357. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Review of the Cyprus Situation


  • Cyprus:
    • Foreign Minister Spyros Kyprianou
    • Ambassador Zenon Rossides, Permanent Representative to UN
    • Mr. Andreas Jacovides, Director of Political Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nicosia
    • Mr. Costas Papademas, Counselor, Cyprus Embassy
  • U.S.:
    • The Secretary
    • Mr. Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary, IO
    • Mr. William J. Handley, Deputy Assistant Secretary, NEA
    • Mr. Robert S. Folsom, Country Director, Cyprus Affairs

Foreign Minister Kyprianou opened the conversation by stating that he wished to acquaint the Secretary with his views on the Cyprus situation and to learn in turn the Secretary’s views. He said the Cypriot Government has sought seriously to find a solution since the November crisis within the framework of procedures established by the Security Council debate. He added that the Cypriot Government has always sought a solution within the UN context and that since the end of the Galo Plaza mediation this effort has been made through the Secretary General.

We are now faced, he said, with a situation in which the Cyprus Government supports the Secretary General’s initiative on both long-term and short-term solutions, but that the Turks are seeking to restrict discussion to “internal security” matters which they say must precede any long term discussions and even then such long term discussions should be outside of the UN.

Cyprus, he said, cannot separate internal security from external security though the Government is prepared to start with internal security matters while working for a package deal. Prerequisites he said are (1) removal of Greek Cypriot fears of an attack from outside, and (2) removal of the fear of the Turk-Cypriot minority. He said his Government had presented the Secretary General with four points as comprising the basis of the Cyprus Government plan: [Page 733]

A guarantee against external attack.
Complete withdrawal of Greek and Turkish troops including the contingents.
Disarmament of all Greek-Cypriot and Turk-Cypriot forces, leaving only the police and UNFICYP.
Discussion of arrangements for effective internal security.

Adoption of these four points, he said, should remove the fear of all parties concerned.

The Secretary pointed out that a guarantee against external aggression may be necessary but may not be possible.

Mr. Kyprianou responded that as long as there is danger of external attack there is increased danger of internal incidents and that if the guarantee is necessary, a way must be found to make it possible. He then said he wished to note new developments: (1) the untimely establishment of the Turkish Cypriot Provisional Administration (TCPA), established by the Turk Cypriots and Turkish Government officials, which has disturbed the possibilities for internal improvement and evidences continued plans for partition; (2) the decision of President Makarios to seek a new mandate and to offer new solutions for the Cyprus problem to be offered to the Secretary General (these steps, he said, have been necessitated by the aftermath of the crisis and the withdrawal of Greek troops); and (3) a Turkish Aide-mémoire addressed to the UNSYG on the subject of current UN negotiations on Cyprus.2

Mr. Kyprianou said that his Government took a negative view towards the Aide-mémoire, because it fails to deal with the external danger to Cyprus, makes no mention of withdrawal of Greek or Turkish national contingents, and deals only with internal security, and even in this, tends to affect the substance of the problem by appearing to lead towards partition. He said the Cypriot response to the Aide-mémoire was being postponed until after his talk with the Secretary.

The Secretary asked if bilateral Turkish-Cypriot talks had been considered.

Mr. Kyprianou agreed that the real question lay between Cyprus and Turkey, but said his Government prefers to deal through the UNSYG. He noted that the issue no longer was enosis, but the independ-ence of Cyprus and the rights of the Turkish minority—a fact which the Turks recognize, while at the same time, they do not want to confirm their recognition of the Cyprus Government.

The Secretary then asked how Mr. Kyprianou saw the question of guarantees.

[Page 734]

Mr. Kyprianou said this was a very difficult problem, while suggesting: (1) a special Security Council resolution of guarantee, (2) a U.S. or other single nation guarantee, or (3) a multi-party guarantee; he noted his preference for (1).

The Secretary then asked whether UNFICYP would be required for a protracted period.

Mr. Kyprianou said that even if demilitarization could be completed, the presence of UNFICYP would be required, on a reduced scale, in a symbolic sense until a final solution was achieved.

The Secretary asked how the viability and rights of the Turkish Cypriot minority could be assured.

Mr. Kyprianou replied that this could be achieved along the lines of the Galo Plaza report though not so identified because of Turkish objections.

The Secretary asked if Makarios’ reference to the Turkish Cypriot “Community” was significant.

Mr. Kyprianou said use of the word “community” was not significant, that the word was used frequently, that what his government objected to was any reference to “two communities” so implying separation or equality. His government, he added, was ready to apply full guarantees and was willing to accept international guarantees for the minority, but Turkey was unwilling.

Mr. Sisco, after being called on by the Secretary, said that our role in the UN to date has been to support the SYG and that we have felt it best to concentrate on the internal problem as a means of achieving lasting peace and creating the right atmosphere for peace.

Mr. Kyprianou insisted that the internal problem is part and parcel of the whole, that the National Guard, for example, cannot be dismantled without assurances of a guarantee from external attack and withdrawal of the two national contingents. He asserted that a vacuum had been created by the withdrawal of Greek troops and that this vacuum must be filled. He said his government had done much towards normalization and pacification already but cannot go all the way to disarmament without taking care of external dangers first. He said informal talks with Mr. Vance had clarified that withdrawal of Greek troops is only the first step so there must be a second step, but that the Turks deny this, saying the national contingents are not concerned. He dismissed the Turkish assertion that its national contingent is part of the London-Zurich settlement by asserting: (1) that they had violated the Agreement by moving their troops and (2) in any case, that they were not obliged to keep any troops on Cyprus under the Treaty of Guarantee. He then quipped “What we need is a guarantee against the guarantors”, stating his inability to see [Page 735] why the Turks could object to a formula embracing neither enosis nor partition.

