355. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Department of State1

1137. Reference: Ankara 3187.2 Subject: Cyprus planning.

Ambassador Hart’s point that delay in US initiative creates opportunities for both Greek and Turk Cypriots to make moves that narrow negotiating room is well taken. In fact, establishment of TCPA represents just such a preclusive move by Turks-Turk Cypriots.
Whether GOC redrafting of Constitution which now underway is designed as preclusive move or not is moot. Certainly there are those [Page 730] within GOC (including, we suspect, Kyprianou) who will prefer unilateral use of redrafted Constitution, no doubt with appropriate bows in direction of Galo Plaza report, as propaganda and negotiating ploy.
Less cynical (and probably less likely) interpretation is that Makarios is sincere in his comments to Ambassador that exercise in which GOC now engaged is one of putting thoughts, including autonomy for Turk Cypriots, into revised Constitution which will be advanced as negotiating document and not unilateral initiative. Makarios’ desire to use UN forum and his need to be ready for SYG’s good offices make preparation of working paper consistent with this interpretation.
Experience indicates that we should incline to cynical interpretation. Fact that GOC working on revised Constitution leaked to press reinforces view that GOC does intend to proceed in unhelpful manner to rally public support for new Constitution before any talks with Turks-Turk Cypriots can begin.3
In any case, sooner U.S. offer of good offices made and opportunities for unilateral initiatives foreclosed the better. If Makarios’ redrafted Constitution contains serious elements of compromise, it can always be used in context U.S. good offices effort.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret; Limdis. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, London, Ottawa, USUN, and the Mission to NATO.
  2. Telegram 3187 from Ankara, January 9, discussed possible U.S. responses to preclusive moves by either Greece or Turkey in Cyprus. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 1152 from Nicosia, January 12, the Embassy reported that Makarios had called for Presidential elections. The telegram evaluated his speech announcing this decision to renew his mandate as a “sincere” effort to improve the situation on Cyprus. (Ibid.)