248. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco) to the Acting Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Walsh)1


  • Appointment for Andreas Papandreou
[Page 631]

I have just heard that Henry Kissinger telephoned you to report that he has had a request to receive Andreas Papandreou.2 I have weighed all the pertinent factors and decided on balance not to receive him.

Although I basically believe in maintaining an open-door policy on receiving visitors, this case seemed very special. Mr. Papandreou has attacked the U.S. role in Greece in public statements on a number of occasions. He might exploit an appointment to bolster his standing among potential Greek émigré leaders. He is a controversial person who, as head of the Pan-Hellenic Liberation Movement, last year entered into an agreement with a known Greek Communist, Mr. Brillakis. We estimate the majority of Greek-American opinion in this country is unsympathetic to Mr. Papandreou. The Greek regime at this point would be very sensitive to any recognition given by the Department or the White House to Mr. Papandreou.

I strongly believe that we should hold to the same line at State and at the White House on this subject. I would appreciate it if you would convey Stateʼs position on this matter to Mr. Kissinger.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 30–2 GREECE. Confidential. Drafted by Brewster and cleared by Handley.
  2. According to a May 8 memorandum from Saunders to Moose: “Larry Eagleburger …requested… [a] memorandum for the sole purpose of having the State Department recommendation in the file here. HAK has already decided not to see Papandreou.” (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 593, Country Files—Middle East, Greece, Vol. I Jan 69–Oct 70) A copy of the May 7 Department of State memorandum recommending against a Papandreou meeting is ibid.
  3. A handwritten notation by Sisco at the bottom of the memorandum reads: “John, assuming Secretary agrees with my companion memo.” The May 2 memorandum to Rogers outlined Siscoʼs opposition to receiving Papandreou. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 GREECE)