345. Memorandum of Conversation1



New York, September 1969


  • Bi-laterals with Cyprus


  • U.S.
    • Secretary Rogers
    • Ambassador Phillips
    • Mr. James Irwin
    • Foreign Minister Kyprianou
    • Ambassador Rossides
    • Mr. Jacovides
    • Mr. Anthoulis
[Page 859]

Foreign Minister Kyprianou spent almost the entire thirty minutes briefing the Secretary on the past and present situation in Cyprus. Nothing new arose in the talks other than possibly clearer statements by the Foreign Minister on just where the Cypriot government now stands on certain issues.

In discussing the past, Kyprianou said that of course the best solution for all concerned (Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus) would have been enosis. In 1967 they realized that since talks on enosis could only result in war between Greece and Turkey enosis would have to be set aside for at least the foreseeable future. Instead the Cypriot government felt it should concentrate its efforts on building an independent and sovereign state.

Kyprianou said there were two reasons why the London-Zurich solutions failed and why any future solutions will fail if they include them.

Cyprus was made an independent state which wasnʼt independent. Its sovereignty was curtailed.
The internal structure of the state was on a basis of division which went beyond ensuring mere civil rights.

He added “Cyprus is a small island and cannot have a state within a state. It should be a unitary state in which the minority have useful civil rights.”

Kyprianou said that the relative peace and calm since January 1968 was due in large measure to the normalization steps taken by the Greek Cypriots. He referred specifically to the elimination of road blocks and the opening of roads. He then pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots still have some road blocks. Kyprianou really thought this was a useless act on their part for as he put it “enclaves are not a negotiating position. They can keep them.” He felt that the Turkish Cypriots were really not happy with the existing situation. He recalled how he and his wife were warmly received and besieged with questions at a Turkish Cypriot reception. Kyprianou thinks their positions are imposed from the outside and that possibly after the Turkish elections the Turkish Cypriots could then go to Turkey and tell them how they really feel.

Although he did not want to be quoted Kyprianou felt that the communal talks had really reached a deadlock. He implied they may have made a mistake in encouraging the Turkish Cypriots to present proposals which, it turned out, the Cypriot government could not possibly accept. Ambassador Rossides pointed out the impossible political and economic problems inherent in the Turkish proposals. Kyprianou was quite clear in stating that the Cypriot government had “gone to the maximum.” He said they had also possibly made a mistake by making all their concessions to begin with. Kyprianou stated that the logical compromise between Greek enosis and Turkish partition was the creation of an independent state. Since they had foregone much in giving [Page 860] up enosis the Turks should respond likewise and forgo their demands for separate autonomy. Regardless of the fact that the communal talks were at an impasse they were providing peaceful conditions and should definitely continue. This peaceful climate might permit “action in the field (further normalization) which in turn might enable the talks to make progress.”

When asked by Ambassador Phillips regarding the size of UNFICYP Foreign Minister Kyprianou replied “we are happy with the force as it is. However, if the Secretary General feels it can be cut down it is okay with us.”

The Secretary concluded the meeting by telling Foreign Minister Kyprianou that he thought the solution to their problem was reason and the passage of time.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 CYP. Confidential. Drafted by Irwin on September 23, and approved by R.L. Brown on September 25. Rogers and Kyprianou were attending the UN General Assembly meeting.