140. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey 0

2644. Ankara’s 2325 and Belgrade’s 773.1 Any significant reactivation Balkan Pact at present juncture appears unlikely for reasons pointed out Belgrade’s 773. Question requires careful study moreover whether renewed emphasis on Pact as military instrument would be in Western interest at this time in context Soviet efforts lessen Tito’s influence among Asians and Africans by depicting him as ally and tool of “imperialists.”

Appears clear however that quite apart from Balkan Pact, encouragement amicable relations among Pact members in Western interest and important for continuing stability in area. Informal Tito stopover in Turkey might contribute significantly this aim. We of course recognize that Turks best judge of this and that matter is one, particularly in present sensitive state Yugoslav-Turkish relations, on which decision must rest entirely with Turks. On other hand believe would be useful should suitable occasion arise for Embassy inquire casually and informally [Page 371] whether GOT has given thought inviting Tito stop briefly Turkey during his current travels.2 If query elicits counter question re US attitude, Embassy may state USG would welcome development if GOT deems time and circumstances propitious.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 768.11/2–1459. Confidential. Drafted by Sutterlin and approved by Kohler. Repeated to Athens, Belgrade, Iskenderun, Istanbul, Izmir, London, Paris, and Rome.
  2. In telegram 2325, February 13, the Ambassador in Turkey suggested that the United States “discreetly” encourage the Turkish Government to invite Tito to visit Turkey in hopes of a resuscitation of the Balkan Pact. (Ibid., 768.11/2–1359) In telegram 773, February 14, Ambassador Rankin reported that “acute Yugoslav sensitivity” at any suggestion of the revival of the Balkan Pact would preclude Tito from accepting an invitation to visit Turkey. (Ibid., 768.11/2–1459)
  3. Tito visited Indonesia, Burma, Ceylon, Ethiopia, the Sudan, the United Arab Republic, and Greece on a December 2, 1958–March 4, 1959, trip.
  4. The Turkish Government did not extend an official invitation for a visit by Tito.