30. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Department of State1
1085. In conversation yesterday with Acting FonMin Soulioti, she brought up role of Mediator. She said GOC had not as yet made any contribution in way of written draft, although she admitted that two statements by Makarios to govt mouthpiece Cyprus news agency (reported separately)2 could be interpreted as laying groundwork for Mediator’s understanding of GOC position.
For instance, they had not prepared any new draft Constitution, although some thought had been devoted to this. She indicated her preoccupation with certain difficulties involved in persuading Turkish Cypriots and GOT accept Greek Cypriot line regarding “adequate safeguards for minority.” She said it all very well to spell out minority rights including free access to government jobs on basis of merit, etc., etc., but when it came to describing method of guaranteeing application these rights, she ran up against seemingly insuperable difficulties. What recourse would Turks have in event they claimed discrimination? Constitutional Court had not proved effective under old regime and no [Page 61] reason believe it would necessarily be so under any new setup. International supervisory group for appeals would be distasteful infringement of sovereignty and difficult sell to Greek Cypriots. She admitted to sense of frustration, particularly since she recognized how vital this aspect of problem was.
I agreed that under present circumstances of distrust and consequent lack of confidence, it would be difficult persuade Turks that law would be administered impartially, but suggested that there must be numerous examples in other countries where experience of minority problems could be drawn upon. In fact, experience of Swedish minority in Finland might be instructive. I also took opportunity to play on old theme of restoration of confidence in Turkish community by cessation of harassment of Turks attempting to move in Nicosia area. I said I recognized there was harassment on both sides, but with UN here, surely government could assume posture of magnanimity and put onus for continuation of efforts keep two communities apart on Turks. Mrs. Soulioti agreed that this might be useful gambit, but that there had been a continued hardening of Greek attitude towards Turkish community in view of unwillingness see UN open Kyrenia Road and restore freedom of access Iozablesia itself. I commented that I too had noted an increasingly hard line in talking to Ministers and other leading members of Greek Cypriot community.
This took form of maintaining that until such time as there was political settlement satisfactory to Greeks or at least until Turkish community here recognized fact that GOC was undisputed government, there was no possibility of Turkish Ministers or even Turkish civil servants returning to work. Mrs. Soulioti said that she did not go this far, but that unless there was freedom of access for Greeks who have legitimate business in present Turkish-controlled areas. (i.e., area north of Nicosia and Kyrenia Road), she saw no reason why Turks should be allowed come back to work in government in Greek area. (This strong attitude reflects position taken by Makarios in farewell conversation with Ambassador Wilkins and me reported in Embtel 1060.)3
I find it very disturbing that Greek Cypriots seem determined push on with hard line. We note series of event such as refusal allow Denktash free access to Cyprus, appt of acting Ministers, treaty denunciation, pressure on Turk Army contingent all seemingly designed with some idea of “unconditional surrender” and thereby complicating already almost impossible problem faced by Mediator.[Page 62]
Both Ambassador Wilkins and I have preached rather forlornly a policy of moderation and restoration of confidence with Makarios as well as his Ministers.
Would it not be desirable do what we can to reinforce presumed GOG desires to do same when Archbishop visits Athens this weekend?
Following telegram gives our assessment reasons for visit at this time.4
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–8 CYP. Confidential. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, London, Paris for USRO, and USUN.↩
- In telegram 1084 from Nicosia, April 8. (Ibid., POL 15–1 CYP)↩
- Dated April 2. (Ibid., POL 1 CYP–US)↩
- In telegram 1086 from Nicosia, April 8, Belcher reported that Makarios’ proposed visit was apparently part of a Greek campaign to pressure him into a more moderate line that would also meet the demands of more pro-enosis Ministers in his Cabinet. (Ibid., POL 7 CYP) Makarios visited Greece April 11–15.↩