298. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State 0

3289. From Rountree. I had a good talk yesterday with Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis, and also with Tsatsos, Minister to the Prime Minister and acting Foreign Minister, and Protopadakis, Minister of Coordination. At Ambassador’s dinner I had further opportunity talk with latter two, and also with ex-Prime Minister Tsaldaris, Papandreou, Canellopoulos, Venizelos. This chance meet with both government and opposition useful in giving me picture Greek situation and feelings, and I am grateful to Ambassador Riddleberger for arrangements.

First portion Karamanlis meeting devoted Middle East as he interested my impressions based on visit there. Cyprus introduced into discussion by my reference three hopeful developments of which I had just heard: Averoff-Zorlu meetings Paris,1 Macmillan statement on partition,2 and commutation of death sentence for Greek Cypriots.3 Prime Minister seemed feel atmosphere somewhat better but both he and Tsa-tsos thought it wise not be too optimistic. He seemed less emotional on question than I had ever seen him, although this is relative term. All Greeks with whom I talked feel that US had let them down badly, but government seems more resigned to our position. Karamanlis made point US had warned his predecessors not to raise Cyprus question at time, had always made clear its position that it would not support Greek views on substance of solution and Greeks would not therefore claim they misled, however resentful they feel.

He said he had worked hard to make it known that “US owed Greece nothing on this question”.

Economic talks were pro-forma with Greeks mentioning need for US assistance on specific projects now under discussion.

Whitney
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/12–2058. Confidential. Repeated to Athens and Ankara.
  2. They met on December 18 during the NATO Ministerial Meeting in Paris; see Doc-ument 297.
  3. In a December 10 statement to Parliament, Macmillan reiterated British willingness to discuss a Cyprus settlement with Greece and Turkey. For text, see House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 5th Series, vol. 597, cols. 343–347.
  4. On December 18 at the joint request of Averoff and Zorlu, Foot commuted the death sentences of two Greek Cypriot terrorists.