765.75/8–549: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Italy


1833. Dept glad to note Zoppi’s assurances Ital Govt’s cooperation facilitating movement members prospective Alb National Comite reported urtel 2415 Aug 5.1 Also appreciate his seeking our views repossible [Page 308] Ital approach to Alb Govt. While we wld regard any Ital advice to Hoxha regime suggesting desirability fundamental change in policies as unwise and unrealistic in view his subjection to Moscow, believe might be useful if Italy took appropriate occasion to tell Alb Govt continued aid to Grk guerrillas impeding Balkan settlement and stabilization situation in Adriatic area in which both Italy and Alb directly concerned. In ur discretion you may inform FonOff accordingly.

Dept gratified at Zoppi’s reaffirmation existence of free and independent Alb is basic Ital policy. We must, however, recognize that any moves which appear to give Italy special or leading role in Alb understandably arouse fears that Italy may wish to regain pre-war dominant position there.

Dept wld like to know when Ital mission going to Tirana as result recent decision re-establish dipl relations. In this connection you shld discreetly inform FonOff that Dept would appreciate being kept informed of important polit developments in Albania which may be reported to Rome by Ital mission there.

Re third para reftel we have repeatedly told Grks we oppose any Grk mil ventures into Alb such as encirclement Grammos or Vitsi through Alb territory or mass pursuit guerrillas into Alb. Recently we recd categorical assurances this not contemplated.2

Grk Amb informs Dept Grk Govt views very favorably planned estab of Alban Natl Comite in exile and has prepared statement for issuance on occasion public announcement Comite’s formation. Grk Govt is however concerned lest Cominform shld merely be replaced by Yugo or Italy as dominant influence Alb.

Sent Rome, rptd Athens.3

  1. Telegram 1667, July 29, to Rome, not printed, asked the Embassy to inform the Italian Foreign Ministry that the United States had been advised of the imminent establishment of a Council for Free Albania and took the same attitude toward it as it had toward the establishment of other exile national committees. The Embassy was to indicate that the British held a similar view (840.00/6–2149). Telegram 2415, August 5, from Rome, not printed, reported that the substance of the Department’s instructions had been conveyed to Vittorio Zoppi, Secretary General of the Italian Foreign Ministry. Zoppi offered as his personal opinion that he fully recognized the political advantages of maintaining the symbol of a free Albania, but he believed that the Albanians in exile associated with the Council for Free Albania and led by Midhat Frasheri represented too conservative a minority to take over in Albania once liberation from totalitarian oppression should take place (840.00/8–549).
  2. Documentation on the attitude of the United States with respect to a possible Greek intervention into Albania is scheduled for publication in volume vi.
  3. Repeated to Athens as telegram 1295.