114. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and British Foreign Minister Callaghan1

K: You wouldn’t take my call. I rang you this morning, and you wouldn’t take my call.

C: [laughs]2 Well, now, what’s the situation?

K: Well, our understanding is that there is a coup in Greece.

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C: Yes.

K: And Sisco thinks they won’t be ready to meet tomorrow.

C: Yes, I am told that this man Davos (?) is taking over. Is that right?

K: That’s right, and our reading is that he isn’t so bad.

C: Our what?

K: Our reading is that he may be more moderate.

C: Yeah, you know you’ve got a broken voice. I don’t think it’s just the accent of yours. It’s that bloody machine you’ve got there.

K: Do you want me to call you back?

C: I think I can just make it out, Henry, if you go pretty slowly. Did you say that—uh, what did you say last?

K: I said that my impression—our impression—is that this fellow may not be so bad to work with.

C: Ah, right, I agree, but I am told he’s pretty anti-Turkish.

K: Umm.

C: However, I’ll put it off, and what do you suggest? Wednesday?3

K: I would put it til Thursday.

C: Well, is that letting it go a big long?

K: Well, then do it Wednesday if you want.

C: I think we’d better try for Wednesday, and we may have to settle for Thursday.

K: Good.

C: Because the situation is such that you’ve got this man Sampson still there.

K: I agree.

C: And Ecevit was ringing me up and saying that genocide is going on and there’s no authority to deal with.

K: Now we are talking to Waldheim

C: Yes.

K: … to increase the UN force.

C: Yes.

K: And we will strongly support it if you will.

C: Yes, we will certainly strongly support that, although we shall probably have to supply some people.

K: That’s what I would think.

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C: Yes, well all right. Well I would try and get that through, and we would have to add some people to the UN force and let them operate under UN auspices.

K: Good.

C: But I think in those circumstances it is all the more important we try and make it Wednesday if we can.

K: Good. And I will bring Sisco home, and I will send Bill Buffum.

C: Bill who?

K: Buffum.

C: All right. Yes.

K: He’s a very stable and solid and unexcitable fellow.

C: Very good.

K: And he will have my thinking in very great detail.

C: Would he come to Geneva?

K: If you want him.

C: Well, I think we’d better have him in London first.

K: Ok.

C: And then he can come on from London to Geneva when we start the conference.

K: He will be in London on Wednesday.

C: On Wednesday.

K: Unless it slips.

C: Unless it slips, yes. All right. We’ll see him here first thing Wednesday morning then, Henry.

K: He’ll be there first thing Wednesday.

C: And then he can consult with us before we go. And we will try and make the conference Wednesday afternoon.

K: Wonderful.

C: See if you can make that stick with the Greeks and with the Turks, will you?

K: I’ll do my best.

C: Right, old man. Good.

K: And I’ve really enjoyed working with you on this.

C: I really have. I think we’ve managed this not too badly, don’t you?

K: I think it’s come out as a net asset.

C: Yes, I think it’s good too. We’ve got to get rid of this fellow Sampson quickly, you know?

K: Well, I told you, we’d support that.

C: Yes. That’s right. OK. Well, when we get your man over here, we’ll talk, and we’ll try and coordinate again.

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K: Now, look, I’m seeing Makarios this afternoon.4

C: Yes.

K: And I’m going to play it rather cool.

C: Don’t be too cool.

K: No, I’ll play it loose.

C: You must recognize, he’s the legitimate President until any other arrangements are made.

K: That’s right. No, no, I’ll be very friendly, but I will be noncommittal.

C: Yes, that’s all right. I tell you, we will have to move very delicately on that one, Henry.

K: I agree with you.

C: Yeah, because we’ve got this big … well, I’ve got a lot of information I’ll tell your chap _____5 on that. And I know all the difficulties, but I take it you want to appear to be isolated on this one, you know. If we move, we’ve got to move together.

K: No, no, we are not going to make a commitment, but we don’t want a final decision made.

C: No, no, all right. Well, we are going to inform him through our UN ambassador there. Righto, we are going to inform him of what is taking place, and we will notify Denktash, the Turkish leader, too, and Clerides.

K: Right. And we will stay loose on it and very friendly.

C: Yes, that’s right.

K: And we will send you a reporting cable.

C: Yes, you keep it going for a bit, Henry. You take your uncle’s advice.

K: Oh, no, you can count on that. You can absolutely count on that.

C: And you must be absolutely filthy to Sampson.

K: You can count on that too. [laughter]6

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C: Very good. I can always count on you being filthy, can I?

K: We really have turned nasty on this.

C: [laughs] All right.

K: Good. Nice to have talked to you.

C: Goodbye now.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 384, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. Kissinger was in Washington; Callaghan was in London.
  2. Brackets in the original.
  3. July 24.
  4. Kissinger met privately with Makarios for 1 hour and 20 minutes, at which time Ambassadors Dimitriou and McCloskey joined them. Makarios handed Kissinger his six handwritten proposals for resolving the Cyprus issue, including demands for a return to the status quo ante and a mixed police force. Kissinger then briefed the Ambassadors on the private conversation and remained noncommittal on who should lead Cyprus. (Informal record of meeting, July 22; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 123, Geopolitical File, Cyprus, Chronological File) Two other memoranda of conversations relating to the meeting are in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1974, P770087–0271 and P870119–0415.
  5. Omission in the original.
  6. Brackets in the original.