740.0011 European War 1939/6407: Telegram

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

488. The Yugoslav Government has just given to the press a statement, the high points of which are as follows:

Even before the war the efforts of this country were directed towards establishing friendly relations with all her neighbors, particularly [Page 556] Germany and Italy. When war came Yugoslavia declared her neutrality which was based on the sole condition of respect for her independence and the security of her frontiers. In doing so she best served the vital interests of her people and at the same time fulfilled her obligations of a correct neighbor, as has been categorically and openly admitted by Berlin and Rome. Having relations of sincere friendship with Italy and Greece this country profoundly regrets the conflict between them. Yugoslavia must follow the new situation attentively while continuing to devote all her strength to the maintenance of peace. Taking into account the attitude which she has maintained up to now “Yugoslavia hopes that she will not see her interests threatened from any side by the future development of events”.