480. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

3294. Cyprus. Ref: Deptel 2335.2 Yost saw Bunche March 5 and conveyed info in reftel to him. Bunche reaction as follows:

Transport: Agreed with US approach. Said SYG already recommended Canadians supply own air transport. (Dean (UK) told MisOff [Page 1018] UK prepared provide transport and indicated this would be for units from Europe.)

Logistics: SYG stated three men UNSEC Recon Group consisting of Feiffer (UN Comp Office), Maj Mariz (SYG Mil Staff) and Lansky (UN Field Serv) plan trip Cyprus determine PKF logistics needs, UK ability provide local support such as vehicles, qtrs, rations, etc and develop feel for situation. (Group will depart New York 6 March PM for 5–7 day visit on island with return via London possibility, according Rikhye staff.)

Bunche stressed that to maximum extent possible force would try fill needs from UK equipment on Cyprus. Noted only right-hand drive vehicles allowed on Cyprus and hoped expensive problem bringing vehicles into Cyprus could be minimized.

Extent UN needs would not be known until survey mission returned and no requests to US should be expected until then.

Finances: Bunche indicated US position on monetary contribution expected. Said SYG decided today send ltr all UN members and all spec UN agencies describing Cyprus operation, giving rough estimate of costs, and requesting contributions. In addition, he said, special approaches would be made to UK, West Germany, Switzerland, and perhaps others. West Germany would be told her readiness contribute unit appreciated but in view circumstances monetary contribution would be most welcome form participation. As for UK, SYG would be “tough” saying UN getting UK “off hook” in Cyprus and expected monetary contribution. (Rikhye told Yost at lunch Greece and Turkey would also be asked specifically for contributions. Acland (UK) told MisOff contribution of troops, air transport and equipment would be all UK can manage and Dean told this to SYG today.)

Bunche stated SYG thinking in terms 7,000 man force initially. (According Acland SYG told Dean this is in response to GOC view that 7,000 troops enough now.) Bunche said Cypriots agreed to renew question of size of force if after initial period Gyani (who with Rikhye has favored force of at least 10,000) recommended increase.

Bunche stated SYG suggested to Cypriots that Greek and Turk contingents be included in UN force, pointing out this one way get them back to barracks. Although Cypriots oppose this, Clerides immediately saw advantage this plan and said GOC reconsideration this point would be sought. (As for status other elements of force, SYG told Dean (UK), March 4, according Acland, Irish participation doubtful, Finnish and Brazilian forces possible only if financing made available.)

Bunche commented Astrom (Sweden) forwarding some rather impractical conditions for Swedish participation, such as SYG obtaining specific approval Cypriot VP Kutchuk. Yost suggests channeling [Page 1019] request through Turks. (Canadians, according Acland, pressing for definite directives to UN forces to disarm Greek and Turk Cypriot irregulars. Acland said UK reports from Nicosia indicate Gyani favors this as well as disbanding 5,000 Greek Cypriot special constables.)

Bunche remarked problem disarming Cypriots difficult one to which close attention being given. Also said he intrigued by enthusiasm of British, not only FonMin Butler, but also Dean and Harold Wilson who recently saw SYG, over idea UK troops under UN command. This sharp contrast with their reservations over UNOC and its action in Katanga. Bunche observed troops of large power are in this case under UN command solely by virtue fact they already there.

Comment: Manner in which UK appears accept GOC and SYG decision start with force of 7,000 suggests once responsibility in UN hands UK not as concerned with need for larger force and are more attracted by chance withdraw, as other contingents arrive, up to 3,000 men.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–8 CYP. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to London, Athens, Ankara, Nicosia, and USDOCOSOUTH for POLAD. Passed to the White House, JCS, OSD, CIA, and CINCEUR and CINCSTRIKE for POLADs.
  2. Document 477.