186. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cyprus1

233620. Subject: Secretary’s September 29 Bilateral with Makarios.2

The Secretary, accompanied by Undersecretary Sisco and EUR/SE Eagleton, met with President Makarios, Foreign Minister Christophides, Ambassador to the UN Rossides and Ambassador to the US Dimitriou on September 29 in New York.
Makarios expressed appreciation for the proposals made by the Secretary in his UNGA speech3 and indicated that he continued to believe the Secretary had a key role to play in reaching a Cyprus settlement. The Secretary said the United States was prepared to play a role, but he could not be usefully involved if he were constantly harassed by Congress and the Greek-American community. He observed that the Turkish arms embargo might have been useful as a threat, but not as a reality.
When the Secretary asked for Makarios’ idea of a reasonable settlement, the Archbishop replied that the basis could be bizonal, with a Turkish area less than 25 per cent and a central government in which Turks did not participate on a fifty-fifty basis. He said the powers of the central government were not of major importance. The Secretary replied that he had no precise idea regarding the percentage basis of a final settlement, though he felt it unrealistic to expect a Turkish zone of less than 25 per cent. He suggested that a more practical approach would be to consider a return of territory on the basis of regions: for example something in Famagusta, Morphou and the area south of the Nicosia–Famagusta Road.
Re next steps, the Secretary said that once the arms embargo was lifted and the Turkish Senate election had taken place, he would be prepared to make a major effort to obtain a Turkish territorial position as a basis for renewed negotiations. He did not specify what form that effort would take. He warned that the negotiating process would be slow and would have its difficult moments, particularly toward the end. He counseled moderation in the UNGA debate, noting that if there [Page 627] was no progress in two or three months, the issue could be raised again in the General Assembly.
Makarios expressed concern over the weakness of the Turkish Government and its inability to move on Cyprus. The Secretary acknowledged that this was a problem but reiterated that he would make a major personal effort. The Turks, he said, had been told that if the embargo was lifted, the US-Turkish relationship would depend on movement on Cyprus. This would place maximum pressure on the Turks, and if a period free from Congressional harassment could be obtained, there was a chance for progress.
After the meeting Makarios made some remarks to the press to the effect that he had discussed various aspects of the Cyprus problem with the Secretary and they had made assessments on further developments and repercussions if no solution is found. Makarios added that he believed the Secretary could play an important role in achieving a peaceful and just settlement. Christophides told us later that Makarios was relieved that he was able to get into the elevator and away before the reporters asked his views on the Turkish arms embargo.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Joseph Sisco, 1951–1976, Entry 5405, Box 21, Cyprus 1974/1975. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Repeated Priority to Ankara and Athens.
  2. A September 29 memorandum of conversation of the meeting, which was held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, is in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 274, Memoranda of Conversations, Chronological File.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 185.