380. Minutes of the Senior Review Group Meeting1


  • Cyprus


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
    • John N. Irwin, II
    • Joseph Sisco
    • Thomas Boyatt
  • Defense
    • Warren Nutter
    • James H. Noyes
  • JCS
    • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
    • B/Gen. Francis J. Roberts
  • CIA
    • Richard Helms
    • John Waller
  • Treasury
    • Charles E. Walker
    • John McGinnis
  • NSC
    • Harold H. Saunders
    • Samuel Hoskinson
    • Col. Richard T. Kennedy
    • Adm. Robert O. Welander
    • Mrs. Jeanne W. Davis


It was agreed that, while we should try to keep the parties engaged and that almost any instrumentality would be acceptable, there is nothing we need do at the moment.

Mr. Kissinger: (to Boyatt) I see you have a map.2 What does it tell us?

Mr. Boyatt: (Referring to a map of Cyprus) The areas in red are the Turkish Cypriot enclaves within which the writ of the Cyprus Government does not run.

Mr. Kissinger: Are the groups in these areas armed?

Mr. Boyatt: Yes.

Mr. Kissinger: Where do they get their arms?

Mr. Boyatt: From Turkey.

Mr. Kissinger: Illegally?

Mr. Boyatt: Technically illegally. They make some of their own also. As you can see from the map, this is a good argument against partition: these enclaves are too spread out.

Mr. Kissinger: And they want a Minister for Communal Affairs who is theirs?

[Page 932]

Mr. Boyatt: They want what amounts to ethnic autonomy, with a chain of command from the village level to the Turkish Cypriot Vice President. As a minimum, they want the institutionalization of the status quo. Their compromise position is a Minister for Turkish Affairs, which Makarios wonʼt accept.

The blue areas are the British sovereign bases.

Mr. Kissinger: If I understand correctly, the intercommunal talks are deadlocked now and there will be a meeting between the Turkish and Greek representatives at the UN. Makarios may try to sabotage this meeting by making a preemptory move into the General Assembly. I assume there is no way to prevent such a move?

Mr. Sisco: The situation isnʼt quite that explicit. If Makarios moves in the UN, it is more apt to be to the Security Council. I think the situation will remain calm until after the General Assembly meeting. Although we should try to keep the parties engaged one way or another, we have no substantive position to sell and there is not much for us to do at the moment.

Mr. Kissinger: I thought we were going to talk to the parties at the UN?

Mr. Sisco: Only in the normal course of the Secretaryʼs discussions with the Foreign Ministers in New York.

Mr. Kissinger: Youʼre not going to call in the Ambassadors?

Mr. Sisco: We havenʼt decided yet.

Mr. Kissinger: What would you say to them if you call them in? Could we see a telegram of talking points indicating the approach you might take?

Mr. Sisco: We donʼt know yet since we havenʼt decided whether or not to call them in.

Mr. Kissinger: Would you decide to call them in first and then decide what youʼre going to say?

Mr. Sisco: Not necessarily. I think it would be largely a listening exercise.

Mr. Irwin: I think the situation has evolved somewhat. When we thought there was a possibility of Makarios moving quickly into the Security Council, we were thinking of calling in the Ambassadors. Now Joeʼs bureau (Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs) thinks that Makarios wonʼt go to the Security Council until after the September General Assembly meeting, so it is less urgent.

Mr. Sisco: I think the Greeks and Turks will get together. The Greeks will say that the only thing that would create a crisis would be if the Turks take some step to upset the status quo. It is difficult to see how the Greek and Turkish Governments could agree on some action which would stimulate a crisis. I assume the Cypriots in New York may explore with U Thant the possibility of some new UN mediation effort, and we could then look at it in that context. There is nothing we [Page 933] can do at the moment that would have any real meaning. The Cypriots are dedicated to the status quo, and the Greeks are not interested in upsetting it. If there are any new moves, the parties will come to us and to the other Security Council members. We have no substantive solution to sell. We are satisfied with the status quo, but any instrumentality of engagement agreed between the parties ought to be acceptable. But there are differences even here. The Cypriots want to go to the UN, but the Turks are very reserved about that. The Turks want to use conferees under the authority of the London/Zurich agreements, but Makarios is very reserved about this. The Greeks have told Makarios that the greatest danger stems from his playing footsie with the Russians and bringing in Russian political support. We donʼt know what impact that might have had on Makarios. However, contrary to usual practice, there was no communiqué following Makariosʼ recent trip to Greece and Makarios has said very little about it, so there were obviously some differences.

Mr. Kissinger: So it is agreed there is nothing we need to do now.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-112, SRG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Secret. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room from 4:27–4:37 p.m. Jeanne Davis sent the minutes under a covering memorandum to Kissinger on September 10 and also sent copies to Kennedy and Saunders. Kissinger initialed the transmittal memorandum.
  2. Not printed