193. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Southern Africa, North/South Relations, The Middle East, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Cyprus, The Aegean, MBFR


  • Netherlands
  • Foreign Minister van der Stoel
  • Ambassador Tammenoms Bakker
  • M.J.H.C. Rutten, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Lodewijk van Gorkom, Director General for International Cooperation
  • Maxime De Jonge, Political Counselor, Embassy of the Netherlands
  • United States
  • The Secretary
  • The Deputy Secretary
  • Ambassador McCloskey
  • Counselor Sonnenfeldt
  • Assistant Secretary Hartman
  • Katherine Shirley, EUR/NE (notetaker)

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Cyprus.]

van der Stoel: I’d like to turn to Cyprus.

[Page 641]

The Secretary: That’s a problem I’d like to turn over to the EC- Nine.

van der Stoel: You have formulated principles about which we have informed the others. I have a question about what is called frontier rectification. You say that territory should be reduced.

The Secretary: Do we need the words “boundary rectification?”

van der Stoel: Rectification sounds minor.

The Secretary: And I don’t like the word boundary. Why not say territorial adjustments.

van der Stoel: That would be more acceptable to the Greeks. The French think that the principles are too vague.

Rutten: Yes, they say it’s all old hat, and has no new elements. They think it should be more specific and should say what the adjustments would be and what the constitutional arrangements should be.

The Secretary: That is stage two.

van der Stoel: I agree with you.

The Secretary: Right now the Turks have, what? 38%? The Greeks are willing to go towards 30%. But if we push them they may use it as an excuse to beat us to death. Let them negotiate. Let the Turks go to

van der Stoel: The present Turkish government cannot make major decisions. That situation may last until October 1977.

Rutten: Caglayangil said they were willing to negotiate on territorial issues.

The Secretary: They always say that in the abstract but quickly get bogged down in procedural disputes.

Mr. Hartman: They want the other side to put its proposals down.

van der Stoel: It’s true. They hide behind procedural difficulties.

The Secretary: I would support anything leading to negotiations.

Mr. Hartman: The main thing is to get the process going and to get both sides involved in it.

The Secretary: Caglyangil and Bitsios both said my speech at the UN was especially fruitful—and I said nothing.2

van der Stoel: So you will suggest principles in the near future?

[Page 642]

The Secretary: We’d like to do it with someone else.

van der Stoel: We would be willing although the doubt is about the French.

Rutten: They might go along.

The Secretary: This doesn’t preclude more detailed proposals later on.

van der Stoel: We will be having a ministerial-level meeting on October

Rutten: The question is whether we should have a combined proposal or a parallel one.

The Secretary: I think parallel.

van der Stoel: It would be easier for the French if it were parallel. The most dangerous problem there is not Cyprus but the Aegean.

The Secretary: That’s right. One of the French—De Laboulaye— says that there is Greek willingness to settle.

Mr. Hartman: They said they have concessions.

The Secretary: They can’t make concessions on delimitation. Their claim goes all the way to Turkey. The Turks only want a median line. But if the Turks accept delimitation, the Greeks can claim sovereignty permanently and undo the joint ventures.

Mr. Hartman: They’d be better to leave another area for joint exploitation.

The Secretary: The Greeks have to give up something on delimitation.

van der Stoel: Turkey must be prevented from further unilateral action—not just Sismik but something like drilling.

The Secretary: The Greeks and Turks are beyond my comprehension. At the Security Council debate we had a resolution which was better for the Greeks. But it would have been a consensus resolution instead of a voted one and they didn’t want that. At the end of ten days, the Greeks happily accepted less than they could have had earlier. It permitted the deepest voyage yet of Sismik. But I agree, we must use our influence to prevent Turkish unilateral action.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Cyprus.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 277, Memoranda of Conversations, Chronological File. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Shirley on October 4 and cleared in S on October 26. The meeting was held in the James Madison Room at the Department of State.
  2. Kissinger addressed the General Assembly on September 30. He reiterated the need for a Cyprus settlement negotiated by the Cypriot communities and the U.S. readiness to assist in restoring the momentum. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXV, No. 1948, October 25, 1976, pp. 497–510.