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205. Memorandum From Robert Blackwill of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1

SUBJECT

  • Greek Re-integration into NATO

Bernie Rogers is very close to closing a deal on this matter. Although he continues to hide his cards from us, he was last week only a few words short of an agreement which both the Greeks and Turks could buy. His solution to the problem is apparently fuzzy and defers the Command Boundary decision which is the most contentious issue between the two sides.

Meanwhile the Greeks have launched an all out offensive designed to force us to put overwhelming pressure on the Turks. We have received from the British the attached letter at Tab I from Rallis to the President which was given to Mrs. Thatcher during her visit to Athens earlier this week.2 As you will see, it in effect says if there is no resolution of the NATO Re-integration issue soon, the Greeks will close U.S. military facilities in Greece. The timing of this ultimatum is a function of the Greek judgment that they now have maximum influence over us because of our election, and that it is obligatory to get this issue out of the way before the Greek pre-election campaign begins in earnest at the end of the year. The election will probably occur in May or June of next year.

We have told Rogers that we are available should he conclude that he needs outside help to finish the agreement. He has not yet asked for such assistance. It would be useful for us to reaffirm that offer to Rogers after Muskie’s bilateral meetings in New York tomorrow with the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers.3

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 16, Greece: 1978–1980. Secret. A stamped notation on the first page of the memorandum reads “ZB has seen” and is dated September 26.
  2. The letter at Tab I is Document 204.
  3. In his meeting with Muskie on September 26, Mitsotakis noted that Greece was continuing its dialogue with the new military government of Turkey, which had taken power on September 12, regarding the “top priority” of Greek reintegration into NATO. The Foreign Minister also said that his government was operating on the idea that the Turkish Generals now in control would appreciate the “military importance” of reintegration. Muskie replied that he and Carter were “troubled” that the reintegration issue was not making progress and that if U.S. access to its bases in Greece were compromised it would “impair our ability to defend the Eastern Mediterranean and the Southeastern flank of NATO.” (Telegram Secto 8032, September 27; National Archives, RG 59, Subject Files of Edmund S. Muskie, 1963–1981, Lot 83D66, Box 2, unlabeled folder) For Muskie’s meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Türkmen, see Document 156.