297. Backchannel Message From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Greece (Tasca)1

WH2108. During the Presidentʼs discussions with Lopez-Bravo in Spain,2 Bravo expressed an interest in improving Spanish relations with Greece. The President assured Lopez-Bravo that he would attempt to be as helpful as possible in facilitating the improvement of relations between the two governments.

In view of the foregoing, the President would like you, sometime in the near future, to find a convenient excuse to visit Spain with the view toward meeting with Lopez-Bravo. From your perspective as U.S. Ambassador to Greece you could exchange ideas on how best to assist in the improvement of relations and in making Greece feel that in the Mediterranean area they have a friend in Spain.

This exchange with the Spanish is to be held exclusively between you, the President and myself. Would you please check your calendar and give me your views through this channel as to the feasibility of [Page 747] making a trip to Spain. I will then make arrangements for you to see Lopez-Bravo. I would also be grateful for any ideas you might have on steps which you or we here in Washington might be able to undertake to be helpful in this matter.3 Best wishes.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 423, Backchannel Files—Backchannel Messages, 1970–Europe, Mideast, Latin America. Top Secret; Exclusively Eyes Only.
  2. The President was in Spain October 2–3. For his discussion with Yugoslav President Tito, see Document 221. Additional documentation on the trip is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XLI, Western Europe; NATO, 1969–1972.
  3. In an unnumbered backchannel message, October 29, Tasca outlined a briefing he could deliver to Lopez Bravo on Greek affairs and the general situation in the Mediterranean. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 423, Subject File, Backchannel Files—Backchannel Messages, 1970–Europe, Mideast, Latin America) In telegram 57 from Athens, November 4, Tasca suggested a visit during the last part of November or early December. (Ibid.)