155. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Department of State1

3454. Subject: Conversation with Denktash.

I saw Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash October 3 a few days after his return from Council of Europe and consultation in Ankara. Bulk of our conversation dealt with problems of Turkish travel restrictions, consular access, protection of property, etc. (septel).2
We then turned to the Cyprus topic of the day: Clerides’ threat to announce resignation in next day or two unless he receives clear public mandate from Greek Cypriots, from Greece and from Makarios, with some assurance from latter that he will not return to Cyprus soon and will call off the disruptive public clamor he has instigated.
I said that in my view Clerides was right to insist that latent support for his role, in Cyprus and internationally, be made tangible and public to maximum extent possible. Denktash had been right, too, in posing the stark questions on September 20 as to whether Clerides could stay in the negotiations and, if so, whether he could sign. It was my impression that Clerides doing well. Karamanlis had come out on September 30 with a gratifying message of support even though he had disappointingly let it be watered down the following day. In New York, there was a lot of responsible thinking and activity designed to support the existing Cyprus negotiation and dissuade Makarios from early return. Secretary Kissinger is engaged in energetic diplomacy directed at support of CleridesDenktash negotiation and introduction of flexibility on substance. Clerides had unequivocal statement of US support. Even Makarios had belatedly expressed his support for Clerides following October 2 meeting with Secretary.3 On island, Greek Cypriot factions from left to right were beginning to wake up to what Clerides’ departure would mean and were asking that he not resign.
I said that while things seemed to be moving in the right direction, I was not sure whether Clerides would yet feel he had carried [Page 524] his threat far enough and received sufficient mandate to continue in face of Archbishop’s undercutting which reflected through his supporters and in the substance of his UNGA statement.4 My personal guess was that Clerides would judge that he had to move further on his threat and perhaps even go through with it, until he received more. I hoped this would be forthcoming today and over coming weekend, especially from Cyprus House of Representatives which scheduled to meet in rump session later today and again with full membership, including members recalled from abroad, on October 6 or 7.
Denktash said with obvious sincerity that he wished Clerides well. Turkey was prepared to make concessions to help him if we could get over this hurdle.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for the Middle East and South Asia, Box 3, Cyprus, Nodis to Secretary of State 3. Secret; Immediate;Nodis.
  2. Telegram 3453 from Nicosia, October 3. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1974)
  3. See Document 154.
  4. See footnote 4, Document 154.