668.811/1–2853: Telegram

No. 321
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in France1

top secret

4160. Eyes only for chiefs of missions, senior military attachés and specific addressees. Embassy London and Paris please inform FonOff as follows:

We assume that British and French have received from their representatives approximately same information as we have concerning Greek, Turk, and Yugoslav negotiations, particularly that contained Athens 2284.2 If British and French do not appear to be acquainted with Koprulu’s proposed formula for Treaty of Friendship please fill them in on three specific points mentioned reference telegram.

In US view proposed form of Treaty of Friendship would appear to avoid many difficulties and possible pitfalls which might otherwise be encountered in connection with any “political commitments” extended by Greece and Turkey to Yugoslavia. Koprulu’s formula appears well calculated to encourage constructive military planning among three countries and to contribute to defense that part of Europe without at same time expanding obligations of other NATO members. On assumption eventual form of treaty does not involve any commitments other than those falling within limits of Koprulu’s three points, we concur in Turkish view that it would not seem necessary to submit it to NATO for approval. We assume, however, that Greeks and Turks would wish to take appropriate action to inform NAC.

We have also noted and especially welcome evidence of willingness on part of all three nations concerned to leave the door open to later Italian adherence should the Italians be interested, and we hope that the three Governments will give due consideration to the merits to a public statement to that effect at the time the treaty is signed.

It should be pointed out to the British and French that in our view the proposed friendship pact as outlined by Koprulu does not prejudice either way eventual Yugoslav membership in NATO which is of course a matter for the accord of all members of that organization.

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After transmitting foregoing to British and French, inform them that we propose within next few days to instruct our Ambassadors Athens and Ankara to seek appropriate occasion to speak in same sense with Greeks and Turks. Prior taking this action we wish ascertain reaction of British and French partners and hope their comments may be forthcoming soon in order that necessary instructions may go forward. We do not believe that anything in nature of a tripartite démarche would be necessary or desirable, but it is obvious that our common interests would be furthered if our respective Ambassadors are prepared to speak with Greeks and Turks along basically the same lines when appropriate occasion arises.

Matthews
  1. Drafted by Barbour and Thurston and cleared with Bonbright, Nash, Bohlen, and Wolf. Also sent to London and repeated for information to Athens, Ankara, Belgrade, and Rome.
  2. Supra .