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The United States and the Cyprus crisis of 1974



Based upon two recently published volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States series of declassified diplomatic documents for the period of the Nixon and Ford presidencies, this article focuses upon the crisis which erupted in Cyprus in the summer of 1974 at the time of the transition between the two administrations. A Greek-sponsored coup on the island led to a Turkish invasion and the threat of war between two of America's NATO allies and culminated in the collapse of the Greek military junta and the de facto partition of Cyprus. Emphasis is placed upon the role of Henry Kissinger and his advisers in their efforts to defuse the crisis, efforts which were only partially successful. The conspiracy theories which surround the episode are found wanting and the limitations of the Anglo–American ‘special relationship’ highlighted.