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Enlarged Photograph (64kB)

The demand for the inter-Balkan cooperation

The country's international relations
Bilateral relations with Turkey and ItalyRelations with Yugoslavia
Contacts with Britain
The policy of 'equidistance'

The Greek foreign policy, 1936-1944

Bilateral relations with Turkey and Italy

The Greek-Turkish relations became an item of grave importance after the watershed of 1922 (abandonment of the "Great Idea" after the defeat in Asia Minor). The efforts to achieve a framework of peaceful coexistence came to a successful conclusion with the Treaty of Non-aggression, Conciliation and International Arbitration, signed in October 1930. The improvement in the relations of the two countries had began to become apparent since the end of the 1920s and continued into the following decade, not only on a purely bilateral level but also within the context of the Balkan Entente.

Big improvements were registered in the relations between Greece and Italy. The conclusion of a series of commercial agreements from 1926 onwards, and especially the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Conciliation in 1928 put an end to a period of tension in the relations between the two countries since the time of the Corfu Incident (1923). Italy had attempted to achieve the signing of a tripartite treaty with Greece and Turkey, something which, however, never materialised, leading instead to two separate bilateral agreements between Italy and the two Balkan countries.

The significance of these agreements was different for each of the two countries. Greece succeeded in smoothing out her relations with her two strongest neighbouring states, as a step towards the restoration of stability in eastern Mediterranean. Italy, on the other hand, sought the extension of her alliances in the wider Mediterranean region, but at the same time maintained friendly relations with Bulgaria, thus encouraging her revisionist tendencies and aspirations. This double tactics explains to a great extent the tepid reaction of the Fascist regime to the Balkan Treaty, which seemed to counter Italy's ambitions to play an active diplomatic role in the region, and was interpreted as an attempt to isolate the revisionist Bulgaria.

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