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The demand for the inter-Balkan cooperation
The inter-Balkan rapproachement
The Balkan TreatyThe range of the inter-Balkan cooperation

The country's international relations

The Greek foreign policy, 1936-1944

The Balkan Treaty

The Balkan peninsula was in itself a miniature of the European system, reproducing the conventional division between pro-system (states supporting the settlement of the Peace Treaties of 1919-20) and revisionist (countries opposing the post-1918 territorial arrangement) states. In consequence, from the beginning of the effort for an inter-Balkan cooperation, problems of cohesion became apparent. In spite of their bilateral differences, Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey (after the Lausanne and Montreau Treaties) and Rumania were interested in upholding the territorial status quo in the Balkan region, seeking only minor adjustments to their benefit. On the other hand, Bulgaria stubbornly refused to participate in an agreement which rested upon her acceptance of the (unfavourable for Bulgaria) Neuilly Treaty as permanent territorial formula for her frontiers.

Consequently, the Treaty for the formation of the Balkan Entente was signed by the four pro-system states, without the consent of Bulgaria, in Belgrade, in February 1934. In a similar fashion to the Little Entente of central Europe (consisting of a series of new states which were created after the First World War), the Balkan states were committed to safeguarding the existing territorial arrangement and to consulting with each other for matters of common interest. The Treaty would be of a two-year duration initially with the possibility of being renewed. The signatories made clear that the Treaty was by no means directed against Bulgaria, which was invited to join the Balkan Entente at a more appropriate for her time.

As often mentioned, the initiative of creating this alliance corresponded mainly to the interests and aspirations of the French policy. In this sense, it was practically undermined by the rest of the Great Powers to the extent that the alliance upset the already existing balance.

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