460. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Department of State 1
747. For Secretary from Ball. In further session with Makarios, Kyprianou, Clerides and Papadopoulos at four this afternoon we reached complete deadlock. In essence, issue is between establishment of peace force now under aegis we propose and establishment of force only after passage of Security Council resolution which directed against threat of Turkish aggression. We have another session tomorrow at 10.
Makarios handed us paper outlining this position and said he intends go to SC at beginning of next week. He said concept on international force is acceptable, but force should serve “to assist the Government of the Republic of Cyprus in restoring law and order and in bringing about a return to normal conditions.” Paper also provided that UNSYG should be invited to Cyprus to discuss role of UN vis-à-vis the force and establishment of committee of reps of participating countries under chairmanship of UNSYG representative. (Text sent separately.)2
In response, I reiterated that first task is end of bloodshed. I rang all possible changes on argument that SC res re aggression and territorial integrity is unnecessary if peace force is brought in quickly and GOC cooperates to preserve peace; there would then be no question of foreign intervention. Further, I pointed out that role of peace-maker is to prevent conflict, not to side with one party or another. On SC res, I reiterated points [Page 981] I made yesterday that debate would be long, acrimonious exchange of charges and counter-charges, including that of genocide, and that it would be a spectacle that would bring shame to all parties, inflame passions and make no useful contribution to basic security problem of Cyprus. Pickard pointed out a key stumbling block in kind of res Cypriots want will be insistence of members that res be “subject to existing treaty rights”.
Pickard then read Makarios a statement (separate tel)3 underscoring difficulties under which UK troops are forced to operate. Cited aggressive action of legal GOC police forces, GOC refusal let UK troops occupy key positions needed to control situation in Limassol, and impossibility of UK troops being expected to fire on attacking Greek-Cypriot police, which would call down retaliation throughout the island. Pickard summed up that without GOC assurances that it does not espouse use of force against Turkish Cypriot minority, and without translation of such assurance into effective action, UK is reaching stage where it can no longer contribute to maintenance of peace on Cyprus, and he will recommend London consider whether there is any purpose in maintaining the troops here. We added that under these conditions, illogic of GOC view raises serious question of whether GOC genuinely wants peace force at all.
At one point Kyprianou said there was no purpose in further discussion on this basis, and Makarios said he did not think they were prepared go beyond what was suggested in their paper. In view of your instructions, I did not accept this obvious breaking point, urged them to study our new redraft of the force proposals, and arranged to meet Makarios again tomorrow.
GOC line as disclosed by paper given us today is same one they have pursued from beginning of our conversations. They are committed to a strategy—which, after our discussion of the last two days, I think they should believe is silly—of trying to neutralize Turkey by a Security Council resolution condemning aggression and guaranteeing territorial integrity. In this manner they hope to eliminate the one defense of the Turkish Cypriot population so that the Government of Cyprus can proceed happily with systematic genocide without outside interference.
Makarios today stuck rigidly to the paper that had obviously been drafted by his three young ministers (unhappily all lawyers) of whom he is a prisoner. From time to time he glanced uneasily at them to see if they gave him the nod. It was clear that they are calling tune and that he fears both for his job and his life.
I cannot play this drama out beyond tomorrow morning. At same time, we cannot leave any impression that Makarios’ proposals are serious [Page 982] basis for further negotiation, and I intend to point out our objection to it, and how unrealistic it is. I shall, however, tell him again that the stakes are too high for my government to give up.
I intend to fly to Ankara tomorrow, since Government of Turkey is anxiously awaiting results of these talks. Again I shall do my best to restrain them and shall repeat performance in Athens later.
Duncan Sandys has indicated that he wants a full review of situation in London, which probably means that I shall be there most of Saturday. I think that even Turks will agree that we have given this matter as hard a try as was possible. We have certainly earned additional confidence by doing everything we could to work this problem out, but we must face fact that Cyprus is an island infected by a blood lust and that there is no government that seriously wants to maintain order. Its only desire is to liquidate Turkish Cypriots.
I can best sum up prevailing attitude by quoting a Greek Cypriot who, when asked this morning about the bloody fighting in Limassol, dismissed it with a wave of hand, saying “when you are already soaked, the rain makes no difference.”
If there is not a progressive development of widespread carnage in next fortnight, it is possible that we could push GOC into a more tractable position by making sure that they get a bloody nose in Security Council next week. Following that we might be able to establish an international force and begin to inject an element of sanity into situation. If that is so we might theoretically try to give a slight nod to Makarios’ paper with necessary modifications. This might enable us to go forward toward creation of an international peacekeeping force that could move into island as soon as Security Council discussions were concluded.
Another possibility we should seriously consider with UK and—at right point—with other guarantor powers is for US to move immediately into Security Council seeking creation of an international force. Such a move would have virtue of taking Makarios off balance and would possibly enable us to present Cyprus problem in an advantageous manner.
I leave aside for moment possibility of arranging for a joint intervention of guarantor powers since this seems to me fraught with danger and at best a last ditch expedient.
- Source: Department of State, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Subject Files, Reel 87, Frames 1289–1292. Secret; Flash. Also sent to London, Athens, Ankara, and USUN.↩
- Regarding Makarios’ paper, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XVI, Document 11, footnote 2.↩
- Telegram 748 from Nicosia, February 13. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–8 CYP)↩