President Ford–Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet memcon (August 24, 1974)
THE WHITE HOUSE
MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION
- His Excellency Jacques Kosciusko-Morizet, Ambassador of France
President Gerald Ford
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
- DATE AND TIME:
- Saturday, August 24, 1974
10:05 a. m.
- Oval Office
The White House
[There was initial small talk about golf and Burning Tree]
President Ford: It's nice to see you again. I appreciated the message from the President.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: I am going to see President Giscard next week and wanted to take to him any thoughts you have. We appreciate the work Secretary Kissinger has done and the United States' role in a strong Alliance. It is a rare situation -- with Schmidt and Giscard d'Estaing coming in and now you. There were opportunities missed in the past.
President Ford: We are all facing a serious problem of inflation.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: It is a problem for Giscard to reduce inflation and to get the balance of payments in balance. President Giscard is eager to have contact with you. Before an official visit it would be good to have same personal contact.
President Ford: Henry has spoken of having a personal meeting early in 1975. I understand he will be in Martinique.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: I don't know the dates. He wanted to know your intentions first.
President Ford: If you would pass on my willingness to President Giscard, we can begin preparations now for a meeting there.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: I will be happy to.
President Ford: We are pleased at the improvement of our relations recently. It didn't look so good a while back, but now it is looking much better.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: It is not so much a change as a restoration.
Secretary Kissinger: Only one year was bad, with your President sick and Jobert.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: Maybe our aspirations were too high and our disappointments too deep.
President Ford: At this time we would hope we can work with you and the Alliance to keep the Soviet Union from meddling in the Greek-Turkish situation.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: There is no anti-American element in our Greek policy, but we know there is much Greek frustration, and we are supporting Karamanlis to keep him from the pressures of the left and the Soviet Union.
President Ford: Movement of the Soviet Union into this problem would not be in Greek, Alliance, or your or our interest. We are not abandoning Greece. We are faced with pragmatic problems. We are hoping that arrangements can be worked out in a way to keep the Soviet Union out.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: Nor have we abandoned Turkey. They suffered a lot in Cyprus.
Secretary Kissinger: I told Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet yesterday that we would use our influence on the Turks to stay close to the Alliance. Greek intransigence would make this more difficult. This morning we talked about the Soviet proposal. That would not be in anyone's interest. We don't know your position but we would oppose it.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: It shouldn't be in any larger forum than the Security Council. It might be possible to avoid the Security Council, but certainly it shouldn't be a larger conference. We could oppose it on that basis.
Secretary Kissinger: That is a good idea -- so long as we stick together in the Security Council.
Ambassador Kosciusko-Morizet: I have much experience with the UN.
President Ford: Henry and I discussed today: On the subject of the discussions initiated last fall, we would like to have them resumed if Giscard is interested.