HC Deb 14 January 1964 vol 687 cc35-7

The following is the text of a letter to the President of the Security Council from Mr. R. Jackling, Acting United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 8th January, 1964:—

I have the honour to refer to the letter addressed to the President of the Security Council on 26th December, 1963, by the Permanent Representative of Cyprus which has been circulated as Document S/5488 and which was the subject of discussion in the Security Council on 27th December.

  1. 2 Your Excellency will be aware that since the outbreak of inter-communal disturbances in Cyprus on 21st December, 1963, the United Kingdom Government, together with the co signatories of the Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee of 16th August, 1960 (the Governments of Greece and Turkey) have been making strenuous efforts to assist in resolving this critical and highly dangerous situation peace fully in accordance with Articles 33and 52 of the United Nations Charter. Since the Security Council is seized of the question, my Government, after consultation with the Greek and Turkish Governments and with their approval, has instructed me to supply you with full information on the steps taken within the spirit of the Charter by my Government, in close cooperation with the Governments of Turkey and Greece, to avert bloodshed and to promote a solution.
  2. 3 On 24th December, 1963, the Governments of the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey issued an appeal to the Cyprus Government and an offer of good offices in the following terms:—
    • "The British, Greek and Turkish Governments, as signatories of the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960, jointly appeal to the Government of Cyprus and to the Greek and Turkish communities in the Island to put an end to the present disorders. They appeal to the Cyprus Government to fix a suitable hour this evening for a cease-fire and to call upon both communities to observe it.
    • The three Governments mindful of the rule of law further offer their joint good offices with a view to helping to resolve the difficulties, which have given rise to the present situation."
  3. 4. When on 25th December it became apparent that the situation in Cyprus was continuing to deteriorate, the Governments of the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey informed the Government of Cyprus, including both Greek and Turkish elements, of their readiness to assist, if invited to do so, in restoring peace and order by means of a joint peacemaking force under British command and composed of the forces of the United Kingdom already stationed in Cyprus by virtue of the Treaty of Establishment between the United Kingdom, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus and of the forces of Greece and Turkey under the Treaty of Alliance between Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. The acceptance by the Cyprus Government was announced in a communiqué as follows: 36
    • "The Government of the Republic of Cyprus has accepted an offer that the forces of the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey, stationed in Cyprus and placed under British command, should assist it in its effort to secure the preservation of cease-fire and the restoration of peace."
  4. 5 The Joint Peace-making Force was accordingly established under the command of Major-General Young, Commander Cyprus District. On 28th December, the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom Government, Mr. Duncan Sandys, flew to Cyprus to discuss the situation on the spot with members of the Cyprus Government including both Greek and Turkish Governments in Cyprus. On 29th December, a Political Liaison Committee consisting of the United Kingdom High Commissioner, the Greek and Turkish Ambassadors and representatives of the Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus, was established in order to give guidance to the Commander of the Joint Peace-making Force.
  5. 6 On 30th December, the Political Liaison Committee concluded an agreement on the creation and patrolling of a neutral zone along the cease-fire line between the zones occupied by the two communities in Nicosia. The agreement also provided for the exchange of prisoners and the right of the patrolling forces to patrol anywhere in the Island. Since the conclusion of this agreement, the patrolling activities of the peace-making force have succeeded in reducing tension and in preventing a further outbreak of serious fighting. Good progress has also been made with the exchange of prisoners and the return of refugees to their homes. Certain British reinforcements have been sent to the Island with the agreement of the Greek and Turkish Governments to enable the commander of the peace-making force to carry out his task.
  6. 7 Following further discussions in Nicosia, agreement was reached on the holding of a Conference in the near future which will attempt to resolve the difficulties which have given rise to the present situation. This was announced on 2nd January in the following statement by Mr. Duncan Sandys:
    • "I have tonight received from Archbishop Makarios and Dr. Kutchuk their acceptance of the offer of good offices of the British, Greek and Turkish Governments to help in the solution of the problems of Cyprus. For this purpose, a Conference of representatives of these three Governments and of the two communities will be convened in London at an early date.
    • After the opening plenary session, a working committee will be formed, composed of representatives of the two Cypriot communities, with a chairman appointed by the British Government, and will report from time to time to the Plenary Conference."
  7. 8. Meanwhile, the Governments of the United Kingdom, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus have jointly requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations to appoint a representative to act as a United Nations observer in Cyprus, whose role would be to observe the progress of the peace-making operation, and report on it to the Secretary-General.
  8. 37
  9. 9. Arrangements have now been made for the Conference referred to above to convene in London next week. Meanwhile my Government and the Government of Greece and Turkey trust that the measures taken will assure a return to law and order in Cyprus and prevent further acts of violence. It will be clear to Your Excellency, however, that the steps already taken have largely succeeded in their immediate objective of alleviating the situation for the time being and have contributed towards obviating the very real and grave dangers which were inherent in recent developments in Cyprus.

9th January, 1964.

Back to
Forward to