggest as appropriate occasions may arise that GOG and GOT may wish consider how agreement on gradual troop reduction might be worked out. Realize such negotiations likely be long and difficult, but they would keep dialogue alive and would be in good cause.
Meanwhile request Ambassador Belcher continue lend his support as appropriate to Tafall’s efforts secure greater freedom circulation by reducing check points and fortifications. We are encouraged by Archbishop’s current views (ref D). We believe this is local and complex issue better handled on spot by UN and GOG who understand issues than it would be by GOG and GOT, although they certainly could lend useful, general support.
Negotiations on Cyprus to this end would:
Reduce tensions on Island which have increased in past decade.
Complement any progress that GOG and GOT might make on troop removal.
Constitute step toward eventual talks between Greek and Turk Cypriots under UN auspices.
Eventually hamper Grivas’ braggadocio.
In general since time again out of joint for Cyprus solution would seem wise if GOG and GOT could discuss troop reduction, and issue for which they have primary responsibility, while UNFICYP, GOC and eventually Turkish community deal with local issue of freedom of movement which would not detract from importance dialogue and might complement it.
Addressees’ views welcome.5
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret. Drafted by Wood and McCaskill, cleared by NEA and UNP, and approved by Rockwell. Also sent to Ankara and Nicosia and repeated to London, Paris, and USUN.
  2. Telegram 4448 from Ankara, March 15, reported Turkish confirmation that the dialogue with Greece would resume. (Ibid.) Telegram 4249 from Athens, March 18, reported George Papandreou’s views on Cyprus. (Ibid.) EKN 1398 has not been found. Telegram 1338 from Nicosia reported Makarios’ readiness to reduce military pressure on the Turkish Cypriots. (Ibid.)
  3. Reference is to armed clashes between Makarios’ forces and Turkish Cypriot military formations.
  4. After Bernardes’ departure from Cyprus on January 5, Pier P. Spinelli acted as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus until February 20, when Bibiano F. Osorio-Tafall took up the function. Secretary-General Thant announced Osorio-Tafall’s appointment on January 26.
  5. In telegram 1388 from Nicosia, March 27, the Embassy suggested that troop reductions include both Greek and Turkish Cypriot forces as well as Greek and Turkish troops and that Grivas’ removal would facilitate a reduction of tensions. (Ibid.) In telegram 4565 from Ankara, March 23, the Embassy reported that Turkey might react favorably to proposed troop reduction talks. (Ibid.) In telegram 4340 from Athens, March 24, Talbot analyzed the difficulties Greece would face in a troop reduction negotiation and its likely reluctance to enter into talks. (Ibid.)