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This article examines the part played by NATO in the dispute over Cyprus between 1954 and February 1959. It shows that although the United Kingdom came to see advantages in using NATO as a means of facilitating its own proposals, it remained hostile to NATO "arbitration."Paradoxically, too, both Greece and Turkey opposed NATO intervention, though for contrary reasons. The narrative illustrates how the United States encouraged informal discussion of Cyprus in NATO forums as a way of renewing constructive negotiation after the deportation of Archbishop Makarios but shrank from formal mediation as being potentially harmful to "Western unity." Under these constraints, the optimal role for NATO lay in the personal "good offices" of the secretary-general. Paul-Henri Spaak 's exercise of this limited scope for initiative after May 1957 did help to promote "guaranteed independence" as a way out of the impasse. Nevertheless, the analysis shows that NATO remained marginal to the eventual negotiated settlement. The oblique relationship between NATO and the emergence of the Republic of Cyprus throws light on the vulnerability of the new state.