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

Archbishop Chrysostomos said (jokingly) that the President might ask if he had done his best, and, if not, “Why Not the Best?”—for freedom.

1705. For Counselor Nimetz and Assistant Secretary Vest, EUR. Subj: Meeting With Perez de Cuellar June 18

1. During my meeting with UN Under-Secy Perez de Cuellar (please protect) morning June 18, reported septel, he mentioned two matters in great confidence.2 First, he said that the UN had obtained information that during Denktash’s recent visit to Ankara, he had complained to PriMin Ecevit that SecGen Waldheim was no longer impartial in dealing with the Cyprus problem and had taken the Greek-Cypriot position regarding missing persons. For this reason Denktash reportedly informed Ecevit that SecGen Waldheim had lost his credibility with the Turkish-Cypriot community. Comment: From this disclosure, I gathered that de Cuellar intends to lean over backwards in an effort to be as impartial as possible in handling the negotiations.

2. Secondly, de Cuellar told me that his personal reaction to the individuals at the table was positive as far as all were concerned with the exception of Soysal. He said that Ioannides and Onan had served together as members of the Assembly and were personally very cordial to one another. In the case of Triantafyllides and Ertekun, he said they had been close personal friends, a friendship which had equally been shared by their wives. The one jarring personality, he said, was Soysal, whom he described as cold and hard. He called him a Marxist who, he had been told by a Turkish source, was practically a Communist. He [Page 238] asked if it would be possible for me to provide him with some background information on Soysal. I told him I would see what I could do.

3. Action requested: I would much appreciate a frank appraisal of Soysal and what makes him tick, which I could share with de Cuellar orally if the Department prefers I not give him anything in writing.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office of Southern Europe, Records of Counselor Nimetz, 1977–1980, Lot 83D256, Box 1, POL 2 Cyprus Group. Secret; Immediate; Exdis—Handle as Nodis.
  2. At this juncture Pérez de Cuéllar had assumed the role as primary UN actor to mediate the intercommunal negotiations. In telegram 1708 from Nicosia, June 18, the Embassy reported on the meeting. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790276–0323)
  3. An unknown hand drew a bracket around this paragraph and wrote underneath: “we will send careful essentially ‘make the best of his expertise and humanitarianism’ type oral talking points.” The Embassy responded to the request for information on Soysal in telegram 4781 from Ankara, June 22: “His concept of a Cyprus settlement aims first and foremost to protect Turkish interests in the region, and he is convinced that the West cannot be sympathetic to those interests, no matter how impartial it may try to be.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790282–0899)