June 16, 1956

GREECE-USSR: Within the next few days the new foreign minister of the Soviet Union, Mr Dimitri Sepilov, is to visit Athens. The visit was announced last week to the Greek foreign minister, Mr Evangelos Averoff, by the Soviet ambassador in Athens, Mr Sergeyev. It is an unofficial visit, to take place while Mr Sepilov is on route to visit Egypt. (…) When the Soviet minister’s imminent arrival was announced, the Greek government of Mr Constantine Karamanlis said that he was welcome and that he would have the opportunity to meet with both the prime minister and the foreign minister, as he had requested. It was self-evident, the government announced, that the Greek government could not refuse to talk to the Soviet minister, first of all, for the simple reason that Greece has cordial diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Secondly, in receiving Mr Sepilov, Greece is not doing anything more than what its partners in the Atlantic alliance do; and they in fact have an exchange of official visits with leaders of the Soviet Union and carry out official diplomatic talks with them.

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