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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 17, 1967

EXPLANATORY REPORT, ATTACHMENT TO 'THE NEAR EAST SITUATION AND OUR FURTHER PROCEDURE'

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    Excerpts describing Czechoslovakian and other Eastern Bloc countries' involvement in the Six-Day War.
    "Explanatory Report, Attachment to 'The Near East Situation and Our Further Procedure'," June 17, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Archives Prague/UV KSC Predsednictvo 1966-1971/02_, sv. 37, aj. 37, b. 28. Obtained by Jan Koura and translated for CWIHP by David Růžička. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/144972
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Explanatory report

Based upon the discussions and the conclusions from the discussion in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from June 13, 1967 regarding cde. A. Novotný's report on the meeting of first secretaries of communist and workers parties and heads of governments from European socialist countries in Moscow, the commission established by the Presidium presents an evaluation of the situation emerged due to the Israeli aggression against the United Arab Republic and other Arab states. The aim is to draw at least some lessons and definitely confirm the conclusions for our own joint strategy together with the other socialist countries for the nearest future. Another purpose of these proposals is to give an impulse for the fundamental study and the work on crucial issues of the anti-imperialist, anti-colonial and national-liberation movement and its relation to the socialist system as well as the revolutionary workers movement in capitalist countries. The respective document (without purely internal passages) would be handed over to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) including the request for the CPSU expressing its opinion to the evaluation of this situation and including the request to consider how to provide for apt forms of providing for the socialist countries proceeding jointly in important issues – in this case, how to unify the activities of political and material help for the United Arab Republic, Syria, and possibly Algeria.

[…]

On the USSR's and the other socialist countries' attitude during the armed conflict

The government of the USSR has attentively been following the development of events in the Near and Middle East and right from the onset, it declared its will to help the threatened Arab countries – Syria and the United Arab Republic. Eager to help these countries and to prevent war thunder, it made several declarations demonstrating the background of Israeli plans and that the imperialist circles Israel is serving were hungry for prey. The Soviet Union's support for the Arab countries' justified claims is also visible at the UN where the USSR clearly and openly demands that the Israeli aggression be condemned and Israeli armed forces withdrawn behind the ceasefire line valid prior to the outbreak of the hostilities. The Soviet government has been coordinating its approach right from the beginning of the current conflict with the delegations from the United Arab Republic and other countries.

The lack in the joint proceeding was due to the fact that the United Arab Republic didn't consult some steps it intended to do in advance – especially as far as the Gulf of Aqaba is concerned.

With exception of the Romanian Socialist Republic that confined itself to calling both parties to stop fighting, also other socialist countries strictly condemned the Israeli aggression expressing their full solidarity and support to the Arab states.

The Moscow declaration made by representatives of parties and governments from seven European socialist countries made on June 9, became an important act. This declaration significantly impressed especially the USA that tried to find out through its UN delegates how seriously it is meant and how far the socialist countries are willing to go.

Also the fact that the USSR, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Bulgarian Socialist Republic interrupted its diplomatic relationships with Israel on June 10, the Polish Liberal Republic and the Hungarian People's Republic on 12.6. and the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia on 13.6. strictly pointed out that the socialist countries are determined to fulfill their commitments towards the national liberation movement in the Arab states. These joint steps undoubtedly played an important role in halting the Israeli aggression under conditions that were highly unfavorable to the Arab states.

The Czechoslovak participation in helping the Arab states prior to the conflict

In its relations to Arab states such as the United Arab Republic, Syria, the Algerian Democratic People's Republic – the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic builds upon the fact that these are countries putting through a consistently anti-imperialist and anti-colonial policy and they are trying to achieve full independence with their development showing elements of a transition period between capitalism and socialism.

Thus, Czechoslovak support consists in strengthening their effort to become economically more independent and in fueling the societal and social transition which in turn is the result of the liberation revolution.

We focused on helping them in their effort to industrialize their national economy on the basis of using their natural resources and building up their own industry base. The aid in this sense contained especially supplies of very different kinds of industrial equipment and investment units linked to credits offered at favorable conditions, which as far as the United Arab Republic, Syria and Iraq are concerned, and together with special material, equaled a total of 1.35 billion Czechoslovak Koruna trade parity from 1967.

Also the economic and scientific-technical cooperation, the vast business exchange, preparations of staff for the national economy and aptly educated in politics etc. plays an important role.

The cooperation in the military sphere became a very important aspect of aid provided to these countries, particularly special material supplies that broke the imperialist countries' monopoly in 1955 laid down the foundation for an extended cooperation. Since then, several contracts have been concluded both on further special technology deliveries and the dispatching of experts or the training of military specialist in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

Cooperation is developing also in the cultural area where it covers several topics. Mostly, it's being regulated by executing plans, concluded according to cultural agreements. Apart from this, there are also individual contracts and agreements between partners (Czechoslovak Cultural Center in the United Arab Republic, radio broadcasting, television etc.) on the exchange of programs, cooperation and mutual aid. Also educating young specialists in Czechoslovak universities is of significant importance and it is one of the most effective forms of influencing public opinion in the Arab countries in favor of the countries within the socialist system and in favor of socialism itself.

Our republic's opinion at the time of the conflict

Like other socialist countries, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic reacted very rapidly and operatively on the development of the situation right from the start of the Near and Middle East crisis. This was demonstrated by the declaration made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 25. The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic declared its full support to the Arab peoples against the worldwide imperialism conspiracy and Israeli aggression-

When the conflict broke out, the government's opinion was again published on 6.6. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' declaration. The total support of the peoples in Arab states was declared together with the demand for a withdrawal behind the ceasefire lines. This attitude was highly appreciated by Arab states ambassadors in Prague who stressed the importance of Czechoslovak aid during their visits at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

When Israel continued fighting in spite of UN resolutions and went on expanding the conquered territory, the Israeli chargé d' affaires in Prague handed in the Israeli Prime Minister's Eshkol's message at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed to the President of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and to the Head of the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic where he asked the Czechoslovak government to condemn the aggression Arab countries committed in relation to Israel. The Ministry of Foreign affairs gave the chargé d' affaires its reply on June 8 where the Czechoslovak government accused Israel of being responsible for unleashing the fights, urgently requesting it to immediately stop the unlawful aggression warning that despising UN resolutions significantly threatens the relations between the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and Israel.

Yet Israel ignored this notice. Therefore, the Czechoslovak government decided on 10.6. in line with the Moscow declaration and as an answer to the Arab states request, to interrupt diplomatic relationships with Israel like the USSR as a protest against Israel breaking the fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter. The heads of the Embassies of Arab states in Prague thanked for the Czechoslovak government's determined step and the support the government provides to the Arab people when visiting jointly the 1st Secretary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. J. Pudlák.

On 10.6., President Antonín Novotný sent Gamal Abdel Nasser a telegram greeting where he assured him of our total support - in connection to the United Arab Republics Nations Assembly's decision that the President remains in office.