187. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cyprus 1

276244. Subject: Secretary’s Meeting with Denktash.2

Rauf Denktash came to Washington from New York morning November 20, met with the Secretary, and returned immediately to New York where UNGA debate was still in progress. Denktash’s presentation of Turkish-Cypriot case contained much bitterness toward Makarios and frustration over unequal status of Turkish Cypriots at the UN. He said that purpose of trip to Moslem countries and to New York was to undo damage that Makarios had caused. He had wanted [Page 628] to show Greek Cypriots that Makarios could not get away with it and thereby turn Greeks toward a more realistic approach to negotiations.
The Secretary acknowledged that the Cypriot problem did not begin in July 1974. He observed, however, that there was now a stalemate and that if nothing happens, Congress will pass additional restrictive measures which will further damage US-Turkish relations and hurt Turkish-Cypriot position as well. He observed that Turkish side could now have far more than was thought possible two years ago, under bizonal system and central government with limited powers. With a weak central government the participation issue would not be so important. Question now was whether Turkish side would be able to put forward territorial proposals. If not, we would be in difficult position, having obtained lifting of arms embargo on basis that progress would be made on Cyprus.
Denktash argued that a show of too much eagerness to negotiate was a bad tactic, and would only make Makarios more difficult. He had suggested to Waldheim that he should leave Makarios alone for a while and the latter would come to him with renewed interest in intercommunal talks. He complained that Makarios had never renounced enosis and would have to do so.
The Secretary suggested that renunciation of enosis could be part of a package. Denktash agreed there could be a package settlement. He emphasized, however, that while Greeks look at economic gains, Turks look at territorial problem from point of view of future security of Turkish sector. Turkish military believe that cession of New Famagusta would cause security problem. Denktash suggested, but did not insist, that there should be an interim government which could negotiate territorial aspects.
With regard to renewal of intercommunal talks, Denktash said that because of developments at the UN, he must save face and continue to make negative noises for a while. He felt then Waldheim would approach the two sides and “at a certain stage,” they would agree on talks. He thought, however, that talks should be prepared beforehand in Nicosia, possibly with Waldheim’s representatives shuttling between him and Clerides.
In closing, the Secretary again warned that if the Turks do not put something forward, Congressional pressures would weaken US-Turkish relations and the position of the Turkish-Cypriot community as well.
After the meeting Denktash met briefly with the press. He denounced Makarios and Greek-Cypriot activities at the UN. In answer to a question re resumption of intercommunal talks, he said he must reserve his position pending the outcome of the UNGA vote on Cyprus resolution.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, President Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, Box 2, Cyprus Exdis. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Eagleton and approved by Hartman and in S. Repeated Immediate to Athens, Ankara, and USUN.
  2. A November 20 memorandum of conversation of this meeting is in the National Archives, RG 59, Records of Joseph Sisco, 1951–1976, Entry 5405, Box 21, Cyprus 1974/1975.