64. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Embassy in the United Kingdom and the Department of State1

826. London for Counselor Nimetz. Subj: Next Steps on Cyprus Dispute.

1. (Confidential-Entire text)

2. This message recommends next steps in handling Cyprus problem.

3. Summary. Current U.N. efforts appear to have run their course without effective results. Any mediation effort, however, to be acceptable to GOC must be under aegis UNSYG. Recommend that SYG Waldheim be urged to appoint proven negotiator such as Urquhart or de Cuellar as Personal Representative SYG for conduct sustained negotiations. Also suggest study of economic moves that could contribute to ultimate settlement. End summary.

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4. Based on my conversations with Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike, there seems to be clear consensus that recent effort of SYG Waldheim, through SRSG Galindo Pohl, to reach agreement on agenda for resumption intercommunal talks is getting nowhere and has, in fact, come to the end of the road. Pleasant and capable as Galindo Pohl is, he has not been able to show much initiative and effectively press both sides to arrive at an agreed agenda. In fact, his function has been largely that of messenger between SYG and two sides. There are those who feel he has also been inhibited by his limited command of the English language.

5. All Cypriots recognize essentiality and need for an effective mediator who would be politically acceptable. Latter qualification boils down to requirement that any mediator must be under U.N. auspices. This in turn, means either personal involvement of SecGen or appointment of recognized mediator—though this term is unacceptable to Turkish side—of international standing. Such an individual could be supported by Galindo Pohl in his efforts. I understand precedent for such a role exist in the case of Tuomioja and Galo Plaza in 1964.2

6. Individuals who come to mind are Under-Secy Brian Urquhart or his newly-appointed colleague, de Cuellar. Latter, who served with distinction as SRSG here in Cyprus prior to appointment Galindo Pohl, almost succeeded in resolving thorny question of committee for missing persons before he left island in late 1977.3 Department may know of others. I do not believe that such a high-level appointment would create serious difficulties for Galindo Pohl. It might be desirable if person named were also empowered to consult with GOG and GOT.

7. I believe foregoing recommendation represents best hope of redirecting U.N. efforts onto a constructive political track which might ultimately lead to Cyprus solution. As Dept. aware, many Cypriots regret rejection Anglo-American-Canadian plan as basis for resumption negotiations and certainly feel that way should be found to resurrect that plan in the context of resumption intercommunal talks.4 This however could not be the basis for the resumption of negotiations, but would have to be preceded by confidential agreement to make use of the plan.

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8. I am personally convinced that FonMin Rolandis and President of the House of Reps Michaelides are genuinely anxious to find a way out of present impasse, and I am further convinced that their views carry great weight with President Kyprianou. On Turkish/Turkish Cypriot side I have been assured again today, March 22, by Ambassador Onhon that Denktash will stand behind July 20, 1978, offer on Varosha5 and that Ecevit was helpful in urging Denktash to be flexible in negotiations during latter’s recent Ankara visit. When I told Onhon I sensed that the position of the Turkish side had hardened in the last six months, he denied that this was in fact the case.

9. I had hoped to meet with FonMin Rolandis following joint meeting of National and Ministerial Councils March 21, but in view his early departure for Italy that has not been possible. I hope see DirGen Pelaghias March 23 after conclusion of resumed session National and Ministerial Council meeting at 1800 hours March 22. In brief conversation with Presidential Adviser Soulioti, I was assured that discussions in Council were focussing on positive as well as negative moves. Possibility exists that this is, however, only tactical. FonMin Rolandis told me evening March 20 that he had just spent a half hour with President Kyprianou and was encouraged by latter’s receptivity to his positive suggestions regarding next steps.

10. Parallel to foregoing recommendation for next move on political front, I suggest we study economic moves that could be made to improve climate and prospects for lasting Cyprus solution. Such moves may be easier for GOC to take in present atmosphere than political steps. Over time they could contribute more to Cyprus settlement than if we and others continue to hammer away on political track.

11. I have drafted foregoing in hopes that it will be of assistance to Counselor Nimetz in helping to focus his discussions in London. USUN will undoubtedly have its own perspective re above recommendations including its assessment of likely reaction of SYG.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office of Southern Europe, Records of Counselor Nimetz, 1977–1980, Lot 83D256, Box 1, POL 2 Cyprus Group. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Sent for information to Ankara, Athens, Bonn, Ottawa, and Paris; and Immediate to USUN.
  2. Following the death of Sakari Tuomioja, a Finnish diplomat and UN Mediator for the Cyprus conflict, Secretary General U Thant appointed Ecuadorian diplomat Galo Plaza Lasso as his successor.
  3. Pérez de Cuéllar held the post of Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus from September 1975 until December 1977, at which point he rejoined the Peruvian Foreign Service. His successor, Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, arrived in Cyprus in early May 1978. In telegram 1184 from Nicosia, May 9, the Embassy relayed Galindo Pohl’s optimism about the future course of the intercommunal negotiations. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780196–0441)
  4. Reference is to the U.S. “non-paper”; see footnote 2, Document 61.
  5. In an “open message” to the Greek Cypriot leadership, Denktash offered that Greek Cypriots who formerly inhabited the city of Varosha would be permitted to begin resettlement as soon as the intercommunal talks were reconvened. (Telegram 185911 to Ottawa, July 22; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780302–0808) See also Yearbook of the United Nations, 1978, p. 381.