U.S. President Jimmy Carter's special envoy clark Clifford has completed the first stage of his?
GV INTERIOR Premier's office Athens - special U.S. envoy Clark Clifford hands Greek Premier Karamanlis letter from President Carter
GV Clark Clifford and U.S. party
GV Karamanlis folds letter and puts it into envelope
GV Clifford and Karamanlis on steps of Premier's office - Clifford delivers speech
TRANSCRIPT: CLIFFORD: As President Carter comes into office he has been made aware of the fact that difficulties exist in the eastern Mediterranean, and that there are problems between two of our NATO allies. It is his wish to get a full report from these countries so that the United States can then form its policy. Because it is not bound by previous policies it may have the right to change them if it chooses. But in any event the wish of the United States is that it shall conduct itself with reference to its NATO allies so that not only will the alliance be preserved but that also difficulties and disagreements among its allies can hopefully be settled.
Disputed between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus, and over rights in the Aegean ??? where big oil reserves may lie, threatens the integrity of NATO's southern flank. Mr Karamanlis said that both issues were disputed with Mr Clifford, as were issues concerning Greek relations with NATO???. Greece says it might reconsider its attitude to NATO if it is satisfied on the Cyprus issue, and Mr Clifford's visit was to assess how the U.S. can help. Mr Karamanlis said Mr Clifford had not brought any proposals - he wished simply to be briefed on the various problems and to give the Greek government's views to President Carter. Mr Clifford was scheduled to fly to Turkey on Sunday (20 February) then on to Cyprus.
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Background: U.S. President Jimmy Carter's special envoy clark Clifford has completed the first stage of his eastern Mediterranean fact finding tour which began in Greece at the end of last week. The 70-year-old former Defence Secretary held talks with Greek leaders on Friday (18 February) aimed at mending relations between Greece and Turkey, whose disagreements threaten NATO's defences in the area. Greece withdrew from NATO's military wing when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupied some 40 per cent of the island.
SYNOPSIS: Greek premier Constantine Karamanlis was given a personal message from President Carter at the start of the two hour talks at the Prime Minister's office in Athens. Foreign Minister Dimitrios Bitsios also took part.
The talks followed last week's agreement by Greek and Turkish Cypriots to resume talks in Vienna next month. Afterwards Mr Clifford described his mission.