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

327038. (U) Subject: Cypriot Ambassador Jacovides Meeting With Under Secretary Nimetz. Ref: (A) Nicosia 3000, (B) Nicosia 3004, (C) Ankara 8695.2

1. (C-entire text).

2. Summary: In farewell call on Under Secretary Nimetz on December 5, GOC Ambassador Jacovides discussed inter alia the effect of the transition on U.S. policy toward Cyprus and the status of the intercommunal talks. End summary.

3. After brief exchange on the effects of the transition in terms of U.S. policy toward Africa and South America, Jacovides commented on future U.S. attitudes toward Cyprus. He suggested that the current level of U.S. support for the U.N. framework and the intercommunal talks was the right approach. He noted that the U.S. was watching the process on the sidelines and observed that the intercommunal talks have developed somewhat although thus far not yet in substantive terms. The climate was good. He assumed the Turkish military takeover would help as in his opinion the Turks could no longer plead that they had a weak government. He recalled the Onan-Ioannides TV presentation (Ref A) as indicating that while there were substantive differences, the spirit of the talks was good.

4. Jacovides expressed some concern, however, over potentially disruptive statements such as Denktash’s comments on territory (Ref B) and Turkish FM Turkmen’s interview with “Yanki” (Ref C). Turkmen’s reported statement that a Varosha accord could not be implemented before general agreement surprised him and he labeled it “factually incorrect” inter alia in the light of the May 1979 Agreement. Jacovides then noted Turkmen’s comment that the U.S. expressed to Turkey no deeper concern about Cyprus than would Norway. Although he knew [Page 275] differently, Jacovides stated that an interview of this nature influenced some opinions in Cyprus.

5. Nimetz observed that in the interview Turkmen was trying to demonstrate international support for Turkey and attempting to portray Ankara’s good relations with the U.S. While Nimetz noted he was pleased Turkmen had not suggested the U.S. was pressuring Ankara on Cyprus, nevertheless it was clear we were more concerned and had done more about the issue than Norway.

6. Turning to the intercommunal talks, Nimetz stated the U.S. would be concerned if the currently scheduled recess beginning December 8 dragged on. He had the impression there had not been hard thinking on either side concerning next steps. He observed that a time comes in any negotiation for testing each other with solid proposals and suggested the January–February period could be a critical time.

7. Jacovides responded that the Greek Cypriots intended no slackening of the talks. He commented, however, that it was a real sacrifice on the GOC’s part to eliminate discussion of the Cyprus issue in international fora and remarked that the current situation with no international discussion was obviously advantageous to the Turkish Cypriots. Some evidence of a willingness to move on the Turkish part would help to justify the current GOC attitude. He hoped that a strong government in Ankara would be helpful and suggested that Varosha was the place to start. Another 2–3 months without progress would damage the talks’ momentum. Nimetz agreed and suggested the sides should consider the potential problem of how to sustain momentum in the negotiations during the recess in the talks.

8. In retrospective comments, Nimetz expressed disappointment that despite successes in other areas of the region, there had not been as much movement on the Cyprus issue. Still, he believed, the problem is solvable and with work can be resolved. Jacovides agreed, adding that the catalyst could be Varosha as an agreement here could resettle significant numbers of refugees and improve the atmosphere. Jacovides praised Turkish FM officials he knew as reasonable, moderate people and concluded that Greece, Turkey and Cyprus need not be weighed against each other as NATO needed a strong Turkey and a reasonable, satisfactory solution to the Cyprus problem should be achievable without damaging any of the participants.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800589–0110. Confidential. Drafted by Jones; cleared by Dillery and Ewing; approved by Nimetz. Sent for information to Athens, Ankara, and USUN.
  2. In telegram 3004 from Nicosia, December 3, the Embassy reported on coverage in the Greek Cypriot press that Denktash had “hardened” his position with respect to the intercommunal negotiations and was unprepared to return any Turkish occupied land to the Greek Cypriots in the foreseeable future. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800576–1101) Telegram 8695 from Ankara, December 2, relaying items from a press interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Türkmen, is in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800574–1037. Telegram 3000 was not found.