Created: 3/31/1960

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The Cyprus Problem

The long-standing dispute over the future status of the Britisb crown colony of Cyprus was regarded by most observers as resolvederies of internationalsigned in London in9 which provided for complete independence. The signatories represented Britain, Greece, Turkey and the two major communitiesreek Cypriots andurkish Cypriots. Good progress in implementing tbe agreements was made during the ensuing months but inerious controversy developed over tbe size of the two bases Britain is to esult, independence for Cyprus, which was to have been proclaimed byas been postponed. Relations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, which had improved dramatically following conclusion of tbe Cyprus agreementsave begun to show new strainsesult of the present impasse.

The Cyprus agreements provided that Britain would transfer sovereignty over the island to the new Republic of Cyprus except for twospecifically The agreements also specified that the new republic would assure Britain "tbe rights and facilities necessary to enable the two areas to be used effectively as military bases." At Akrotiri, on the southernmost tip of Cyprus, the British maintain one of tbe largest air

bases in the Middle East and are in the process ofthere the headquarters of their unified Middle

In discussing the base problem, the Greek Cypriots, led by Archbishop Makarios, president elect of the future Cypriot Republic, attempted from the beginning to limit

the base areasaximum ofquare miles. The Turkish Cypriots, under Fazil Kuchuk, the future vice president, favored limiting tho British to tbe smallest possible area, although tbey have beon less rigid in their position than the Greek Cypriots.

The British originally requestedquarebut later reduced thisquare miles.



Turkish Cypriots have sought to mediateroposal ofquare miles. This is acceptable to Makarios, but it has been rejected by the British. London has also rejected other proposed compromises, such as putting part of the proposed baso areas under long-term lease to tbe British.

Currently there is considerable speculation in Nicosiaompromise atquare While Greek Cyprlot spokesmen have indicated that any figurerobably would be acceptable, the British have insisted tboy cannot reduce their demandquare miles by moreoken amount.

The British proposals have been publicly rejected by Makarios largely on economicthat the base areas contain some of tbe best arable land onisproportionate amount of vital water resources* His real reasons, however, appear to be an exaggerated fear that he would lose political support on Cyprus byto tbe British and his "intuition'* that London will eventually make further concessions. ajor concession by Makarios to the British on the base issue would reduce his popular prestige. With no other nationalist leader of stature among the Greekeal decline in his popularity would probably redound to the advantage of tbe Communist-led political party on tbe island, which isbelieved capable of securing the support ofercent of tbe Greek voters.

Recent warnings that the present negotiations could break down and imperil the original settlement have caused uneasiness, particularly among the Turkish Cypriots. on the part of the present negotiators could of course, leadreakdown, with its attendant threat to security. It appears unlikely to us, however, that any party to the original Cyprus agreements wouldeal breakdown and possible repudiation of- that settlement.

ULLES Director

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