36. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1
2779. Our sense of the situation in Cyprus based on reliable intelligence is:
- That the Greek Cypriots are undertaking the attack on St. Hilarion Castle as a systematic operation designed to test the strength and will of the UN Force. If this attack succeeds it will almost certainly lead to a series of systematic attacks in order to achieve a fait accompli to present to the Mediator.
- At same time there is a developing Gotterdammerung spirit among the Turkish Cypriots that may at almost any moment result in a widespread and suicidal violence which could quickly lead to civil war throughout Island.
- We believe that events can rapidly get out of hand unless: First, the UN Force moves quickly and vigorously to take all necessary steps to stop St. Hilarion action. Second, SYG issues strong and unambiguous statement calling on Makarios to call off Greek Cypriots. Third, SYG sends strong private appeal to Papandreou urging him exercise necessary restraint on Makarios.
- The consequences of failure to act definitively would not only be tragic and dangerous situation in Cyprus; it could discredit UN peacekeeping for future and could well lead to Turkish intervention with all frightful consequences which that would entail.
We suggest you also make following additional concrete suggestions:
- Urge SYG to send instructions to Gyani to have UN Force exercise greater initiative;
- If UN Force needs more equipment to increase mobility and cope with situation, it should seek such assistance;
- Reiterate strongly our interpretation of the mandate based on Security Council Resolution of 4 March 1964; and
- Make two suggestions contained in paragraph 6 and penultimate paragraph of Nicosia’s 1161, repeated USUN 386.2 You should fill in Bunche confidentially, particularly on Nicosia’s comments re immediate [Page 76] need of high-level political adviser who can be helpful to Gyani. We are glad to learn that SYG’s report indicates UN desires to go ahead in this regard.
Confirming Ball-Sisco-Plimpton telecon,3 you should support Canadian initiative and urge strongly that SYG go to Nicosia. While we doubt SYG will feel he can go at this time, it should help convince him at least take kind of actions cited above.4
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–8 CYP. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted and approved by Sisco and cleared by Jernegan. Also sent to Athens and Nicosia and repeated to Ankara, London, Ottawa, and Paris.↩
- Telegram 1161 from Nicosia, April 27, reported on the difficulties UNFICYP faced in trying to enforce a peace settlement in Cyprus. (Ibid.)↩
- No record of this telephone conversation has been found.↩
- Telegram 3928 from USUN, April 29, reported that Yost had raised with Bunche the issues outlined in this telegram. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–8 CYP)↩