768.5/1–353: Telegram

No. 315
The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Allen) to the Department of State1

top secret

913. No distribution outside Department. Reference telegram Athens 2013 to Department.2 What Greeks call “change of Yugo attitude” since September seems to us to be logical outcome of events, especially since Handy talks have taken place. We are inclined therefore to discount their three hypotheses as primary reasons [Page 603] for evolution Yugo thinking, although Yugo desire to strengthen its position vis-à-vis Italy is constant contributory factor.

Ever since break with Cominform became irreparable, logical goal of Tito foreign policy has been to obtain military alliances with West. This requirement arising out of obvious security considerations has been slow of achievement because of ideological barriers within and without Yugo which separate Tito regime from all NATO nations plus territorial dispute of Trieste which removes Yugo one step farther from Italy. Events have however developed favorably for Tito both internally and externally and he now feels confident enough to abandon his stand against regional blocs and to advance concept of formal military commitments on a governmental level as a precondition to further progress in military talks. With the United States, United Kingdom and France this has so far taken the form only of a broad hint (Embtel 878, of December 223). The Turkish military delegate however was faced with a clearer request for a politico-military understanding (Embtel 880 of December 224), and according reference telegram Tito has broadened his field in Athens conversations to include a formal tripartite defense agreement. The naturally greater receptivity of the Turks and Greeks to broadening scope of talks contrasted to narrow confines of Handy’s terms of reference particularly in political field seems to us to have prompted Tito to begin process of moving under NATO umbrella by attempting to secure alliances to south.

  1. Repeated for information to Paris pass Reinhardt, London, Rome for Unger, Athens, and Ankara, eyes only Chiefs of Mission and Senior Military Attachés.
  2. Supra.
  3. Telegram 878 reported that Kardelj was seeking ways of pursuing with the United States, United Kingdom, and France the question of military cooperation raised during the Handy talks. (768.5/12–2252)
  4. See footnote 4, supra.