Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Chief, Division of Southeast European Affairs ( Campbell )

Participants: Messrs. Midhat Frasheri, Abas Kupi, Nuci Kotta, Said Kryeziu, Zef Pali; Mr. Llewellyn E. Thompson, EUR; Mr. Campbell, SE.

Subject: Free Albania Committee

Mr. Frasheri, acting as spokesman for the group, informed Mr. Thompson that he wished to pay his respects to the Department of State and to inform the Department of the objectives and activities of the Free Albania Committee. He stated that the five members present constituted the Executive Body, and that there was in addition a Consultative Council of ten others who were presently in Europe. In response to Mr. Thompson’s question where the seat of the Committee would be located, he replied that it would be in New York and that probably it would also be represented in Washington. Mr. Frasheri said that, on the previous day, the group had been in contact with the National Committee for Free Europe in New York.

After Mr. Frasheri stated that his Committee intended to work for the liberation of Albania and hoped to maintain regular contacts with the Department of State, Mr. Thompson pointed out that the Committee would undoubtedly be in closer touch with the National Committee for Free Europe than with the Department. He informed Mr. Frasheri, that although the US does not maintain diplomatic relations with Albania, the US Government naturally was limited in what it could do in support of the activities of such a group as the Free Albania Committee. He said that Mr. Frasheri undoubtedly understood the situation and the difference between the situation of the Department, as an agency of the US Government, and that of a private organization such as the National Committee for Free Europe.

Mr. Frasheri asked whether the Department could be of service to [Page 319] the Free Albania Committee by putting it in touch with appropriate persons in the UN Secretariat in order that it might get information concerning Albanian questions now before the United Nations. Mr. Thompson again explained that the Department could not undertake to assist the Committee in that way and that such requests should be properly directed to the National Committee for Free Europe. He indicated that any official American acts which appeared to denote sponsorship of the Free Albania Committee, particularly in relation to the activities of the UN, might well be exploited by other powers in a manner embarrassing to the US and damaging to the objectives of the Committee itself.

Mr. Frasheri brought up the question of the Greek Government’s attitude toward the Free Albania Committee. Mr. Campbell called attention to the statement made by the Greek Prime Minister on the occasion of the announcement of the Committee’s formation. Mr. Frasheri said that part of this statement was unexceptionable but that the other part raised the question of Northern Epirus in a manner which disturbed him and his colleagues. He stated that Enver Hoxha had profited by the intransigent Greek attitude on this question by posing as the defender on Albania’s territorial integrity. He said that it was difficult for Albanian patriots in exile to appeal to Albanians at home against the regime without some assurance from Greece and the Western Powers that Greek claims to southern Albania would be renounced.

In closing the interview, Mr. Thompson informed the members of the Committee that the Department maintained an interest in their activities and would be glad to be kept informed of developments. In leaving, Mr. Frasheri left a mimeographed “Statement of the Free Albania Committee”.

[John C. Campbell]