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

292292. Subject: (C) Secretary’s Message re U.N. Committee on Cyprus.

[Page 247]

1. (C-entire text).

2. Ambassador should deliver at the earliest opportunity the following message from Secretary Vance to President Kyprianou.

3. Begin text: You will recall that, at our September 26 and October 4 meetings in New York, I agreed to reflect on proposals for a U.N. Committee on Cyprus and to keep in touch with your government in preparation for the General Assembly discussion of the Cyprus question.2 Ambassador Stone has already given Foreign Minister Rolandis our views. I want to assure you that we gave full and earnest consideration to the proposals for a committee, and I ask you to reconsider your position in light of the conclusions we reached.

4. Cyprus and the United States have a common interest in seeking a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus question. We share the view that only serious negotiations in the intercommunal talks can achieve that goal; we also believe that the current mediation effort of U.N. Secretary-General Waldheim offers the best prospect for moving in that direction. At the same time, the United States wants to avoid any measure which could undermine the Secretary-General’s efforts to bring about a resumption of the intercommunal talks.

5. With these considerations in mind, we have analyzed the proposals for creating a U.N. committee on Cyprus. In all candor, we have regretfully concluded that a committee, whatever its makeup and mandate, would not bring the Cyprus question closer to resolution. On the contrary, we believe it could raise new issues of controversy and discord. In the interest of our broader, mutual goal of finding a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem, I hope you will review your support of a committee.

6. Let me raise a second, related consideration. We have followed with great interest the efforts by the Secretary-General and his staff to resume the intercommunal talks. We continue fully to support those efforts. I ask you, Mr. President, to respond favorably to the Secretary-General’s ideas, in the hope that this step will lead to a meaningful dialogue with the Turkish Cypriots on the major elements of the Cyprus problem. I strongly believe that the prospect of success, however modest, makes it worthwhile for your government to take a step which [Page 248] has virtually no risk, and possibly great benefit, for the people of Cyprus.

7. Whatever the outcome of the General Assembly debate on Cyprus, the United States will continue to seek a prompt resumption of the talks. We regard the basis of those talks as the May 19 communique between Mr. Denktash and yourself, the Makarios-Denktash Guidelines of 1977, and the relevant U.N. resolutions. We shall continue to make our views known to all parties, whenever such action seems useful or promises a good result.

8. Throughout the long course of the Cyprus problem, there have been those who see only difficulties and adduce reasons why something cannot be done. I have always regarded you, Mr. President, as a man of more creative vision based on hard experience. Great problems call forth acts of great statesmanship, and I am confident that your government will continue to strive to meet that high standard.

9. I enjoyed very much our recent talks in New York. I look forward to staying in close touch with you in the weeks ahead, and I hope that you will communicate with me at any time through Ambassador Stone. End text.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790516–1051. Confidential; Niact Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by James A. Williams (EUR/SE); cleared by L. Paul Bremer (S/S), J.E. Becker (S/S–O), Holmes, Gerald Helman (IO), and Melvyn Levitsky (IO/UNP) and John H. King (C) in draft; approved by Christopher. Sent for information Priority to USUN, London, Paris, Athens, Ankara, Bonn, and Ottawa.
  2. Kyprianou first broached the idea of a committee at the September 26 meeting in New York, to which Vance responded that he would take the concept under consideration. (Telegram 256288 to Nicosia, September 29; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790445–0533) At the October 4 meeting, also held in New York, Kyprianou revised his original proposal so that the committee would consist specifically of Mediterranean states whose representatives would negotiate the Cyprus dispute under the auspices of the UN and with Kurt Waldheim’s direct participation. (Telegram 262395 to Nicosia, October 6; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790459–0089)