The Greek Embassy to the Department of State
In connection with the recent statement made by the Secretary of State concerning the restoration of a free Albania,3 the Greek Ambassador has been instructed to draw the kind attention of the United States Government to the following:
- Greece, herself a victim of aggression and imbued by the ideals of the United Nations, cannot in principle object to the restoration of the independence of purely Albanian territories, but she is convinced that this restoration will be realized in a manner safeguarding her own vital and legitimate rights.
- The Greek Government, moreover, feel that it is their duty to point out that this statement, made at this moment could create a painful impression upon the Greek people.
The Greek nation, enduring unspeakable suffering under the Axis yoke, will be at a loss to understand a step in the direction of the restoration of Albania, without a clear simultaneous recognition of their own rights in the districts of Northern Epirus, as set forth in the memorandum addressed on the 12th of June 1942 to the Secretary of State by the Prime Minister of Greece.[Page 828]
Such a disregard of this side of the question could undermine the morale of the fighting Greek people. Consequently the benefit which the Allies think they may obtain with the eventual assistance of a section of the Albanians would be incomparably less then the advantages to be derived by encouraging the fighting Greek people. Such an encouragement will obviously bolster the Greek resistance.
For historical and geographical reasons and for reasons of justice and security already embodied in international Acts and because there the Greek army won brilliant victories at the cost of much Greek blood, Northern Epirus belongs to Greece. And even though our Great Allies deem it proper to consider territorial questions at the end of the war, the Greek Government looks forward with hope that the United States Government would be willing to give now a formal assurance that in due time it will grant its full and precious support to the Greek rights. The question of Northern Epirus is so vital for the nation that the Greek Government feel compelled to declare categorically that the Greek people will be, more than ever, unable to acquiesce in any agreement disregarding their rights.
- Statement released to the press December 10, Department of State Bulletin, December 12, 1942, p. 998.↩