124. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Visit of Archbishop Makarios


  • Cyprus
  • Archbishop Makarios
  • Ambassador Dimitriou
  • US
  • The Secretary
  • Ambassador Robert J. McCloskey

(Conversation already under way.)

Archbishop Makarios: I have been telling the Secretary that the Soviets are trying to exploit the situation and that their interest in this problem is not genuine. Yesterday they asked for a Security Council meeting and we were greatly disappointed at what proved to be a waste of time. But, as I said, to some extent the United States is giving ground to the Soviets.

The Secretary: We have three parties to consider and therefore our policy is more complex than for someone who backs only one of the parties.

Archbishop Makarios: We don’t want to do that.

[Page 411]

The Secretary: We succeeded in bringing about the ceasefire. I don’t see any reason now to take an anti-Turkish position publicly because it will only aggravate the situation.

Archbishop Makarios: I am not asking that. I am interested in results, I believe only the United States can influence Turkey—and Greece—and Cyprus. Greece and Turkey are both members of NATO and both receive military aid from the United States. The Cyprus problem is only a small one for the United States and it is not proper to say that the United States must do this or that. We are not in a position to say anything to you about pressure.

The Secretary: We will not do anything under pressure, in no circumstance, and it is in our interest to make this clear. This is a fact of life, not a threat. You would do the same thing. I am not accusing you.

Archbishop Makarios: We are not…

The Secretary: You’re an able person. What do you see as a solution?

Archbishop Makarios: I am not satisfied with the position of the United States. It is in your interest to stop the Turkish invasion. I don’t say you should exercise pressure and in the process develop anti-U.S. attitudes. I don’t know what you’ve conveyed to Turkey. But, despite this, Turkey is continuing its invasion without showing any respect for the Security Council Resolution.

The Secretary: Turkey is not advancing any further.

Archbishop Makarios: They are now seeking to impose themselves in Cyprus. Greece is weakened. I don’t know whether Karamanlis can survive. The Turkish demands are unreasonable.

The Secretary: What?

Archbishop Makarios: 1) They won’t go back to the lines called for in the Security Council Resolution. 2) They are calling for federation. 3) Ecevit is saying “our troops will stay.” This is blackmail! And the airport is under their control. Furthermore (in the inter-communal negotiations) they are demanding that the Vice President should have veto power.

The Secretary: I thought you had agreed to the latter in the 1960 agreements.

Archbishop Makarios: Yes, they want changes. We also want changes. Talks have been going on for years.

The Secretary: What concretely do you want us to do?

Archbishop Makarios: Take a more decisive role. You are in a position to play this role. You can make certain proposals. Turkey will accept. When you sent Sisco to Athens and Ankara I have read that you used strong language. And now you are very cautious.

[Page 412]

The Secretary: You don’t know what we say privately. There was an improvement in the situation last week as a result of what we did.

Archbishop Makarios: The situation is worse now. People have been uprooted and a great number of refugees have been created.

The Secretary: While the U.K. is negotiating with Greece and Turkey it is not proper for the United States to attempt to take over the negotiations.

Archbishop Makarios: But, behind the scenes…

The Secretary: It depends on what you want. You have addressed the important problem of the long term attitude of Turkey. From the point of view of the Geneva negotiations it is not necessarily decisive whether there are 20 or 23,000 troops there as far as this round of negotiations is concerned. It is important though whether agreement can be reached in a political context to reduce that number. Now, what we want is to settle this in terms of implementation of the ceasefire and thereby have that contribute to the further political negotiations.

Archbishop Makarios: What disturbs me is that the Turks will not be in for settlement. As time passes they will be consolidating their position there. The talks will take months or years…

The Secretary: I think they want a quick settlement, although it might have been their purpose to delay. Maybe we’re wrong.

Archbishop Makarios: Have they accepted a UN corridor?

The Secretary: (After checking by telephone.) Yes, they seem to have accepted that.

Archbishop Makarios: I understand the Turks will not withdraw unless there is a final agreement.

The Secretary: Yes.

Archbishop Makarios: If the talks are prolonged what will the situation be? Our people are suffering. They say they will accept the 1960 Constitution only with changes.

The Secretary: They haven’t said this to me. My impression is they may want to keep troops there.

Archbishop Makarios: Until a solution or forever?

The Secretary: Between a solution and forever. But I’m not here as their lawyer.

