The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, under the direction of the General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which was signed by President George H.W. Bush on October 28, 1991, established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editors are convinced that this volume meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. The subseries presents in multiple volumes a comprehensive documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of both administrations. This [Page IV] specific volume documents U.S. policy toward Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey, 1973–1976.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XXX

This volume has three chapters: U.S. relations with Greece; the U.S. response to the Cyprus issue, which erupted into a crisis with the Turkish invasion of the eastern portion of the island in mid-1974; and U.S. relations with Turkey. The chapters on Greece and Turkey focus on bilateral relations and events in those countries. The chapter on Cyprus documents a multilateral relationship among Greek and Turkish Cypriots, Greece, Turkey, the United Nations, Great Britain, and the United States. Experts in Washington feared that Greece and Turkey, two NATO members already at odds over oil exploration in the Aegean Sea, might go to war over Cyprus and destroy NATO’s southern flank. The Cyprus chapter, therefore, has a high component of contingency planning and intelligence assessments and is documented in greater detail than the other two chapters. Where Greece or Turkey had an interest in Cyprus, the documentation is placed in the Cyprus chapter, although it was sometimes impossible to separate bilateral issues from Cyprus.

What makes the Cyprus chapter particularly interesting is the fact that the Turkish invasion of Cyprus began at the height of the Watergate crisis. The documents on the U.S. response provide a unique window into how the Executive branch functioned during the time leading to Nixon’s resignation in early August 1974. President Nixon remained aloof from the policymaking process, consumed by his own political survival. Kissinger spoke periodically with Nixon, but the President’s presence was largely superficial during this tense time. During Nixon’s last month in office, which coincided with the onset and height of the Cyprus crisis, he remained mostly in San Clemente. Kissinger shuttled back and forth, and partly for this reason, his telephone transcripts provide valuable insight into policymaking. Nixon’s absence from the heart of discussions contributed to a relatively seamless transition to the Ford administration in early August.

Kissinger remained Secretary of State during the Ford administration. The Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 became one of the problems he sought to resolve by acting as a facilitator between the two sides, much like his successful shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East. The documentary selection for Cyprus therefore presents a picture as seen very much through Kissinger’s eyes. Kissinger became increasingly frustrated with the Greek-American members of the U.S. Congress, whom he believed were sabotaging his negotiations with Greece and Turkey. Although Ford was a neophyte when it came to foreign policy and relied very much upon Kissinger, he was effective in dealing with Congress, and the documentation emphasizes his ability. [Page V] Nevertheless, a solution to the Cyprus crisis eluded Kissinger’s considerable diplomatic skills and he and Ford left office in January 1977 disappointed with virtually all the parties.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the date and time of the conversation, rather than the date a memorandum was drafted. Documents chosen for printing are authoritative or signed copies, unless otherwise noted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor. The documents are reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents within the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the original text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the documents are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the original text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount and, where possible, the nature of the material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed with headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. All brackets that appear in the original text are so identified in footnotes. All ellipses are in the original documents.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and [Page VI] elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

The numbers in the index refer to document numbers rather than to page numbers.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Advisory Committee does not necessarily review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on issues that come to its attention and reviews volumes, as it deems necessary to fulfill its advisory and statutory obligations.

Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act Review

Under the terms of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA) of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has custody of the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The requirements of the PRMPA and implementing regulations govern access to the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA to review for additional restrictions in order to ensure the protection of the privacy rights of former Nixon White House officials, since these officials were not given the opportunity to separate their personal materials from public papers. Thus, the PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA formally to notify the Nixon Estate and former Nixon White House staff members that the agency is scheduling for public release Nixon White House historical materials. The Nixon Estate and former White House staff members have 30 days to contest the release of Nixon historical materials in which they were a participant or are mentioned. Further, the PRMPA and implementing regulations require NARA to segregate and return to the creator of files private and personal materials. All Foreign Relations volumes that include materials from NARA’s Nixon Presidential Materials Project Staff are processed and released in accordance with the PRMPA.

Declassification Review

The Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, conducted the declassification review for the Department of State of the documents published in this volume. The review was [Page VII] conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958, as amended, on Classified National Security Information and other applicable laws.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security, as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments. The declassification review of this volume, which began in 2003 and was completed in 2007, resulted in the decision to withhold 3 documents in full, excise a paragraph or more in 12 documents, and make minor excisions of less than a paragraph in 56 documents.

The Office of the Historian is confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that notwithstanding the number of denied and excised documents, the record presented in this volume presented here provides an accurate and comprehensive account of U.S. foreign policy towards Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project of the National Archives and Records Administration (Archives II), at College Park, Maryland. The editors wish to acknowledge the Richard Nixon Estate for allowing access to the Nixon presidential recordings and the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace for facilitating that access.

Laurie Van Hook collected the documentation, made the selections, and annotated the documents under the supervision of the General Editor, Edward C. Keefer. Chris Tudda compiled the Lists of Persons and Abbreviations. He also coordinated the declassification review under the supervision of Susan C. Weetman, Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division. Florence Segura performed the copy and technical editing. Max Franke prepared the index.

Marc J. Susser
The Historian

Bureau of Public Affairs

November 2007