100. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and Secretary of Defense Schlesinger1
K: Hello. Jim.
S: Yes Henry.
K: I just wanted to bring you up to date. You know the situation and I want you to know what my thinking is and see whether we’re in step on it. My view is that—you know the methods that the Turks have asked us to pass to the Greeks about not firing.
S: Right. They’re landing.
K: They’re landing and they have orders not to fire at the Greeks if the Greeks don’t fire. So we’re going to pass that message and we’re also going to tell the Greeks that we think the best solution now is to have a negotiation as rapidly as possible looking for the return to constitutional government. And that we recommend the Clerides solution under these conditions. That’s—that means they have gotten rid of Makarios and they’ll have to give up Sampson. And we’ll send Sisco back from Ankara. Now we don’t think this will really fly but at least it’s a slender thread.
S: My feeling is that the Turks at this stage are not going to settle for anything less than a piece of the island.
K: No, the Turks have said that they are willing to stabilize their forces and that they are willing to keep the existing structure and they will accept any president other than Sampson.
S: That’s very generous of them. That’s good. OK…
K: If the Turks want a piece of the island then in my view we have to work for double enosis and give the Greeks the other part of the island so my view is there are now two possible outcomes. Either double enosis or Clerides.
S: Completely. Henry. I had a call from Ingersoll a bit ago who wanted to move the Americans down to the British base.
K: I tell you. My bloody outfit. When they got a crisis the first thing they can think up is something trivial. What do you think. I’m not against it, I just wish they’d do first things first.
S: Well, my feeling on that is we can afford to wait and see what circumstances develop.[Page 332]
K: That is my feeling.
S: And it shows a certain nervousness on the part of the US Government.
K: Agree completely.
S: If there is a discreet withdrawal by car but the hint—the statement that I got—was we ought to move in helicopters and start removing Americans.
K: Well, to tell you the splendid reporting system I have they told me that you had offered helicopters. And I was under the impression that you were the energizing party.
S: Oh hell, I heard about this about 15 minutes ago.
K: OK, I’ll take care of this. Of—if they convince me that we need it, I assume we can appeal to you.
S: You bet, you bet.
K: But I agree with you that we should play that part cool.
S: We can move by car.
K: That is my strong feeling too. If we go in with helicopters no one will ever know what they are in there for.
S: That’s right. And miserable as the circumstances are, we still want to keep a low profile.
K: So we will work either for double enosis or for Clerides, whichever works out.
S: OK, bye.
- Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 384, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. Kissinger was in San Clemente with President Nixon; Schlesinger was in Washington.↩