71. Memorandum From the Counselor of the Department of State (Nimetz) to the Deputy Secretary of State (Christopher)1
- The Cyprus Situation
- USUN 3713, dated 9/11/792
The day before yesterday you asked me for my views concerning the assessment of a UN official that Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit felt the May 19 Kyprianou-Denktash agreement was an unacceptable basis for negotiations. EUR has prepared a review of the present state of the Cyprus negotiations, which I am attaching. My personal views are the following:[Page 241]
—There is little reason to expect a resumption of productive Cyprus intercommunal talks in the near term.
—The Cypriot Greeks will concentrate on the UN forum through December. The Turks will be preoccupied with elections, political and domestic issues in the coming months.
—As long as there is hope that SYG Waldheim will bring the two sides back to the conference table, we must back him fully.
—Based on our information, we cannot confirm the reports that Ecevit found the May 19 document unacceptable and that he instructed the Turkish Cypriots to stall the negotiations indefinitely.3
—However, as noted above, Ecevit is increasingly preoccupied with his own shaky political situation and has less time for and interest in the Cyprus problem.
—As the November 30 deadline for the UN SYG Cyprus report approaches, the two Cypriot parties may, however, show some more flexibility vis-a-vis the Waldheim good-offices effort to avoid being blamed in the report for lack of progress.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Deputy Secretary Warren Christopher, 1977–1980, Lot 81D113, Box 9, Memos from WMC to Offices/Bureaus—1979. Confidential. John King, Nimetz’ Special Assistant, initialed for Nimetz.↩
- Attached but not printed is telegram 3713 from USUN, September 11, which reported that UN efforts had failed to make progress on the Cyprus negotiations.↩
- See Document 70.↩
- Confidential; Exdis. Drafted by James A. Williams (EUR/SE) on September 13; cleared by Dillery, Sharon E. Ahmad (EUR), Melvyn Levitsky (IO/UNP), and John Nix (IO/UNP).↩
- See footnote 2 above. The telegram characterized Sherry as “gloomy” regarding the status of the negotiations because “both parties will continue to hold adamantly to fundamentally irreconcilable positions.”↩
- See footnote 3, Document 8.↩
- The Cyprus dispute was a topic of discussion at international meetings beyond the UN. In telegram 2701 from Lusaka, August 8, the Embassy reported on the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting held in Lusaka, Zambia, during August 1979. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790359–0452) The conference communiqué, dated August 7, called for a resolution of the Cyprus conflict along lines that could be interpreted as favoring the Greek Cypriot side. The communiqué called for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 355 (1974), which called for the territorial integrity and non-alignment of Cyprus and the removal of foreign troops from the island. (Yearbook of the United Nations, 1974, p. 292) The last point was an implicit but clear reference to the ongoing occupation of northern Cyprus by the Turkish military. Speaking as host of the Nonaligned Movement summit of 1979, held in Havana, Cuban President Fidel Castro addressed the UN General Assembly on October 12, during which he also criticized the occupation of Cyprus by foreign troops.↩