8. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State1
3824. Following is uncleared memcon of Under Sec Ball’s talk with Cypriot FonMin Kyprianou:
- Under Sec and Amb Bruce met 1730 today with Kyprianou at AmEmbassy. Kyprianou was accompanied by Cyprus HICOM in London Soteriades. Under Sec explained US concern with Cyprus problem prompted primarily by our concern with peace. We believe establishment peace-keeping force, coupled with mediator concept, offers best way to proceed. US participation in force depends on working out acceptable arrangements to avoid entangling problem in cold war and on willingness of GOC to accept and request such force. Under Sec asked for GOC’s frank views re US participation.
- Kyprianou affirmed GOC reply given earlier remains basic GOC view.2 GOC has no objection in principle to participation by any country. It is not the force that will provide permanent peace. If it is necessary have such a force because UK not prepared assume full responsibility, GOC believes it should be under Security Council. GOC has no wish create further complications. In its view, however, such force needed primarily for external purposes. Once danger of intervention is removed, atmosphere will automatically improve. Greeks will know no need exists to prepare for invasion; Turks will know they cannot hope for intervention. Influence and interference of outsiders primarily responsible for present troubled situation. Turkey more to blame than Greece. While primary purpose of such force should be to deter outside aggression, internal peace-keeping obviously also desirable. Force should assist GOC restore normal conditions.
- If these are to be missions of force, it preferable force be under Security Council. Cyprus is small country with bitter past experience. If force under Security Council aegis, Cypriot public opinion will find it much more palatable. Kyprianou stressed GOC not trying blackmail. It remains ready discuss question before going to SC. Once agreement reached on composition of force, GOC wonders why US and UK should consider it dangerous go to Security Council.
- Under Sec explained part of problem revolves about meaning of “under Security Council.” We do not object to some connection with Security Council. We are seeking work out with other objective and competent countries establishment of force able to provide both power and a psychological framework designed to restore calm while political solution is being sought. Rather than inject question of composition of force into cold war politics at UN, we believe composition should be pre-arranged before going to Security Council. Formula by which link with Security Council is established is important. We do not wish make force subject of Soviet veto. Also, it is impractical to organize force if Security Council is going to be asked finance it because of already existing controversy revolving about Article 19. To get into this range of questions will merely delay its organization. We think it possible agree with GOC on a force where each participating govt pays its own way. We would also agree with GOC on what nations should participate. Thereafter, we see no reason why matter could not be brought to Security Council in manner where Soviet veto and cold war confrontation are avoided.
- Kyprianou disclaimed GOC responsibility for present situation. He then alluded to various other factors which allegedly increased tension. Manner in which proposal prepared and projected in Cyprus, with other nations and press apparently apprised before GOC, increased suspicions. Under Sec noted original idea was Greek. HMG had called Greek proposal to our attention. In order to test its feasibility, we have explored it with other govts. Kyprianou insisted GOC equally interested party and should have been consulted earlier. Greeks had told GOC it was not their proposal, although GOC knows it was. With respect to force itself, Kyprianou said once agreement is reached on composition, GOC wants to go to Security Council. It would explain its desire is to place pre-arranged force under Security Council control. He wondered if Soviets would in fact veto such force since they appear to be trying assist GOC.
- Under Sec pointed out “under Security Council” can embrace Security Council “taking note,” “reporting,” etc. What did GOC have in mind? Kyprianou replied Security Council should authorize SYG to have the right to control the force within the scope of agreed terms of reference. Security Council should be competent to take decisions with respect to the force if called upon to do so by SYG, GOC or the participating countries. The Security Council might also have the mission of working out terms of reference for the force. He envisaged a two-stage procedure. The Security Council should first pass a resolution asking all states to refrain from threatening independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus. GOC would inform Security Council that talks are also taking place on the composition of a force about which it would report back to Security Council once agreement is reached. Such procedure [Page 16] would have a calming effect in Cyprus. Security Council endorsement, in GOC’s view, is a deterrent. Kyprianou added he was thinking of going to New York on Wednesday or Thursday to initiate Security Council action, although his trip might be postponed until Saturday. Under Sec said we will have to examine Kyprianou’s idea. Meanwhile, he hoped we might move forward on composition and terms of reference of force.
Kyprianou also suggested SYG might, even in absence any specific proposal, go to Cyprus himself for a day. He need have no specific mission, but would simply seek inform himself of situation. This too would have calming effect. Kyprianou said he had instructed Rossides to sound out SYG on this. Did we have any objection?
Under Sec said he would want to consider this further with his UN experts. His initial impression was that there should be no objection.
- With respect to US participation, Kyprianou thought this would be inadvisable. GOC would not object, but US participation would adversely affect the “popularity” of the US in Cyprus and could give rise to public feelings against the US. Under Sec pointed out that we must consider if any force can in fact be organized on viable basis if US does not participate. If force could be organized without us, we would prefer it. We have been inclined to doubt that it can. Many nations who speak boldly of peace-keeping force become less so when it comes to paying for it. Some states have said they will join only if US does so. In any case, there is no intention of taking any action without full agreement of GOC.
Kyprianou contended that, psychologically, if force had come in context of political settlement, it might not have been viewed differently in Cyprus. Fact is, however, that it developed while London talks were taking place, thereby heightening Cypriot suspicions. He asked Under Sec if US has formed any views re political settlement.
Under Sec replied that on basis our knowledge of Cyprus situation, we have not felt able to contribute any useful suggestions at this time. Kyprianou then asked what purpose of mediator would be? Under Sec pointed out it was not proposed he try to put American ideas into effect. His task would be to sound out all interested parties and seek to persuade them come to some mutually agreeable settlement. Kyprianou was skeptical about mediator’s prospects. He opined that if there were some way to get Greece and Turkey out of picture, chances of success would be greater. He recalled that ten years ago enosis might have been better arrangement. Through no fault of Greek Cypriots, it could not be worked out. Such “radical solution” probably not possible now.
- Under Sec told Kyprianou he planned meet with Sandys again and, together with Sandys, might perhaps be able to hold second meeting with Kyprianou later. During subsequent talk with Sandys, it became clear that further discussions with Greeks desirable before saying anything [Page 17] more to Kyprianou. Under Sec then telephoned Kyprianou to explain his inability meet with him again today and his wish to reflect further on Kyprianou’s observations. Under Sec said he hoped be in Nicosia sometime Tuesday and suggested Kyprianou might wish to consider meeting him there. Kyprianou will probably do so.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–8 CYP. Confidential; Flash. Repeated to Athens for Ball. Relayed to the White House, JCS, OSD, CIA, USUN, CINCEUR, and CINCSTRIKE.↩
- In a February 2 statement to the London conference, Kyprianou announced that the Government of Cyprus accepted the idea of a NATO peacekeeping force in principle, but insisted that it operate under the authority of the United Nations. Subsequently, President Makarios outlined further objections to a NATO force under U.N. aegis. For text of Makarios’ February 4 statement, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1964, p. 557.↩