[Dated July 26, 1975. Released July 28, 1975]
Dear Mr. Speaker:
The consequences of the House action in failing to lift the arms embargo on Turkey are now becoming apparent. As President of the United States my responsibility for the national security and conduct of foreign affairs have led me to --urge in the strongest terms that the House lift the embargo. Despite the House action and subsequent events, I do not believe that the situation is irretrievable today.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of the major installations we will lose in Turkey if we cannot remedy the action. Their loss would seriously downgrade our capabilities in major areas of national security. These installations are not replaceable.
In reviewing the debates of the last several months, any fair-minded person would agree that there is not a fundamental dispute on the objective of achieving a peaceful and equitable solution to the tragic Cyprus problem. The Congress has chosen means to accomplish that end which in my judgment would not only delay and impede a Cyprus settlement but, as now can be seen clearly, cause a disastrous deterioration in our security relations with Turkey and in the Eastern Mediterranean in general. In addition, these effects will certainly not make for an improvement in relations between Greece and Turkey, without which a Cyprus settlement is not possible.
My Administration has been and will continue to pursue the cause of a just and peaceful settlement in Cyprus. But I must emphasize in the strongest terms how seriously hobbled our efforts will be if the embargo against Turkey is maintained.
I, therefore, urge through you, Mr. Speaker, the immediate reconsideration of the House action. Only if we preserve our vital security relations with Turkey will I be able usefully to assist the parties in the area toward better relations.
GERALD R. FORD