May 21, 1959

GREECE-ITALY: Rome, 20 – During tomorrow’s talks between the Greek and Italian foreign ministers, Evangelos Averof and Giuseppe Pella, the Greek position with regard to the Mediterranean pact will be determined in agreement with the Italian view. Greece believes a Mediterranean pact would be useful as long as the United Arab Republic and other Arab states participate. Under current circumstances however, this is not feasible and is likely to become even more difficult due to the differences between Israel and the Arab countries. According to Greek diplomatic sources, the Turks deny they had anything to do with a Turkish-Spanish plan for a Mediterranean pact. According to the Italian Communist Party newspaper L’Unita, Averof has made efforts to renew plans for an anti-communist Mediterranean accord between Italy, Greece and Turkey, which Spain might also be asked to join. Nevertheless, Italian Foreign Ministry officials have denied these reports, stressing that no such plan was discussed during the diplomatic talks held in the framework of the Greek royal couple’s visit to Italy. The Greek-Italian talks will also focus on economic relations, which are currently in Italy’s favor. Averof is expected to seek an increase in imports of Greek products to Italy, particularly tobacco.