U.S. Presidential envoy Clark Clifford and Turkish leaders reached agreement in two days of talks here on Cyprus and troubled Turkish-American ties.
Clifford told reporters after a final meeting today with Foreign Minister Ihsan Caglayangil that their thinking was "so close that it was decided to issue one statement representing the view of both sides."
He said the statement would be released Wednesday when he leaves for Nicosia on the third and final leg of a fact-finding mission on the Cyprus conflict.
Before coming to Ankara Sunday, the former U.S. defense secretary held three days of talks in Athens with Greek government officials.
Turkish newspapers today continued their attacks on his mission. The mass-circulation daily Hurriyet ran a banner headline alleging that: "Clifford speaks With a Greek Voice." A leftist daily compared Turkish-American relations with those of a domineering husband (the United States) and a submissive wife (Turkey).
Clifford's talks with Turkish leaders have been surrounded by secrecy. There was no immediate indication of the topics on which the identity of views had been reached.
But in a statement after talks with Turkish generals today Clifford hinted that he had been won over by their arguments for early resumption of U.S. military aid to Turkey.
"In the operation of NATO it is necessary that nations have arms agreements and understandings so that the full strength of NATO can be maintained," he told reporters.
"It is the joint hope of both sides that the agreement we contemplate will lead to even closer relations between our two countries," Clifford said after the meeting with Chief of Staff Gen. Semih Sancar and other senior army officers.
Congress cut aid to Turkey after the Turks invaded Cyprus in 1974 and has made resumption conditional on progress toward a solution of the conflict between the island's Greeks and Turks.
Turkish Premier Suleiman Demirel told Clifford he could make no concessions on Cyprus before general elections this fall. But he promises to try to solve the Cyprus issue and normalize relations with Greece if re-elected.
On the strength of this pledge, he asked the Carter administration to press for early Congressional approval of an agreement worked out last March extending Turkey $1 billion worth of U.S. miliary aid over the next four years.
Opposition leader Bulent Ecevit also met Clifford today. Ecevit, who was premier in 1974 ordered the invasion of Cyprus after a Greek attempt to take over the island, told reporters: "We too wish relations between Turkey and the United States to be normalized. But a country with Turkey's critical geopolitical position cannot be expected to let her national security situation remain suspended indefinitely."
Turkey has the longest border with the Soviet Union of any NATO ally and straddles the strategic Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits passageway from the Black Sea to the Meditterranean.