740.0011 European War 1939/6240: Telegram

The Minister in Yugoslavia (Lane) to the Secretary of State

471. The following is the gist of conversations which I had today with two high Yugoslav authorities.

Relations between Soviet Union and Turkey are improving. Information which we transmitted regarding German offer to Russia of Iran, Iraq, Istanbul and the Straits is correct only in so far as Iran and Iraq is concerned. The German aim is to give Russia access to the Persian Gulf and thus keep her out of the Mediterranean.
The Italian Minister informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs yesterday that Yugoslavia need not be alarmed regarding the increase of troops in Albania as they are there primarily for use against Greece. When the Foreign Minister expressed his surprise that Italy had aims against Greece, Mameli said that the Greeks are continually provoking [Page 545] Italy and are adopting a very unfriendly attitude. The situation greatly disturbs the Yugoslav Government especially as it is confirmed by information received directly from Athens.

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