226. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford 1

Secretary Kissinger has asked that I pass you the following report on the completion of the CENTO proceedings and further discussions with Prime Minister DEMIREL and former Prime Minister Ecevit.2

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“I have just completed the CENTO proceedings and a further round of talks with Prime Minister DEMIREL and Former Foreign Minister Ecevit.3

“As to CENTO, we spent the morning with each Minister giving his assessment of the principal developments that have occurred in this area over the past year. The main theme was that the efforts of détente should be continued; at the same time CENTO members should maintain their vigilance since the threat of Soviet expansionism, in their judgment, remains, though in a less direct form. In my comments before the Council, I reviewed our current relations with the Soviets and the Peoples Republic of China, assured them of our unwillingness to accept stagnation in the Middle East, explained our approach to oil and commodity questions, and stressed the need for all Alliance members to do what is required in defense of their freedom. In this regard, I spent considerable time in assuring each member of our resolve to remain engaged in a constructive way on the key problems of the world and to stand by our commitments and friends.

“A more important part of the day was spent on talks with Ecevit and DEMIREL. As I reported to you yesterday,4 the internal political situation here in Turkey is very complicated, with Ecevit as the Former Prime Minister out of power, being reluctant to commit himself to support the government in any meaningful initiative to break the present impasse on Cyprus, because he does not want to strengthen their position. While Foreign Minister Caglayangil seems willing to try to get agreement within the government coalition on a Cyprus proposal based on a bizonal arrangement, DEMIREL gave no such indication. DEMIREL did speak feelingly and with a good deal of understanding and support for America as he reviewed the difficult situation he is in as a result of the continued embargo. He wants to give us a little more time. He expressed the strong hope that we will do everything possible to get the House to take the same action as the Senate and I assured him of our determination in this regard. DEMIREL is continuing to keep a lid on anti-Americanism, but he left me with a distinct impression that the time is running out. He may very well give you some indication of the kind of retaliatory measures he will feel impelled to take if the embargo is not lifted.

“However, on the Cyprus issue he is reluctant to move. He is fearful that any initiative he might take will be exploited by Ecevit. It is [Page 739] only problematical as to whether he will chance speaking to you in concrete terms on the Cyprus issue. We are trying to get across to him and the Foreign Minister that Turkish views expressed to you will be measured against the background of a Caramanlis stated desire to achieve a quick settlement. I pointed out frequently to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister that by making a concrete proposal now they can in effect get 95 percent of what they want; that they can get international approval of a permanent settlement favorable to them; and above all, what is available today is unlikely to be available a year from now.

“I believe my talks here have set a useful background for your discussions with DEMIREL and Caramanlis, but my assessment remains the same as that I conveyed to you yesterday—that we must not expect early dramatic results and that your talk should be helpful in getting us a little more time to work on our Congressional problem, but nothing new or decisive is likely to emanate on the Cyprus issue.”

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–1976, Box 8, 5/18–23/75, HAK to President. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent for information. Ford initialed the memorandum indicating that he had seen it.
  2. This report was transmitted to Scowcroft in telegram Hakto 28 from Ankara, May
  3. Amemorandum of Kissinger’s conversation with Ecevit is in Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 273, Memoranda of Conversations, Chronological File, May 1975. No record of the conversation with DEMIREL has been found.
  4. See Document 225.