June 17, 1959

GREECE-YUGOSLAVIA: Yesterday’s talks in Athens between Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Averof and his Yugoslav counterpart Koca Popovic focused on the international situation and its various effects on the Balkan region. The two sides once more agreed on the need to safeguard and promote their two countries’ traditionally friendly relations, irrespective of their different social, political and economic systems. Common interests arising from historical traditions and the current political need for «active coexistence» between Greece and Yugoslavia were discussed as the only example in the world of relations between two countries with different social and political structures, that were nevertheless able to put aside their differences and promote common areas of political and national interest. Each of the two countries has a different opinion of the Soviet proposals concerning a missile-free zone but despite this, each understands the other side’s need for a different policy on a «missile-free» Balkans. A joint communique is likely to be issued this afternoon after the conclusion of the official talks.