257. Memorandum of a Conversation, New York, September 22, 19551
- Various Subjects
- Mr. Koca Popovic—Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia
- Mr. Leo Mates—Yugoslavian Ambassador to the US
- Secretary Dulles—US
- Mr. Norman Armour, Jr.—US
Mr. Popovic expressed pleasure at the visit of Under Secretary Murphy but said he hoped this would not prevent a visit from the Secretary himself. The Secretary replied that he would try to drop down to Yugoslavia following the Geneva conference.
The Secretary said he was very pleased at the “good fellowship” which existed between the Yugoslavs and the United States. He said he was also pleased at the increased influence Yugoslavia was playing [Page 671] in that part of the world. He said that while the United States did not agree with the Yugoslav form of government, we did agree with the independent nationalistic line they are taking and that he personally was not all all worried about the new ties the Yugoslavs were developing with the Soviet Union. He said that Yugoslavia had managed to assert their independence and their present approach to international relations was a sound example to the rest of the world. The Secretary continued that while there might be less United States military aid to Yugoslavia, we were still anxious to support their independence and enhance their prestige, but that the United States was not at all anxious to have them considered a part of the United States bloc.
Popovic replied that he was very pleased to hear the Secretary’s views and that considering present circumstances it was quite logical that United States military aid should diminish. He pointed out that Tito himself had said good United States-Yugoslav relations should not depend on United States military aid and that excellent relations could endure even if United States aid became superfluous.
The Secretary then introduced the subject of Greece and Turkey and said that the situation had been allowed to get completely out of hand; that emotion bred emotion and that since Papagos was a very sick man, there was nobody in the Greek Government strong enough to sober up the country. He said the situation threatened the Balkan Alliance, that there was great need for a strong government in Greece so that Greece and Turkey could continue as active members of NATO and the Balkan Alliance.
Popovic said that it would be very difficult to find a replacement for Papagos.2 He also said that what had happened in Istanbul to Greek merchants was terrible and that the Turks had been too late in their apologies.3
The Secretary then referred to the proposed sale of arms by Russia to Egypt which disturbed him greatly. He was particularly concerned that the Israelis might attack Egypt before the sale was consummated. He said that the United States had always tried to maintain a balance from a military point of view between the two countries.
Popovic replied that his government had listened to Dulles’ August proposal with great interest and that they heartily approved this plan which did not depend upon a balance of arms.4[Page 672]
The Secretary said he had been particularly encouraged that his proposal had not been rejected by either side. He said that in his speech at the General Assembly this morning Fawzi (Egypt)5 had not been very nice, but at least he had not rejected the Secretary’s proposal.
Popovic agreed and again warmly referred to this “courageous offer” of the United States.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.68/9–2255. Confidential. Drafted by Armour, an adviser on Political and Security Affairs at the Mission at the United Nations. Secretary Dulles, Foreign Minister Popovic, and Ambassador Mates were in New York in connection with the Tenth Regular Session of the U.N. General Assembly, which convened on September 20.↩
- Constantine Karamanlis formed a new government in Greece in October following the death of Prime Minister Alexandros Papagos.↩
- Reference is to anti-Greek riots in Istanbul and other Turkish cities in September.↩
- Reference is to the Secretary’s August 26 address regarding the Middle East; for documentation, see volume XIV.↩
- Mahmoud Fawzi, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Egyptian Delegation to the General Assembly.↩