169. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Ford 1


  • Cyprus Negotiations


The following is a brief report on recent developments in the Cyprus negotiations. During my bilateral consultations with both the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers at Brussels, December 11–13, both parties agreed that substantive negotiations should resume promptly between Rauf Denktash (leader of the Turkish Cypriots) and Glafcos Clerides (leader of the Greek Cypriots and former Acting President of Cyprus during Archbishop Makarios’ absence) on Cyprus. The new round of talks between the two leaders were to include political matters as well as the humanitarian issues discussed in the past.

After some initial false starts, Clerides and Denktash finally met in plenary session on December 19 and 20.2 At the plenary meetings the two parties agreed on the following points:

  • —All constitutional issues will be discussed. Denktash has finally accepted Clerides as the “full empowered representative of the Greek Cypriot community and its negotiator.”
  • —The sequence of negotiations will first deal with the powers and authority of the federal government, then define the nature of the federation

A major point of contention has surfaced: Denktash quite unexpectedly raised the question of international guarantees (possibly Five Powers—Turkey, Greece, the United Kingdom and the two Cypriot communities) for any agreement reached during the negotiations between the two leaders. This matter [Page 576] was not discussed at Brussels and Clerides had no instructions. Clerides has requested guidance from Athens which has been slow in coming. In the meantime, official announcement of resumption in the talks is being delayed until Clerides receives instructions and the two leaders can work out compromise language on the guarantees.

It should be noted that Archbishop Makarios has shown a preference for expanding the number of guarantors, possibly to include some or all of the permanent representatives to the UN Security Council, or some non-aligned nations. The Greeks, with an eye to the Archbishop’s preferences and the pressure of aid cut-off on the Turks, are moving slowly. The U.S. position is plain to all sides: that substantive talks must begin immediately without prejudging ultimate issues such as international guarantees. In any event, we are exploring various options to break the apparent impasse if some sort of compromise cannot be reached between the parties.


Substantive meetings between Denktash and Clerides are tentatively scheduled to resume on January 6, provided that the question of international guarantees can be quickly resolved. In the meantime, I plan to meet in Washington with our ambassadors to Nicosia, Athens and Ankara during the week of January 6 to review the current situation and coordinate the next step in our strategy. The objective will be to take advantage of the present momentum and sense of urgency in order to reach an early agreement. Clerides and Denktash know each other well and can be expected to bargain seriously. The basic problem will be to make their respective sponsors in both Athens and Ankara live up to the spirit of the Brussels agreements and remain within reasonable bounds. At the same time, we must insure that Makarios continues to maintain the relatively low profile he assumed upon returning to Cyprus in early December, for he has the potential for mischief and could upset any agreement reached. In this regard, I believe that he is slowly becoming aware of the realities of the situation on Cyprus and will not present a serious obstacle to success.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box A4, Cyprus 3. Secret. Sent for information. Ford initialed the memorandum. Another notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. A summary of the discussion is in telegram 4551 from Nicosia, December 21, Nodis to Secretary of State 6)