53. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Embassy in Greece 1

236950. Subject: Greek-NATO Negotiations. Ref: a) USNATO 5148 DTG 201410Z Sep 75, b) USNATO 5077 DTG 181005Z Sep 75, c) USNATO 5330 DTG 301933Z Sep 75, d) USNATO 2286 DTG 241807Z Apr 75 (Notal), e) USNATO 2635 DTG 121835Z May 75 (Notal).2 London pass to Mr. Hartman.

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We share disappointment expressed by other allies about overly general nature of Greece’s statement on its defense relations with NATO (ref b).3 Looking ahead to the process of continuing Greek- NATO discussions on this subject (ref c),4 following are considerations which are presented as a general frame of reference for addressee posts.
We are well aware of the obstacles in the present political environment to rapid progress on the Greece/NATO relationship. Accordingly, we are not optimistic that Greece will wish to cooperate in the rapid resolution of outstanding issues with NATO, and we recognize that there are probably limits on how fast US and others can force the pace, at least in the near future.
At the same time, we want to leave no misunderstanding with Greece or other allies about our strong view that Greece should resume its full responsibilities as a NATO member, and that productive discussions on this important subject should move forward. In the US view, the quality and integrity of the alliance must be preserved on the basis of unqualified participation, not on the basis of partial membership or special arrangements. In the specific case of Greece, our bilateral defense arrangements [less than 1 line not declassified] are intimately linked to the Greek role in NATO.
Further, we appreciate Turkey’s concerns with major questions posed by ambiguous Greek role in NATO, including early warning, communications, and problems of command and control in southeastern Europe. These problems would be best worked out in cooperation with Greece, and through Greece’s return to the NATO military structure. They are, however, questions that cannot be postponed indefinitely, and Greece should be kept aware of this fact. We are encouraged that Greece, in its September 17 statement, said that practical military arrangements in these areas can and will be found.
Against this background, we believe the US suggestion (ref a) that an open-ended ad hoc group under the DPC address the Greek- NATO relationship is a positive one, providing a forum which will keep Greece aware of US and allied views, and permit movement toward resolution of issues, while at the same time allowing greater flexibility than the more formal DPC framework. Similarly, we believe the suggestion (ref a) by the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee that, in [Page 181] parallel with the work of this ad hoc group, SACEUR/SHAPE work privately with Greece on specific military problems, is also positive. Conceptually, we can divide major problems in the Greece-NATO military relationship into two categories. One focuses on the commitment of Greek forces to NATO. The other relates to NATO’s requirements for an orderly defense structure in southeastern Europe, including questions of command and control, early warning, and communications, as underscored by Turkey. To the extent that NATO, through SACEUR, can develop with Greece a more satisfactory pattern of provisional arrangements in both categories, while at the same time exploring avenues for future progress and resolution, we believe these problems can be eased for a time. The US will of course wish to be kept well informed of the status of the Greece-SACEUR discussions.
Mission may draw on paras. 3–5 as appropriate with Luns, Greek Delegation, and other allies. Mission may also point out that Greece some time ago presented a paper on its future NATO relationship which was informally discussed with a small group of allies (refs. c and d). We are disappointed that results of these discussions were not reflected in the Greek presentation September 17. Athens should also find occasion to outline these views to GOG, including especially that portion of para. 3 on US-Greek bilateral defense relationships.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 84, Athens Embassy Files: Lot 96 F 335, Box 1, DEF 4–6, 1975 Greek Withdrawal. Secret; Priority. Repeated Priority to all NATO capitals, Nicosia, USNMR SHAPE, USCINCEUR, and USDOCOSOUTH.
  2. None printed. (All ibid.)
  3. As reported in telegram 5148, during the September 17 meeting of the NAC, the Greek representative described the background of the Greek decision to change its relationship with NATO and his country’s sense that it had to look out for itself, without the help of allies, against a menace from within the alliance.
  4. As reported in telegram 5330, Luns met with the Greek representative who had stated that Greece would offer proposals in October for the evolution of its military relationship with NATO as a basis for negotiations.