Archbishop Makarios: They invaded they say to restore order and safeguard the Constitution.

The Secretary: During the first week we knew once they got there it would be difficult to get them out, but we didn’t want to sanctify Turkish invasion.

Archbishop Makarios: Suppose Greece and the UK do the same?

[Page 413]

The Secretary: The result will be double enosis. I don’t believe this should be the permanent solution. It is not being supported by the United States. There should be no Greek troops or that would lead to permanent partition.

Archbishop Makarios: What are the prospects for settlement?

The Secretary: Right now there are too many cooks. Callaghan needs a quick success. The Soviets have their own motives. The Government in Greece has its problems. And, Ecevit… We have been encouraging a settlement. We have not been all out active. We can’t be the only country to produce a settlement, but this may change. In this phase of the Geneva talks the prospects are good. In the next phase Turkey will have to change its position. There are still too many cooks.

Archbishop Makarios: I prefer an American cook. Going back to the Constitution—we don’t want only that.

The Secretary: What about the Mixed Police Force?

Archbishop Makarios: This would be a special force for collecting illegal arms. It would have equal numbers for Turks and Greeks. This is the only way to collect those arms.

The Secretary: We have no American view on this subject. We’d go along with what others want. Have you given this to others? Should we give it to the Turks? Do you mind?

Archbishop Makarios: No.

The Secretary: We could say these are your views and could let your Ambassador know. Basically, I understand you want us to play a more active role.

Archbishop Makarios: Yes. I believe you can play an active and decisive role.

Archbishop Makarios: Recently I read about military aid for Turkey announced in the New York Times.

The Secretary: We explained that if Greece and Turkey had gone to war neither could count on U.S. military assistance continuing. Some thought was given to cutting aid to Greece under its military regime. This could be used against Sampson.

Archbishop Makarios: What should I say my impressions are about our meeting today?

The Secretary: I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to say.

Archbishop Makarios: You will play a role?

The Secretary: Certainly, we will play a constructive role.

Archbishop Makarios: You can play a decisive role.

The Secretary: It is a question of timing.

Ambassador Dimitriou: (Referring to conversations in the UN) All believe if you were more active you could bring about a settlement. I [Page 414] have talked to members of the British and other European delegations. They all believe this and therefore the Geneva talks would be successful.

The Secretary: We can’t conduct those negotiations. We have someone there and in each crucial development we have been asked our view and we have given it. We have been helpful in a quiet way. We have made major efforts in Geneva but it isn’t our style to do it so vocally. Nobody has yet put all his cards on the table, either the Greeks or the Turks.

Archbishop Makarios: We have no cards.

The Secretary: We know your views and have studied your six points.2 Unless you have others, we will send them to Turkey tonight.

The Secretary: You can say that I told you we will play an increasingly constructive role.

Archbishop Makarios: Am I satisfied?

Ambassador Dimitriou: You’d be justified in saying that.

The Secretary: If I say you’re not, I will be popular in Turkey. Frankly, it is better for me internationally if you’re not satisfied.

Ambassador Dimitriou: (To Makarios) Are you satisfied?

Archbishop Makarios: I didn’t get a clear answer.

The Secretary: Frankly, I can’t say. I had to study your 1960 Constitution. I didn’t know anything about it. Let me say we are in favor of independence. We are not in favor of partition. We are in favor of a solution agreeable to all three parties.

[Secretary interrupted meeting to take a call outside.]3

The Secretary: (Continuing) We will play an increasingly constructive role. We cannot take a public position now that we are bringing pressure on anybody. That may change later. If you look at the Middle East negotiations you will see that we did not pressure the parties publicly. That is not in anybody’s interest.

The Secretary: I will say we had good talks. As negotiations continue we will play an increasingly constructive role. That we seek a solution within the context of the independence, sovereignty of Cyprus and its Constitutional arrangements. You should speak first. I’ll calibrate mine from what you say.

Archbishop Makarios: In case of a very urgent situation may I call you on the telephone?

[Page 415]

The Secretary: Yes. You are free to call me.

Attached are the USIS Reporter’s notes of the Secretary’s and the Archbishop’s remarks to the press.4

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 123, Geopolitical File, Cyprus, Chronological File. Secret. The meeting was held in the Secretary’s office.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 114.
  3. Kissinger spoke with Stabler at 5:47 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 384, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File) Brackets in the original.
  4. Attached but not printed.