868.00/8–648: Telegram

The Ambassador in Greece (Grady) to the Secretary of State

top secret

1532. Substance Deptel 1080, August 2 conveyed to Tsaldaris today but with no mention of Cyprus or fact US views had been coordinated with UK. Tsaldaris made careful notes on details of numbered paragraph three with which he expressed full agreement.

Greek military successes in Grammos make timing of any contact between Tsaldaris and Soviet Chargé Tchernychev particularly significant. Markos’s avenue escape to Albania still open but his resistance might crumble any day followed either by retreat across frontier or possibly by his being cut off and forced to surrender.

Tsaldaris favors coordinating prospective Tchernychev contact with public statement by Greek Government along lines first paragraph Embtel 1270, July 81 and requests Department’s views. He also inquires whether Greece has been mentioned in current talks of Ambassadors in Moscow2 and whether we prefer take initial step there pr have Greek Government do so in Athens.

Subject agreement US British and Greek military as to timing, and dependent any US steps taken or planned in Moscow, I suggest Greek Government should issue statement as agreed inviting surrender Markos rank and file. Appointment for Tsaldaris to receive Soviet [Page 121] Chargé on following day could be made just prior to issuance of statement.

Tsaldaris appeared more optimistic over general situation than for many weeks. He recalled conversation he had in 1946 with Molotov in Paris when he asked latter what Soviet attitude toward Greece would be in case Russia failed in effort to expand to Mediterranean. Molotov replied that he would be ready to discuss matter if and when that time came. Tsaldaris thinks possibly time has now arrived.

Department’s comment requested urgently.

  1. Not printed; the bulk of the first paragraph is incorporated in footnote 3, p. 114.
  2. The discussions at Moscow by the United States, British and French Ambassadors with various Soviet officials began on July 30 in connection with the Soviet blockade of Berlin.