135. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis 1

K: I am sorry to disturb you in the night, Mr. Prime Minister. I first of all wanted to tell you I am sending you a message but I have just had one of many conversations with the Turkish Prime Minister2 and he has told me they are going to stop military operations tomorrow at 12:00 noon Washington time and I wanted to tell you that we will hold them to this promise.

C [Caramanlis]: They will complete it at 12:00 tomorrow?

K: They will have completed it.

C: They will complete until tomorrow their plans [change?].

K: Well this I cannot judge. But we will in any event take an active role in the negotiations from now on.

C: I am going to think about this but I am afraid that after this fait accompli it will be a little difficult.

K: We have issued another strong statement today condemning the Turkish action…3

C: I have heard.

K:…from the White House and I just wanted to tell you, Mr. Prime Minister, we will do everything to strengthen your position and show our friendship for Greece.

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C: I appreciate it but I am afraid it is a little late. As I said the Turks have created a fait accompli.

K: Well this…we have to see what can be done now.

C: Unintelligible…to avoid this you know… inaudible…under the threats and… inaudible.

K: I understand this and we are opposed to it.

C: I beg your pardon?

K: We are opposed to a policy of military pressure.

C: Why? As you know, Turkey doesn’t understand the advice in Europe and in your opinion what are they going to do?

K: Well, they have offered to negotiate.

C: After the fait accompli they want to talk. But it is difficult for us to.

K: Well, let me see whether I can think of a procedure. Would you be prepared to pay a visit to the United States?

C: Who?

K: You.

C: I don’t think because you know it is difficult for me to leave the country. We have many problems. The people are very bitter, angry, the armies are upset. It is difficult to leave the country. Maybe a little later, but just now it is impossible.

K: Well, I am sure that maybe our President will be in touch with you tomorrow by cable.

C: Who?

K: President Ford. And let us see perhaps what can be done.

C: Mr. Secretary, I believe you have to get out Turks. The Turks … If they don’t get rid of this obsession it is difficult to get agreement.

K: We will consider it very seriously. I didn’t quite understand what you said.

C: I said the Turks… inaudible…if they don’t get rid of this obsession, it is very difficult to get an agreement.

K: With that I agree. There can be no further pressures.

C: But in spite of that the Turks have broken everything. The Greek people think… inaudible… bit late. Without giving instructions to the public it is very, very difficult for me to begin again talks.

K: Yes, I understand.

C: Mr. Secretary there is a climate very difficult.

K: Let me report this to the President and we will be in touch with you tomorrow.

C: Yes. I will be here. Yes, thank you.

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K: Mr. Prime Minister if you have any proposal we would look at it very seriously as to what should be done.

C: In my opinion you have to do something more than give advice to the Turks.

K: If you have any concrete suggestion, we would be prepared to look at it very seriously.

C: I am going to answer your message today.4

K: Good. I look forward to hearing from you Mr. Prime Minister. Good night.

C: Good night.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 385, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. Kissinger was in Washington; Karamanlis was in Athens.
  2. See Document 134.
  3. See footnote 4, Document 133.
  4. No record of a response has been found.