July 15, 1959

COLD WAR: Geneva – US Secretary of State Christian Herter told his Russian counterpart Andrei Gromyko today that the USA was ready to move quickly toward a meeting of heads of state if the Berlin problem was settled and its freedom guaranteed. This statement, which has the consent of the other Western allies, places the Soviets in the dilemma of whether to abandon their prevarications and to respond to Western concessions or to appear intransigent and confirm the West’s accusations that it really does not want to reach a peaceful agreement, despite its repeated propaganda to the contrary. Gromyko’s speech at today’s meeting of four foreign ministers was unusually constructive and created the impression that the meeting is entering a new phase of serious negotiations. This impression is further boosted by the scheduling of a private meeting today between the British and Russian delegates, and a lunch tomorrow between the four ministers in secret diplomatic talks. KAROLOS KOUN: Theater director Karolos Koun is to present his rendition of Aristophanes’ comedy «The Birds» as part of events for the Athens Festival next month.