6. Summary of Conclusions of a Policy Review Committee Meeting1

SUBJECT

  • Cyprus and the Aegean

PARTICIPANTS

  • State

    • Secretary Vance
    • Arthur Hartman
  • Defense

    • Harold Brown
    • Charles W. Duncan
    • Gen. William Smith (JCS)
    • Maynard Glitman
  • CIA

    • Enno Knoche
    • [name not declassified]
    • Stansfield Turner
  • NSC

    • Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski
    • David Aaron
    • Robert Hunter
    • Paul Henze
    • Gregory Treverton
    • Christine Dodson
  • Special Emissary

    • Clark Clifford
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1. Nature of the Problem

All agreed that Turkey is the key to the current problem. It deeply resents the arms embargo and Congress’ failure to approve the Defense Cooperation Agreement. Turkey bridles at any attempt to link Congressional passage of the DCA or military aid to Turkish concessions on Cyprus. At the same time, the attitude in Congress remains stiff: if there is no Turkish movement on Cyprus, Congress may not approve the DCA. Clifford reported that many in Congress are surprisingly insensitive to the serious damage done to American [less than 1 line not declassified] capabilities by the loss of the Turkish bases.

2. Guidelines for the Clifford Mission

Clifford’s mission will be exploratory in nature, an effort to improve the climate for negotiations in the region, not to seek final solutions. However, the mission will be an important shaper of the tone of future American policy and how it is perceived. Cyprus is the Congressional problem, all agreed, but there were differences about what that meant for immediate strategy. Several suggested that there is no way to avoid confronting the Cyprus problem early and directly, with the considerable American involvement in negotiating a solution. Others, however, worried that too much focus on Cyprus, rather than on more general Greek-Turkish relations, would make the entire process hostage to the Cypriot leaders, especially Makarios, and expose the United States to blame for any failure.

3. Objectives of the Clifford Mission

Clifford emphasized that the purpose of his mission is to begin building a climate in which the Greeks and Turks can improve their bilateral relations, and in which progress on Cyprus is possible. The maximum objective would be to return with enough evidence of Turkish flexibility on Cyprus to induce Congress to move forward with the Turkish DCA. All agreed, however, that the chance of that is practically nil. It might be possible to demonstrate enough movement so that Congress will continue the present limited supplies of arms to Turkey.

4. Scenario for the Mission

It was agreed that Clifford will use his judgment about stops in addition to the three capitals and Vienna (to see UN Secretary General Waldheim). He might conduct a second round of visits to Athens and Ankara before going to Cyprus. And he might visit Chancellor Schmidt, since the Germans have good relations with Turkey.

In Athens, he will stress in public the importance of U.S.-Greek relations. In private, he will press the Greeks to move ahead with negotiation of a Greek DCA, so that it can go to Congress in tandem with [Page 22]the Turkish DCA. If Caramanlis agrees to that, pro-Greek members of Congress can hardly object.

In Ankara, he will try to avoid any public mention of Cyprus, and stress the importance of U.S.-Turkish defense relations. But in private he will indicate to Prime Minister Demirel, frankly, that we need his help if the DCA is to get through Congress.

In Cyprus, he will support the efforts of the parties to work toward a settlement, perhaps under UN auspices. All agreed that some outsider would, in the end, have to suggest the final compromise on territory. It is important to work with the European Community as well. It has considerable leverage with Greece, which is seeking admission.

On returning to the United States, Clifford will report to the President.

Later, a further trip to the area might be warranted.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 9, Cyprus: 1977. Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. Carter wrote “ok” and initialed “C” at the top of the first page. For the minutes of this meeting, see Document 5.