183. Letter From President Carter to Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis1

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

In our meetings together I have been impressed by our common agreement on one vital fact: that the United States and Greece have a fundamental interest in the maintenance and strengthening of our mutual ties. Over the last four years you have made a lasting contribution toward that goal.

Together we can do much more, and I hope it will now be possible to take new steps to increase the range and depth of our bilateral relationship as well as to expand our cooperation in regional and global issues. Deputy Secretary Christopher’s visit to Athens is an important part of this effort, and I was therefore pleased that you have agreed to receive him and are taking a personal and direct interest in his mission.2

I have instructed Mr. Christopher to discuss in depth the entire spectrum of our relations. I want you to know how we perceive areas of mutual concern, and I will welcome your own analysis and suggestions regarding these matters. As you know, we have continued to work actively for the return of Greece to the NATO integrated command structure on a basis acceptable to Greece and the Alliance. In Cyprus, we are convinced that there is now a chance for real progress if all parties concerned make the necessary effort. We believe Greek-Turkish differences in the Aegean must be settled peacefully, and the United States, as you know, would actively and unequivocally oppose any resort to force in the area.

Fortunately, the Greek-American relationship rests on mutual ties and interests that go beyond the political issues which so often occupy our attention. It is my hope that Mr. Christopher’s mission will also help lay the foundations for a broadened official relationship that more fully reflects how much we have in common. I hope significant progress will be made toward more effective cooperation in economic, scientific, cultural and technical fields so that we can address together many of the major challenges facing modern democracies.

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America’s most important relationships are those with its democratic allies. I look forward to the next occasion when I will be able to meet with you and have the benefit of your thoughts and wisdom.

With warmest personal regards.

Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders File, Box 7, Greece: Prime Minister Constantine Caramanlis, 2/77–10/79. No classification marking.
  2. In telegram 9177 from Athens, October 20, the Embassy reported that Christopher’s visit was the top news story in Athens. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780431–0058)