18. Note From the Soviet Leadership to President Ford1

It is believed in Moscow that there is an urgent necessity to exchange opinions with the President on the question of Cyprus which has gained particular acuteness in view of the recent events.2 Addressing the President on this question it is assumed in Moscow that the Soviet Union and the U.S., being guided by high goals of strengthening peace and international security, have agreed on the importance of the prevention and the removal of situations which can bring about complications dangerous to peace.

As is known, hostilities have been resumed on Cyprus, with the conflict endangering to spread beyond the limits of the island. Such de[Page 48]velopment of events runs contrary to the trend for relaxation, which is being established in international relations, and can create a new dangerous hotbed of international tension. The Security Council decisions aimed at stopping the foreign military intervention in Cyprus, at ensuring the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and legitimate interests of the Cypriot people, are not being implemented.

On the other hand, the approach, which was used at the Geneva talks, to solve the question of Cyprus in the narrow circle of some powers, in camera, have gone bankrupt.

It is becoming still more and more evident that the situation on Cyprus and in connection with the developments there, is demanding active and purposeful actions directed at the liquidation of the conflict.

It seems to us, that an important step, which under the present circumstances could produce the greatest effect, would be a joint effort of our two countries for the purpose of implementing the Security Council Resolution 353 of July 20. We have in mind a solution of main problems of the settlement as that Resolution demands.

In this connection we have the following considerations to which we would like to draw the attention of the President. The joint effort of the USSR and the US could provide appropriate guarantees of our both countries aimed at securing the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Cypriot state, as well as creating necessary conditions for the Cypriots to settle themselves their internal affairs without any outside intervention. We would be also prepared to consider a possibility of providing such guarantees on the part of the Security Council.

Along the same lines, in our view, a special group should be established, composed of nonpermanent members of the Security Council, representing all main geographic areas. The functions of such group, small in its composition (representatives of 5–6 states), could include observing, on behalf of the Security Council, the situation on Cyprus, the implementation of the decisions of the Security Council on the question of Cyprus, as well as the promotion of a just, peaceful and democratic settlement of the problem of Cyprus, including a direct participation in negotiations.

Undertaking this initiative, we express our readiness to cooperate closely with the US in implementing measures both those mentioned above and possible others, aimed at preserving Cyprus as a sovereign and independent state.

It is hoped in Moscow that the US Government will regard our considerations with full attention. On our part we are ready, of course, to consider the views that the American side may have.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 91D414, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 5, Nodis Memcons, 1974, Folder 5. No classification marking. According to typed marginalia, the note was delivered to Scowcroft at 5:30 p.m. on August 15.
  2. On July 15, members of the Cyprus National Guard, backed by the military government of Greece, overthrew President Archbishop Makarios III. Five days later, Turkey invaded Cyprus to defend its interests and those of Turkish Cypriots; Turkish military forces staged a second invasion on August 14 and eventually occupied approximately one third of the island. On July 20, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 353, calling for an immediate cease-fire, the removal of all foreign military forces, and the restoration of the Cypriot constitutional order. Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom began formal peace talks in Geneva on July 25. Fighting resumed on August 14 when the talks broke down.