466. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1
New York, February 26, 1964, 8 p.m.
3201. Re: Cyprus.
- With fate of Bernardes’ initiative2 likely be decided within next couple days, we submit fol estimate its prospects and possible next steps in case it fails.
- Prospects in SC at present are still uncertain. Surprising degree of unanimity among five of six non-perm members and their agreement on draft res affords some encouragement they may succeed and certainly warrants their being given sufficient time to complete their effort. UKUN is moderately optimistic and favors accepting Brazilian draft as is. On other hand, debate in Council yesterday3 and latest developments in Cyprus may have hardened situation, with Cypriots believing they can safely stand more firm and Turks becoming more rigid due to explicit Cypriot challenge of their right of intervention. However, Menemencioglu (Turkey) has so far reflected quite flexible attitude on wording of res. Sovs, of course, have capability of creating difficulties at last minute.
- During course of last week Cypriot position in UN has progressively improved due to fol factors: (a) belief Cyprus is “small” state under armed threat from large neighbor, (b) automatic predilection for unqualified territorial integrity and sovereignty of members, (c) long-standing opposition to Turkey by Arabs and because of its membership in NATO, (d) SYG’s efforts, which included reference to territorial integrity but nothing on treaties, (e) Cypriot challenge that treaty grants no right of military intervention at all, (f) solid support from Greece on same point, thus creating explicit alignment of Greece with Cyprus on key points. However, this does not mean Cypriots have gained or can gain total victory in SC. SC members also generally recognize (i) SC cannot challenge or modify treaties, regardless of what members think of them, (ii) that root causes of present issue lie in communal fighting in Cyprus and (iii) that establishment of UN force is practical way in which issue can be overcome.
- Left to own devices without US–UK pressure, Council would give Cyprus unqualified statement of territorial integrity (being totally silent about Treaty of Guarantee) in return for peacekeeping force and mediator. Given our pressures members of Council will probably stand about on version “b” of Brazilian preamble (USUN 3179).4 No res likely go through Council will be stronger than this. We think Turks could live with such language in last analysis. Question is whether Cypriots are willing bend even to that degree.
- If present effort fails, number of possibilities for next step are then open.
- These are: (a) effort to bring about “summit” meeting either of Turkey and Greece or of 4 guarantor powers; (b) Cypriot move to convene special GA; (c) further effort by US with Makarios to obtain SC solution; (d) further efforts in SC on new lines, such as Norwegian idea of simply asking SYG to appoint mediator.
- Re summit conf our assessment is that bilateral Greek-Turkish meeting highly unlikely at this stage in light current efforts Greeks to maintain their influence in Cyprus. Four-power summit conf would without any doubt be useful and we hope soundings in regard thereto are being taken. However, we are now far from certain that Cypriots would again meet with guarantor powers and, even if they did, that Makarios would agree to Kutchuk being represented in any equivalent status with him at such summit conf. In their present mood Greeks would probably support Cypriot position. Summit might therefore not be feasible at all or, if it were, it might turn on how far we (and Turks) would insist on equal participation of Turks.
- Re GA we believe it is open question whether or not Cypriots could get necessary 57 votes. Much would depend upon case left from SC breakdown. There would be reluctance on part many members, even including many Afro-Asians, to have special or emergency GA in light Article 19. On other hand, if situation in SC and in area veered toward one in which failure to convene GA would appear to be acquiescing in Turkish military action, Cypriots might well get their votes. Even Sov bloc might vote for such session if it felt psychology of session would be anti-Turk and correspondingly anti-US and UK, in hopes our prospects in forcing Article 19 would be at minimum in such circumstances. At very least we should not conclude that Sovs would be working against GA because of Article 19. While situation not therefore certain, and while feeling Cypriots must be quite unsure of their prospects [Page 995] obtaining GA session, we cannot exclude it and must in our tactics acknowledge so as to minimize its prospects.
- We consequently feel further efforts should be made within SC context to reach agreement on SC action even if initiative non-perm members breaks down and even though Greek-Cypriots are using time to increase their own armed strength. Given UK reluctance to continue job itself and mounting evidence Makarios will increasingly focus pressures against UK direct role, key both to restoring law and order in Cyprus and keeping Turks out still lies in international peace-keeping force. If this can be achieved it should be much more satisfactory to Turks than any direct intervention on their part, which would be bound to result in heavy slaughter of Turkish-Cypriots and virtually untenable long-run job for Turkish army. This would, of course, play into Sov hands.
- Consequently believe next step if non-perm members break down would be for US make final high-level appeal to Makarios to agree to SC solution which would create UN force, keep Turks in fact out, and appoint mediator. Exact details of approach would have to await result of non-perm members negots. We have in mind tentative idea of asking him accept mention in res both of “territorial integrity” and of treaty or constitution, in exchange for explicit Turkish commitment not to exercise its rights under treaty (whatever they may be) as long as UN force is on island and is effectively protecting Turkish lives and property.
- If this does not work believe next string on bow might be Nielsen (Norway) approach, preferably on basis direct suggestion from SYG to Makarios. Idea of this would be that other issues in SC be set aside for the moment while SYG sends mediator or good officer to consult with govts concerned in area, on basis SC res to this effect. Implicit would be concept that UK force would continue on island with function maintaining present uneasy peace. Presumably any such action would be accompanied by renewed SC and SYG appeal to all concerned, including communities, to refrain from violence.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–8 CYP. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, Nicosia, London, and CINCSOUTH. Passed to the White House, JCS, OSD, CIA, and CINCEUR and CINCSTRIKE for POLADs.↩
- Reported in telegram 3200 from New York, February 26. (Ibid.)↩
- Summarized in Yearbook of the United Nations, 1964, pp. 153–154.↩
- Telegram 3179 from USUN, February 25, transmitted the text of the Cypriot Security Council resolution. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–8 CYP)↩