457. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Department of State 1

685. Personal for the Secretary from Amb Wilkins. With all due respect our position in Cyprus is too rigid; we have lost flexibility. We are now supporting UK force plan which will be anathema to average Cypriot even if GOC accepts it and which will create situation in which Sovs can maneuver to their advantage. We are commonly believed here, rightly or wrongly, to favor NATO force and imposition of solution favoring Turkey, that is partition, under shield of this force; and to be blocking reference to UN where Greek Cyps believe they could establish their right to unified democratic state with guarantees for individual and with no foreign interference. Greek Cyps ask why we withhold this right from Cyprus.

I earnestly recommend statement by President Johnson or you as suggested in Embtel 6782 to bring US policy toward Cyprus into correct perspective.

I also earnestly recommend some new course, either in UN or by Greece and Turkey as suggested in Embtel 6803 para 7A and para 7C. I have no brief for any particular course but they both seem to meet our [Page 976] two principal objects of peace between Greece and Turkey and freedom of Cyprus from communism.

We are moving far too fast. We should, in my opinion, at least delay presentation of new UK-Greek-Turkish proposal supported by US and discuss alternative courses with Greece and Turkey before going ahead.

If we force new tripartite proposal on Makarios Greek Cyp Communists and other enemies of WEU will be able to take advantage of situation. Turkey and Greece will be forced to intervene with unforeseen consequences.

Pickard clearly believes we should now be thinking about alternatives to tripartite proposal in event it proves unacceptable to GOC. We discussed several on informal basis without commitment (Embtel 680) and agreed to discuss them further later.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–8 CYP. Secret; Flash; Exdis. Received in the Department at 6:52 p.m. and passed to the White House.
  2. Dated February 8; it reported on the deteriorating Cypriot situation and the need for U.S. action. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated February 8. (Ibid.)