54. Memorandum of Conversation1
- President Ford
- Amb. Jack B. Kubisch, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
- Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
The President: It is good to see you again. How are things in Greece?[Page 182]
Kubisch: Much better than a year ago. We have a good government now. Karamanlis asked me to bring this letter. [He hands the President the letter, Tab A.]2 It is warm and friendly, but you can see how touchy and proud the Greeks are. He misunderstood one point about linking aid with going back into NATO. We have straightened it out.
The President: How are we doing on the aid negotiations?
Kissinger: Okay. We have offered a $30 million development loan. He wanted 100. We have now raised it to $65 million.
The President: Agriculture came in and asked for—how much?
Scowcroft: $250 million in economic aid.
Kissinger: Our total now comes to $225.
Scowcroft: But that is not on the same basis.
Kissinger: True. There is no way we can give them that much. They are really not entitled to economic aid.
[Discussion of aid budget submission.]
The President: You know what a problem we had getting the embargo lifted. Do you think the Greeks will negotiate?
Kubisch: By all means. They just want to get it out of the way. Cyprus is 500 miles away and is solely an emotional problem. They want it out of the way and will concede any reasonable terms. If there is no settlement, the prospect of a war in the Aegean is high, and the Greeks can’t afford that.
The President: How about the refugees?
Kissinger: Solving the territorial issue will solve most of that. The big problem will be Makarios and the weak central government. The best would be to get Makarios to sign it.
Kubisch: That is right. Unless Makarios blesses it, the Greeks won’t accept it. Karamanlis thinks if we can do something within 60 days or so, he has enough leverage to force him to agree.
The President: Give the Prime Minister my best wishes.
Kubisch: If Cyprus is settled and the bilateral things get settled, it would be good to cap it with a Karamanlis visit here.
The President: It would be good politics here also. Maybe next summer.
Kissinger: All it takes is good will. There is little to settle.