191. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Cyprus Negotiations


  • Cyprus
  • Foreign Minister John Christophides
  • Ambassador Dimitriou
  • Minister-Counselor Angelides
  • Mr. Pasharkis, Aide to Christophides
  • US
  • The Secretary
  • Ambassador William Crawford
  • William L. Eagleton, EUR/SE

Christophides: Do you have news regarding your Ambassador in Beirut?

[Page 638]

The Secretary: Yes, he and his Deputy have been killed.

Christophides: Do you know who did it?

The Secretary: No, we do not know yet. This is not one of our better days.

Christophides: I very much regret it.

The Secretary: Back to our discussion. You feel there has to be a common basis before you can go to subcommittees, but the Turks argue that there must be a military expert present. Secondly, the Turks say that in Vienna everything becomes public.

Christophides: My question is regarding the second point. Why must it be more public there than in the subcommittee? It would be better if they find a way to discuss this in Vienna in secrecy with only two persons there.

The Secretary: What is your objection to subcommittees? I do not understand it.

Christophides: What will the subcommittee do?

The Secretary: Narrow the differences.

Christophides: The subcommittee level cannot make political decisions. They cannot say what would be the extent of territory. Second, we know from our own sources that the plan of Denktash is to send the problem to the subcommittee so as to kill it as an issue, to show the world that he is negotiating. Third, there has been an agreement in Vienna which they want to go back on. This is that there must be a Waldheim knows.

The Secretary: He hasn’t told me. The idea I have had is that if you put forward a map then they will put forward a map or exact criteria. I suspect, however, that prior to our elections they will not listen to our pressures. The tragedy is that we did not settle this in 1974. Even as late as January, 1975, there was a Turkish package. Then the embargo came. Another possibility was during the Geneva talks in 1974 when the Turks put forward the Gunes plan. This was that if you gave them immediately the northern district or 19% or 20%, they would relax and negotiate the other areas with you. These would not have been given back. It was our fault not to have pressed, but there would have been riots in Athens and in Nicosia if we had supported this plan. The dilemma at that time was that we could not consider imposing it.

Christophides: I understand that.

The Secretary: DEMIREL is scared of his elections which must occur before October 1977. At one time I thought of sending an emissary to the parties, but with a 20% difference in the positions, an American emissary would antagonize everyone. Now if the difference were between [Page 639] negotiations I stayed on for weeks until there was a narrow difference and then put forward an American plan which I thought could be accepted by both parties. Makarios talked reasonably to me. What he said had possibilities.

Christophides: He also talked to Schmidt.

Suppose we were to give you a map and say these are our territorial positions?

The Secretary: A realistic map?

Christophides: Yes, but you hold back one or two per cent and the Turks do the same and give us a map.

The Secretary: That is an interesting idea. I assume the map is not what you have already proposed. It is better to put that proposal first and then we can say to the Turks that we will go to the Cypriots and get a realistic map and that they might answer it with a map. Then you give us a map minus 2 per cent. This is an ingenious idea. We can certainly try it, but you would have to go to another Vienna round.

Christophides: I emphasize that this is my personal idea and has to be checked out with the government.

The Secretary: I might also ask some Western Europeans to join us and perhaps Waldheim. Or would you prefer we do it alone?

Christophides: I have not studied this in detail. I was just thinking aloud.

The Secretary: I like the principle of it.

I am sorry that our meeting has been interrupted so often.

Christophides: I appreciate your attention to our problems.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 276, Memoranda of Conversations, Chronological File. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Eagleton on June 17 and cleared in S on July 9. The meeting was held in the Secretary’s office.