48. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Department of State1

565. Subject: President Kyprianou Message to President Carter.

1. Following is text of March 2 message from President Kyprianou to President Carter as given to Ambassador same date.

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2. Quote Top Secret (GOC classification). Dear Mr. President:

I very vividly recall the meeting which we have have had in New York on the 5th of October, 1977, which I believe has contributed substantially to the better understanding and cooperation between the United States and Cyprus. That meeting together with the statements which we both made after the meeting created, at least in Cyprus, the right climate and impressions in so far as the relations between the United States and Cyprus are concerned.2

Since then, certain things have happened which spoiled to some extent the excellent atmosphere which we then created.

I am sending this message to you to express certain views in all frankness, because I earnestly believe that in the relations between true friends frankness and sincerity is the best approach. Needless, Mr. President, to emphasize how much I value your personal friendship and the friendship of the United States towards Cyprus. I am anxious to do whatever I can to improve to the maximum possible degree our relations and our cooperation and I am equally anxious to see the image of the United States in Cyprus at its proper level.

At our meeting in New York you told me that the United States will do its utmost to assist for a just solution to the Cyprus problem and also that the embargo is definitely linked with the Cyprus problem and that that was the position not only of the Congress but also of the administration.

I am fully convinced of your keen interest for both an early and a fair and equitable solution to the Cyprus problem in conformity with the resolutions of the United Nations, as I am fully convinced of the important role that the United States can play in this respect.

I am today addressing myself to you, Mr. President, in the first place with regard to the question of the arms embargo against Turkey and I wish to express certain views on the matter in the light of rumours that the administration is thinking of reconsidering its policy on this issue.

It is my firm belief that if the embargo were to be lifted, the prospects for a just solution to the Cyprus problem would be entirely destroyed. Turkey will show no moderation, despite possible promises to the contrary, and the present unacceptable situation entailing so many evils on the people of Cyprus will be prolonged. As a consequence, the wider are involved will not be enabled to acquire the desirable stability and security.

The arms embargo against Turkey was imposed by the Congress of the United States in relation to the question of Cyprus and most spe[Page 171]cifically because of the American law. I have no doubt that its untimely lifting will also result in the deep disappointment of all Greeks who sincerely wish to hold high the image of the United States.

The lifting of the embargo without the removal of the reasons which necessitated its imposition would give rise to accusations against the United State of non compliance with the American law and of its declared policy, as well as for lack of consistency.

Recalling again our meeting in New York, Mr. President, I was then indeed very happy to hear from you that the question of Cyprus was definitely linked with the question of sending arms to Turkey and the granting of help to that country and that there ought to be substantial progress towards a solution of the Cyprus problem before the whole matter could be reconsidered by the administration and the Congress. I was also very much impressed by your sincere and precise words that the Turks had used American military equipment in their operation against Cyprus and that the American people have reacted against this through their Congress.

I earnestly hope that you will be able, Mr. President, to continue the same course of line on this important question.

The second matter upon which I would like briefly to touch upon is the question of the violation of human rights in Cyprus. I was very much disturbed by the report which you have submitted to the Congress in relation to this matter.3 The question of human rights should never be connected with any political considerations and in so far as the actual violation of human rights in Cyprus by Turkey is concerned, the report of the Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe is quite clear about it, namely that human rights in Cyprus have flagrantly and persistently been violated by Turkey.4 I trust that you have in your possession this report but, if you don’t, we will be glad to provide you with a copy. As far as the Council of Europe is concerned, it is not correct that the Committee of Ministers did not endorse the report. The matter is still pending before the Committee, again, unfortunately, for purely political reasons.

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I know how much you are concerned with human rights and I am absolutely certain that you would wish to find out all the truth about the violation of human rights in Cyprus. My government and myself are at your disposal and at the disposal of your assistants in this respect, at any time.

A third point, Mr. President, is the relations of Cyprus with Egypt as a result of the recent tragic incidents at the Larnaca Airport.5 I have no doubt in my mind that the whole blame lies with the Egyptian side. But I am quite ready to forget everything and do whatever I can towards the restoration of our relations with Egypt, with which our friendship and cooperation has always been very close. I would be grateful if you would be kind enough, to give the necessary advice to President Sadat with a view to responding to my repeated requests for trying to restore our relations in the interests of both countries, as well as in the interests of the entire area.

I have decided to send this message to you, Mr. President, in my fervent desire to contribute to the maximum possible degree towards the improvement of the relations between the United States and Cyprus which I very much value. The people of Cyprus and myself think highly of the United States and of yourself, and on our part we shall not fail to do anything with a view to fostering our relations and the image of the United States in Cyprus, something which we consider very important for more than one reason.

Finally, I am wondering, Mr. President, whether the time has not come to consider the possibility of a new meeting between the two of us in a new effort to promote further our relations and understanding, but this is for you to decide. Such a meeting, I believe, might prove most constructive and useful.

I do not intend to make this message public. I consider it as a private and personal message.

With my best regards and wishes and the expression of my highest consideration. Spyros Kyprianou, President of the Republic of Cyprus. End quote.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 9, Cyprus: 1/78–5/79. Secret; Immediate; Exdis.
  2. See Document 45. The statements made after the meeting were not found.
  3. See footnote 5, Document 46. The full report begins: “Perhaps more so than elsewhere, human rights questions in Cyprus cannot be treated in isolation from political considerations.”
  4. Kyprianou was referring to the Council of Europe, European Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Commission, July 10, 1976. The report was issued by the Council in response to Application Nos. 6780/74 and 6950/75, brought by the Government of Cyprus against the Government of Turkey, alleging that the Turkish invasion of the northern portion of Cyprus and ongoing military occupation constituted violations of international law and human rights norms. Although Kyprianou simplified the multifaceted conclusions of the Council, the report clearly cited a number of Turkish violations relating to the invasion and subsequent occupation of northern Cyprus.
  5. See footnote 3, Document 47.