The Secretary asked what will happen when the SYG sees the Cypriot reply to the Turkish Aide-mémoire.

Mr. Kyprianou said he expected that either the SYG would continue his negotiations in an effort to find common ground or call a Security Council meeting. He then asked if the U.S. supports the SYG’s good offices and whether the U.S. has proposals for him.

The Secretary noted that in good offices proposals are usually not made and, that when made, are offered very quietly in an effort to bring the two parties together.

Mr. Kyprianou asked whether if a quick agreement on the external and internal security issues cannot be reached, the substance of the problem might not be attacked. In this respect, he noted that President Makarios is proceeding along these lines.

In reply to a series of questions posed by the Secretary, Mr. Kyprianou clarified that the Cyprus elections are scheduled for February 25, that the Turks can take part in the elections under the 1965 law, but that they do not have to, that he did not expect violence in the elections, that only the office of President will be at issue and that if opposition candidates wish to run, they must announce their candidacies by February 15.

Mr. Sisco asked if there was any way out of the current ban on ambassadorial contacts with the Turkish Cypriot leaders in the TCPA, pointing out that the situation requires such contacts.

Mr. Kyprianou said the issue is delicate, that he would hope that the Turks could be convinced to abandon the TCPA—that if what they say is true, all they need is a committee, not an “administration” including Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Agriculture, Defense, etc.

Mr. Handley asked if contacts were possible, if it was clear that these were not with the TCPA as such.

The Secretary asserted that it was not very agreeable for Ambassadors to be told that they can’t have contacts with others and suggested that maybe we should tell Ambassador Rossides not to have certain contacts here. He stressed that such a ban is contrary to diplomatic custom, except behind the Iron Curtain, and stated his hope that the Foreign Minister would take steps to correct the situation.

Ambassador Rossides interjected that since all agreed that establishment of the TCPA was a faux pas and since it was deprecated from all sides, the Turks might be persuaded to “climb down” eliminating Foreign Affairs, Defense, etc.

The Secretary replied that, due to the ban, we have no Ambassadorial contacts.

[Page 736]

Ambassador Rossides then suggested that we talk to the Turks in Ankara.

Mr. Kyprianou next quoted from the past to prove that Kuchuk does not speak for the Turkish Cypriots and that authoritative statements can come only from Ankara. He went on to point out that the Turkish Government refers to the Cypriot Government as the “Greek Cypriot Administration” and to the TCPA as the “Turkish Cypriot Administration”, so trying to equate their roles.

The Secretary, at this point, said the U.S. has much more serious problems with Turkey than this and reemphasized the seriousness of the ban, adding that we will be in touch on this matter further.

He then asked what Mr. Kyprianou wanted from us with regard to the SYG’s negotiations.

Mr. Kyprianou replied by asking what should be done if negotiations failed to develop and whether a Security Council meeting should be called.

The Secretary said he didn’t believe a meeting of that type with debates would deal effectively with solutions.

Mr. Sisco said that it is necessary for the Greek Cypriots to talk to the Turkish Cypriots and that it is inappropriate for us to become involved with the SYG’s negotiations at this point. He stressed the need for progress, noting that an impasse might cause a new crisis, that the UNFICYP mandate expires March 26 and that the troop contributors are restive.

The Secretary, noting that the Greeks invented diplomacy, asked if it were not possible for two private individuals to get together for talks.

Mr. Sisco inquired as to Cypriot delegation’s contacts with the Turkish delegation.

Mr. Kyprianou replied that contacts were only informal, but were not excluded, even talks with the Turkish Foreign Minister.

The Secretary observed that we will remain in touch with the situation and wish to be helpful. He then asked if the Turkish Aide-mémoire was public and how the Cypriots would reply to it.

Mr. Kyprianou said it was not public and that depending on how the SYG posed it, they might reject it outright or reject it leaving the door open for further discussion.

The Secretary asked whether if the SYG proposed Turkish-Cypriot talks, the Cypriots would agree.

Mr. Kyprianou said yes, they would.

Ambassador Rossides then brought up the subject of the TCPA again, remarking that it was unfortunate, too formal and a cloak for a “‘government” administration.

The Secretary stated that we were not informed about it in advance and would have counselled against it had we known in advance.

[Page 737]

Mr. Kyprianou again said that if the TCPA is what the Turks claim, it could be reorganized as a committee. He went on to say that a logical solution to Cyprus must be found, that the mere expectation that one side or the other would reject a solution must not be allowed to jeopardize a solution and that a breakthrough to a logical solution is necessary. This he described as an independent unitary state with rights for the Turkish minority or community. The solution, he said, cannot include both independence and no independence, Greek-Turkish involvement and Greek-Turkish non-involvement, nor any other seeds of division. He asserted that, while the Turks officially reject partition, they always work towards this end and that partition cannot solve the problem.

The Secretary asked whether if all the Turkish Cypriots had lived in one area, federation could have been possible.

Mr. Kyprianou simply replied this is not the case.

The Secretary then asked, since geographical division is not possible, whether some form of vertical division is possible, noting that a “unitary state” implies to the Turks their own disappearance.

Mr. Kyprianou asserted that equal rights for all plus special rights for the Turk-Cypriots is possible, but that Cyprus cannot go back to the London-Zurich settlement, that the seeds of division must be removed.

The meeting closed with the Secretary emphasizing that we will keep in close touch with developments.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret. Drafted by Folsom and approved in S on February 2. The meeting was held in the Secretary’s office.
  2. Reference is presumably to a January 8 Turkish communication to the Secretary-General. (U.N. Docs. S/8330 and S/8331)