195. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Turner to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Brzezinski1


  • Greek Ambassador Tzounis’ Views on Greek Tactics in Dealing with the U.S. Government (S)

1. Attached for your information is a report of Greek Ambassador Tzounis’ ideas for a change in tactics in dealing with the U.S. Government. [1 line not declassified] who talked with him in mid-October 1979. [2 lines not declassified] (S)

2. I am forwarding copies of this report to Secretary Brown, Secretary Vance, and Ambassador McCloskey in Athens. (U)

Stansfield Turner
[Page 596]


Report Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency3



  • Greek Ambassador Tzounis’ Views on Greek Tactics in Dealing with the U.S. Government (S)

1. After almost four months in Washington, Greek Ambassador to the United States Ioannis Tzounis has decided that the Government of Greece should reappraise its manner of handling foreign policy disputes with the United States Government. Tzounis is convinced that the Greek Government has placed too much faith in good relations with the American Congress while allowing relations to deteriorate with the Executive Branch, and particularly the State Department and the White House. Tzounis believes the Greek Government, in what he terms as a serious misjudgment of the American political scene, does not realize how unpopular it has become with senior American foreign policy makers. (S)

2. Tzounis was first made aware of his country’s problems with the U.S. Government when he delivered a letter from Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis to President Carter at the time that Tzounis presented his credentials.4 The letter was an attempt on the part of Karamanlis to reiterate to President Carter Greek problems as they relate to Turkey, military reintegration into NATO, and Greek internal affairs.

3. Not only has the Karamanlis letter not been answered by the U.S. Government, but Tzounis has been informed by “close friends in the White House” that the letter was very badly received and created great anger on the part of some senior American officials. In addition Tzounis has been informed, by people he considers to be close friends of Greece throughout the American Government, that Greece’s previous policy of confrontation with the Executive Branch, in both the preceding and present administrations, has only created extremely deep anti-Greek attitudes on the part of many senior American officials. In addition, Tzounis has decided that the previous Greek policy of working exclusively with the so-called “Greek Lobby” in Congress has failed, as evidenced in the final outcome of the Turkish embargo issue, and that it was portrayed to Athens as a foreign policy weapon with far more power than it truly has. (S)

[Page 597]

4. In outlining his thoughts for a new foreign policy approach to the American Government, Tzounis strongly criticized the Greek Government for seeking “confrontation” with consecutive American administrations. He felt that Greek policy in the future should be one of verbal cooperation with the American administration. He would like to present the Greek position fairly and without emotion to senior administration officials, while at the same time adopting the posture that “we are on the same side.” Tzounis particularly felt that Greece must recognize the importance of Turkey to the American administration and make peace with the issue. He said that the Greek Government should indicate its interest in assisting the Americans on the Turkish problem while proclaiming the importance of Turkey to the West. He felt that a self-proclaimed friendly Greece offering their closest ally, the United States, support in the Eastern Mediterranean would be received with open arms in Washington. Tzounis stated that such a change in policy approach in Washington would eventually be most welcome to the friends of Greece in Congress who are disturbed by what they perceive as an almost anti-American attitude on the part of the Karamanlis Government. (S)

5. Tzounis hopes to present his thoughts in the form of a personal recommendation to Foreign Minister Rallis sometime before the end of the year. At that time he would hope to meet with Prime Minister Karamanlis to discuss these proposals. In the meantime Tzounis has begun a systematic series of briefings of senior American officials, including officials at various levels in the U.S. Defense Department. He hopes by doing these briefings he will be able to take much of the emotion out of Greek-U.S. relations. Tzounis recognizes, however, that if his suggestions are not accepted in Athens, possibly for internal Greek political reasons, he will have little further influence there. (S)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Horn/Special, Box 4, 11/79. Secret; Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals; Not Releasable to Contractors or Contractor/Consultants; Dissemination and Extraction of Information Controlled by Originator.
  2. Turner signed “Stan” above this typed signature.
  3. Secret.
  4. See Document 193.