701.6574/1–2545: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Representative in Bulgaria ( Barnes )

20. You will have observed the anomaly of establishing normal diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Italy (Reurtel 13, January 6)31 and maintaining such relations between Bulgaria and Rumania (Reurtel 22 December 11)31 at a time when several United Nations Governments are not represented at Sofia and even the principal Allies have only informal representation (reurtel 5, December 2).31

We assume that the question of Bulgarian-Italian relations was not considered by the ACC but wish confirmation on this point. If the ACC has considered the matter, does it favor Bulgarian representation abroad during the armistice period? You will note that the subject was not specifically covered in the armistice agreement.

Kirk32 has reported that there are already Italian representatives in Sofia and Bucharest performing certain functions unofficially on behalf of the Italian Government. We feel that representation of this character would adequately meet Italian needs for the present, and that it is unnecessary and undesirable to permit direct diplomatic relations between enemy states so long as they remain under an armistice [Page 146] regime, particularly prior to the resumption of such relations between the enemy states concerned and the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union.

The foregoing views have been communicated to the British and Soviet Governments. The British views, which have been communicated to us and to the Soviet Government, appear substantially to be in accord with our own. The Soviet view has not yet been learned.

Sent to Sofia, repeated to Moscow.33

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Alexander C. Kirk, who was simultaneously Ambassador in Italy and United States Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater.
  5. As No. 161. A reply from Mr. Barnes (telegram 63, January 30, 1945, from Sofia) reported that the Bulgarian Government had accepted the Italian representative in Sofia as the Italian Minister as of January 3, 1945. Although the matter had not been considered by the Allied Control Commission, it presumably had the prior approval of the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, the telegram added. (701.6574/1–3045)