501.BB Balkan/8–948: Telegram

The Secretary of State to Mr. Arthur W. Parsons, at Athens1


Balcom 197. Suggest you recommend UNSCOB immediately direct communication to Albania along following lines:

UNSCOB has taken note of fact Greek Army engaged in offensive operations against guerrilla forces located very near Albanian border. In event further successful action by Greek Army it is likely some or all these forces may attempt to escape across border into Albania. In exercise of its function of attempting develop good neighborly relations between Greece and Albania and in view injunction in GA Resolution Oct 21, 1947 calling upon Albania to do nothing which could furnish aid and assistance to guerrillas, UNSCOB expects Albania will either deny passage to guerrillas seeking to enter Albania or will disarm and intern these guerrillas in accordance with established principles international law.”

If UNSCOB observer teams have already reported fugitive guerrillas crossing into Albania, this fact might well be alluded to in communication.

Such communication would tend establish Albanian responsibility in event escaped forces reappeared in Greece.

Communication this nature could be transmitted directly to Albanian Govt with info copy to Secy Gen.2

  1. This message was sent jointly to the Embassy in Greece as No. 1131.
  2. Mr. Parsons drafted a letter along the lines of Balcom 197 and distributed it to several delegations. Mexico presented to UNSCOB on August 12 a resolution based on the draft, with slight modifications. During the meeting, the Mexican proposal was withdrawn in favor of a Pakistani resolution which Mr. Parsons considered stronger as well as more effective regarding public opinion. The resolution was adopted by eight affirmative votes, with Australia abstaining (Combal 229, identified also as telegram 1574, August 12, from Athens, 501.BB Balkan/8–1248); for text of resolution, see GA (III), Suppl. No. 8A, p. 16. The text of the resolution was telegraphed to the Government of Albania by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on August 14 (IO files, United Nations document A/AC.16/342). The Albanian reply, dated August 21, called the creation and existence of UNSCOB a violation of the United Nations Charter, denounced its work as illegal and characterized it as an imperialist espionage agency; for text, see United Nations press release Bal/371 of August 24, 1948.