Viewing cable 09NICOSIA77
Title: CYPRUS: GOVERNMENT SEEKING MUTUALLY-PALATABLE END

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09NICOSIA772009-01-29 14:50:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Nicosia
VZCZCXRO8138
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHNC #0077 0291450
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291450Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY NICOSIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9567
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV IMMEDIATE 6461
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 2130
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 0285
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM IMMEDIATE 1931
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEFNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1336
C O N F I D E N T I A L NICOSIA 000077 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR, NEA, ISN, P 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2019 
TAGS: PARM PREL MNUC SY IR CY
SUBJECT: CYPRUS:  GOVERNMENT SEEKING MUTUALLY-PALATABLE END 
STATE 
 
REF: A. NICOSIA 75 
     ¶B. NICOSIA 73 
     ¶C. NICOSIA 58 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Frank C. Urbancic, Reasons 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
¶1.  (C) Ship Status:  M/V Monchegorsk remains at anchorage in 
the Limassol port.  Cypriot maritime officials have conducted 
a cursory inspection, finding large quantities of high 
explosive on board.  RoC officials promise a more thorough 
inspection is forthcoming. 
 
¶2.  (C) Diplomatic Activity:  The Ambassador at 1545 hrs 
local (0845 DC) telephoned Presidential Diplomatic 
Coordinator Leonidas Pantelides seeking the latest on the M/V 
Monchegorsk recall.  Pantelides responded that Cypriot 
officials were inspecting the ship now and "would find what 
you found."  He was unsure what the government would do once 
it discovered military materiel, however.  Pantelides made 
clear the RoC understood it could not let the ship reach 
Syria.  Yet it also aimed to prevent Iranian/Syrian goods 
being stuck on its territory. 
 
¶3.  (C) Brainstorming, the RoC diplomat floated the 
possibility of transferring the cargo to the United Nations 
in some creative way.  UNFICYP likely was out, owing to its 
restrictive mandate; also, transfer to UNFICYP likely would 
require bringing the materiel on land, which the government 
hoped to avoid.  But might UNIFIL be a possibility? 
Pantelides ventured.  That UN mission runs its sea operations 
out of Limassol.  He questioned whether the Monchegorsk's 
haul could be transferred to a German ship operating under 
the UN flag, and taken out of Cyprus. 
 
¶4.  (C) Ambassador welcomed the creative thinking and 
promised to follow up with Washington.  He emphasized that 
the aim of the USG was not to punish Cyprus, but to prevent 
an illegal Iranian arms export.  Pantelides responded by 
noting he would continue to be in close communication with 
the Embassy.  He would wait for any other U.S. proposals that 
might allow the RoC to remove the materiel from Cyprus 
without it ending up in Syria. 
 
¶5.  (C) Comment:  The RoC is clearly feeling the heat and 
wants to avoid a confrontation with Syria and Iran. 
Pantelides worries, with reason, that the Monchegorsk 
incident will break soon into the contentious Cypriot press, 
and he is looking for a way out before it becomes an 
embarrassment to the government.  From their perspective, 
some sort of UN cover would make "doing the right thing" 
easier and more palatable, since the very hardest political 
pill for the RoC to swallow would be off-loading the cargo on 
land while its final disposition is decided.  We leave to 
Washington and New York experts the determination of whether 
Pantelides's UNIFIL idea, or some other arrangement involving 
the UN, will fly. 
Urbancic