96. Editorial Note
Joseph Sisco’s mission to London, Ankara, and Athens began on July 18, 1974, when he met twice each with Foreign Secretary Callaghan and Prime Minister Ecevit. Excerpts of notes from his mission for those days summarized the meetings as follows:
“July 18—First meeting with Callaghan.
“Callaghan continues to support the legitimacy and restoration of Makarios on the Island. He claims Parliament and public opinion are very strong on this issue and he does not believe that UN efforts should be delayed. Callaghan agrees that restoration of Makarios in the long run would probably not be element of stability since he would be tempted to turn eastward. Callaghan claims, however, that public pressures force him to continue to support Makarios. Callaghan added that GOG would not do anything without hard USG pressure.
“Sisco emphasized that US and UK must make all out effort in UN to avoid legitimacy and restoration of Makarios since this would prejudge further negotiations. Sisco also noted danger of Makarios being reintroduced and the unstable situation it would create. Sisco added that USG does not see Sampson as permanent feature of landscape.
“July 18—First meeting with Ecevit.
“Ecevit took hard line and his comments indicated he was sensitive to domestic situation in Turkey. He gave pro forma support for Makarios and continues to call for withdrawal of Greek officers. He places major emphasis on ‘strengthening the Turkish presence in Cyprus and the need for Turkish access to the sea.’Ecevit agrees it would be useful to have further talk with Sisco in Ankara.
“July 18—Second meeting with Callaghan.
“In second meeting Sisco and Callaghan concentrated on possible elements of a package to resolve Cyprus problem. They include: (1) flexible constitutional arrangements, (2) Turkish access to the sea under UN supervision, (3) replacement of Greek officers in National Guard, (4) closer UN supervision of troop rotation, and (5) strengthening of Turkish presence on the Island. Callaghan notes that he does not necessarily preclude use of military forces by UK since there are important UK interests involved.
“July 18—Second Sisco–Ecevit meeting.
“In second session Ecevit took more extreme line presenting some ideas which were tantamount to partition. Ecevit noted that Turkey could not tolerate situation created by coup in Cyprus and believes that creeping enosis is taking place. He calls for two autonomous provisional governments. Also asks for free access to airports and seaports supervised by guarantor powers. Sisco agrees to examine all ideas and [Page 321] discuss situation further with Ecevit in Ankara. Sisco also agreed to visit Ankara evening of July 19.
“During both Sisco–Ecevit conversations there were indications of a separation in Ecevit’s large delegation with pressures from home for a very hard line.
“Comment: Compared to the first session with Turkish Prime Minister, Ecevit’s proposals in the afternoon were very stiff. He called for a ‘Strengthening of the Turkish presence’ which no Cypriot or Greek Government could accept. He was also stronger in second meeting that he would not talk to Greeks.
“Sisco’s strategy on how to proceed in both Athens and Ankara was as follows: In Athens he would make all-out effort to get GOG to commit itself to talks with UK in London in spirit of London–Zurich agreement. He believed, however, that even this process would not likely be enough to stay Ankara’s hand. In Ankara he would tell the Turks that he is prepared to return to Washington to recommend to the Secretary and the President that US explore with Greek Government a return to Constitutional arrangements in Cyprus at an early date. This would involve Clerides taking over. In the meantime he would ask for Turkish assurances not to undertake any military action.
“Enroute to Ankara Sisco put together a ‘return to constitutional arrangements’ proposal which would entail Clerides assuming acting Presidency.” (National Archives, RG 59, Records of Joseph Sisco, 1951–1976, Entry 5405, Box 21, Cyprus 1974–75)
The notes summarized Sisco’s more extended reports transmitted in telegrams 9092 from London (ibid., Box 26, Cyprus Crisis, July 1974), and 4624 and 4625 from Athens, all dated July 19. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 592, Country Files, Middle East, Cyprus, Vol. II)