768.5/11–2452: Telegram

No. 312
The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Allen) to the Department of State1

top secret

739. Grk Min Capitanides called on me Nov 21 to discuss forthcoming visit of Grk mil del to Yugo.2 He said he and Yugo auths were agreed that stage was set for “substantial developments” during this visit. Implication was that Yugos had definite mil commitments in mind.

I heartily welcomed progress being made in Yugo-Grk rels and cld see no reason why they shld not eventually develop into specific commitments. Speaking entirely personally, I said I did not believe Grk mil del, as reps of NATO country, cld undertake serious commitments without prior NATO clearance. Moreover, I said policy agreement on inter-govt level wld be required before mil auths of Greece and Yugo cld advance very far. Capitanides said he agreed fully and wld so remind his del.

I mentioned foregoing to Capitanides in view of indications I have had from Yugos that they expect to go much further in their talks with Grks than they did with Gen Handy.3 Yugos may hope to obtain indirect NATO commitment through getting Grks and Turks to sign reciprocal assurances of support in case of attack. I have no desire to dampen enthusiasm of Yugos and Grks but gentle timely reminder seemed appropriate.

In response to Capitanides further request for suggestions, I said Yugos wld probably express some harsh opinions re Italy which Grk officers might be inclined to reciprocate. I suggested that Capitanides remind his officers before talks start that if Yugos start abusing Italy, Greeks might well point out that purpose of discussions was Yugo-Greek rels and not Italy. Capitanides expressed full concurrence and appreciation.

  1. Repeated for information to Athens, London, Ankara, Rome, and Paris.
  2. Regarding this visit, see the editorial note, supra.
  3. Regarding the Handy talks in Belgrade, Nov. 17–20, see Documents 661 ff.