54. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cyprus1

134352. Subject: Secretary’s Meeting With Cyprus President Kyprianou, May 25, 1978, New York.

1. Cyprus President Kyprianou met privately with Secretary for twenty-five minutes in latter’s suite at U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York May 25. Subsequently, Foreign Minister Rolandis, Ambassador to U.S. Dimitriou, Ambassador to U.N. Rossides, MFA Sec Gen Pelaghias, two other Cyprus U.N. Mission officers, and GOC press spokesman joined Kyprianou. Also present for expanded twenty minute session were Assistant Secretaries Vest and Maynes, Deputy UN Rep Leonard and EUR/SE Director Ewing.

2. With Secretary’s concurrence, Kyprianou summarized his private talk with Secretary along following lines. Talk had been useful and very friendly. He and Secretary understood each other well. There were one or two points which they had discussed which Kyprianou said he and Secretary did not want to divulge to others at this point. They had agreed to disagree whether repeal of Turkish arms embargo would have positive or negative consequences. Kyprianou said he had expressed his concern about U.S. efforts, including May 23 Dept of [Page 190] State press spokesman statement, which in his view were designed to mislead and create false impression that present Turkish attitude was more promising than was the case.2

3. Varosha had been touched on but clearly this was only one ingredient and basic essence of Cyprus problem had to be dealt with.

4. Kyprianou said he and Secretary had agreed that most practical way to proceed would be thru his meeting Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit while both are in U.S. Kyprianou also said they had discussed how best to proceed in setting up such a meeting which ideally should be private. Secretary confirmed that we would do what we could to bring about such a meeting. However, he cautioned that nothing should be said publicly about such a possible meeting and Kyprianou acknowledged this was prudent.

5. Kyprianou said he had reassured Secretary that despite differences of views with USG he was in no way anti-American although “others” made efforts to create such an impression. He wanted to enhance relations between the two countries to maximum extent.

6. Kyprianou said he had formally asked Secretary to study the specific proposal (set forth para 10 below) which he had made to SSOD May 24 and Secretary had agreed to do so. Kyprianou said he had also taken proposal up with Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko as well as with Sec Gen Waldheim.

7. Secretary said he would be in touch with Kyprianou again after he talked with Ecevit next week.3 Kyprianou said he planned to come to Washington evening June 7 for separate sessions with HIRC and SFRC June 8. He would give a press conference but had no other set plans in Washington. Otherwise, Kyprianou said he would be in New York except for a weekend trip to Chicago May 27–28 and to Boston June 3–4.

8. In response to question, Secretary said he would not see Denktash again. In response to another question, Secretary said he believed Ecevit does want to solve the Cyprus problem. There followed a general discussion in which Kyprianou did most of the talking but his colleagues chimed in on a) Ecevit’s motives, b) the state of the Cypriot economy (good in the Greek area although there were still problems [Page 191] with refugees and labor shortages were causing difficulties), and c) conditions in the Turkish zone (miserable).

9. At conclusion meeting, Secretary and Kyprianou discussed how to handle press questions re meeting (USUN septel).4 Kyprianou then gave informal press conference in hotel lobby (septel).5

10. Following are portions relating to Cyprus in May 24 Kyprianou UNSSOD speech as provided by Kyprianou to Secretary:

Begin text-unclassified

a. I come from a very small country which is situated in a very sensitive area of the world, and we are very much and deeply concerned about what goes on in the field of disarmament and, therefore, in the field of security. We have a problem of our own, which is an international problem. It is a problem which concerns our people; it concerns the area; it concerns the United Nations; it concerns the entire world. And we feel quite sincerely that through strict implementation of the United Nations, and especially General Assembly Resolution 3212 (XXIX), as endorsed by the Security Council, the Cyprus problem will be solved and at the same time Cyprus will cease to be a source of friction and conflict in the world.

b. And, taking advantage of this Special Session on Disarmament, I would go a step further and publicly call upon the United Nations to act, and call upon the General Assembly, the Security Council and the permanent members to act, and call upon the United States and the Soviet Union to act. I propose total demilitarization and disarmament of the Republic of Cyprus and implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations; a mixed Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot police force, composed in accordance with the proportions of the population, a police force under the permanent guidance and control of an international United Nations police force. I make this proposition publicly, before all. If the world wants peace, Cyprus is ready to make its contribution, which would be a contribution to our own people, by solving our problem and therefore removing the causes of our drama, but which would at the same time remove the cause of wider friction and wider conflict in the interests of world peace and security. End text.

  1. Source: Department of State, Office of the Secretariat Staff, Cyrus R. Vance, Secretary of State—1977–1980, Lot 84D241, Box 10, Vance EXDIS MemCons, 1978. Confidential; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Ewing; cleared by Frank Wisner (S/S); and approved by Vest. Sent for information to Athens, Ankara, London, Paris, Bonn, USNATO, Brussels, Copenhagen, and USUN.
  2. Reference is presumably to the prepared statement read by a Department spokes-man at the daily briefing on May 23 responding to a statement released by Denktash the previous day. The statement concluded that Denktash’s pledge to enter into “sustained, intensive good-faith negotiations” with Greek Cypriots “with an open mind and in a spirit of conciliation and flexibility” was “positive and encouraging.” (Telegram 131372 to Nicosia, Ankara, and USUN, May 23; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780217–1133)
  3. See Document 116.
  4. The Department reported this discussion in telegram 133346 to Ankara, May 25. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780221–0544)
  5. Not found.