September 27, 1953

GREECE-ITALY: Rome, 25 – The joint communique issued this evening after the conclusion of talks between the Greek prime minister, Field Marshal Alexandros Papagos, foreign minister, Mr. Stefanos Stefanopoulos, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Pella, along with the latter’s statements to the press, underlined three main issues: First the strengthening of bonds linking these two Mediterranean countries (…). Second, the fact that talks focused primarily on the Mediterranean region and the problems in Southeastern Europe (Trieste and the Balkan Pact). Third, that both countries decided to continue their defense efforts within the Atlantic framework. ACCORDING TO MONTGOMERY: (From a report by Ilias P. Dimitrakopuolos) – According to a reliable source, the results of the talks which Britain’s Field Marshal Montgomery held in Athens with Greek government officials and military chiefs, as well as the views Montgomery expressed publicly regarding the military organization of NATO member states, will be the object of a more general examination by the relevant officials in the governments of the US and Britain. (…) The Greek government emphasized that (…) as Greece has a 650-kilometer border with Bulgaria and Albania, and as Bulgaria possesses superior military might, the military views of the distinguished British guest cannot be accepted fully without a careful study of the entire issue.