LEGISLATION enacted by Congress requires that arms deliveries to Turkey must be suspended February 5. The Administration will comply fully with the law. However, it should be made clear that military aid to Turkey is not given in the context of the Cyprus issue, nor has it been granted as a favor to Turkey. Rather, it is based on our common conclusions that the security of Turkey is vital to the security of the Eastern Mediterranean and to the security of the United States and its allies.
A suspension of military aid to Turkey is likely to impede the negotiation of a just Cyprus settlement. Furthermore, it could have far-reaching and damaging effects on the security and hence the political stability of all the countries in the region. It will affect adversely not only Western security but the strategic situation in the Middle East. It cannot be in the interest of the United States to take action that will jeopardize the system on which our relations in the Eastern Mediterranean have been based for 28 years.
When it is seen that the United States is taking action which is clearly incompatible with its own interests, this will raise grave doubts about the conduct of American foreign relations even among countries that are not directly involved in that area.
The Administration judges these adverse effects of a suspension of aid to Turkey to be so serious that it urges the Congress to reconsider its action and authorize the resumption of our assistance relationship with Turkey.