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

3187. Subject: Kyprianou’s Reply to Secretary’s Message re UN Committee. On Cyprus. Ref: (A) State 292292, (B) Nicosia 3172.2

1. (C-entire text.)

2. MOFA Director General Pelaghias called me to Foreign Ministry late morning November 13 and handed me following message for [Page 249] Secretary Vance, incorporated in transmittal letter from Pelaghias to Ambassador.

3. Begin text. “I have read very carefully the message that you sent me through your Ambassador in Nicosia, Mr. Galen L. Stone.

4. I honestly cannot agree with the arguments put forward against our proposal for the setting up of a committee. I am of the opinion that the committee we are seeking from the General Assembly will greatly assist in creating better prospects for promoting a solution on the Cyprus problem. It will create a new momentum. It will fascilitate (sic) the task for the Secretary-General rather than frustrating his efforts. We do not envisage that the committee should substitute the Secretary-General. On the contrary, it will strengthen his hand, if he so wishes. I believe that with the setting up of this committee better prospects will be created even in the direction of the resumption of the talks, irrespective of the negative attitude that the Turks are taking today towards the proposal for such a committee.

5. Five years have elapsed since the invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish Army. Talks have been going on for the last five years to no avail. We have repeatedly put forward concrete proposals which were rejected by the Turkish side without even being discussed. During these long years when we had to face the displacement of over two hundred thousand people, the loss of home and property, the tragedy of the orphane (sic) families and the drama of the missing persons, nothing concrete has been done for the promotion of a solution to the Cyprus problem. We were faced instead by a completely negative attitude of Turkey. I would like to remind you that when the embargo was about to be lifted we were told that once it was lifted there was going to be a very substantial change in the attitude of Turkey favoring a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus problem.3 Nothing to that effect has happened, however. The embargo was lifted, but, unfortunately the Turkish policy towards Cyprus has hardened even more.

6. As I told you on many occasions and during our recent meetings in New York, we have concluded an agreement between Mr. Denktash and myself on the 19th of May, 1979, and we were ready and willing to commence negotiations on the basis of that agreement. In fact, talks commenced on the 15th June, but, owing to the attempt of the Turkish side to introduce new elements outside the agreement, those talks were very short lived. The Turkish side left us no alternative than to go to the General Assembly this year with new more practical proposals which will, in our opinion, prove to be helpful and constructive. This is the reason we have asked you to support the creation of such a committee. [Page 250] I feel that it will really be a very positive step forward. Concerning your reference to the talks, I would like to welcome your statement that you will continue to seek prompt resumption of the talks on the basis of the 19th of May Agreement, which includes also the Makarios-Denktash Guidelines of 1977 and the UN Resolutions relevant to the Cyprus problem and that you will continue to make your views known to this effect.

7. I would like to point out that we are not the party who have rejected the talks; but the Turkish side by putting forward conditions for their resumption and by seeking to exploit some ideas unofficially put forward last August by the Secretary-General,4 which never amounted to formal proposals and which were used by the Turkish side to bring to the foreground once more unacceptable conditions. As I said before, we have the 19th of May Agreement, which is very clear and very comprehensive and which in our opinion contains all the substantive elements which could form the basis for an agreement. We cannot accept any preconditions or considerations for the resumption of the talks.

8. Cyprus and its people, Mr. Secretary of State, has suffered very much during the past five years from the Turkish occupation, from the continuous denial by the Turkish side to our people of the basic human rights, from the perpetual violation of universally accepted principles, from the continuous putting into effect of new measures by the so called Turkish Cypriot Administration to bring closer partition and eventual annexation of the occupied part of Cyprus to Turkey. We feel very strongly that Cyprus is entitled to a better treatment by the United Nations and by its friends, particularly by the United States which is particularly sensitive for the safeguard of human rights and the principles of freedom, justice and democracy.

9. We reasonably expect the approval of a committee as we are proposing together with a stronger resolution from the General Assembly on the Cyprus problem, so that, at last, there can be some step towards the implementation of the UN resolutions which have been adopted since 1974. It is only in this way and with the withdrawal of foreign troops and with the return of the refugees to their homes in safety that we can hope to create a new Cyprus fully independent, sovereign, united, territorially integral, enjoying no more rights than any other free country member of the United Nations.5

10. To this effect, we would like to see, as I said above, a mobility and a new momentum to be created. And we are convinced that the United States can positively contribute in this respect.

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11. I am looking forward to continue the close cooperation with you and I wish to express the hope that in the near future we can see the beginning of a new and happier era for Cyprus and all its inhabitants.“ End text.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790523–0002. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Sent for information to Ankara, Athens, Bonn, London, Ottawa, Paris, and USUN.
  2. Telegram 292292 is Document 73. Telegram 3172 from Nicosia, November 10, relayed Kyprianou’s oral response to Vance’s message. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790518–0477) Kyprianou protested that a UN committee would not replace the intercommunal talks, and that such a committee offered the best way forward on negotiations.
  3. See Document 50.
  4. For these proposals, see Yearbook of the United Nations, 1979, p. 425.
  5. General Assembly Resolution 34/30, adopted on November 30, authorized the establishment of an ad hoc committee on Cyprus. The United States abstained in the vote. (Yearbook of the United Nations, 1979, pp. 431–432)