REPORT ON THE RELATIONS OF THE SFRY – USA AND THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCILCITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationThe document assembles the results of two meetings in July 1964 on the relations between the SFRY and the USA. The assessment of a stagnation in the relations at the meeting with the president of the Federal Executive Council on July 3, is followed by the resolution to intensify contacts and bilateral relations in order to maintain Yugoslavia's prestige among the socialist countries. The meeting on July 6, solidifies the plans. The sixteen recommendations resulting from it relate to mutual visits of government officials, the settlement of open economic negotiations, an intensified international engagement, and the stronger presence of Yugoslav decision makers in the US press."Report on the relations of the SFRY – USA and the conclusions of the Federal Executive Council ," July 18, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Yugoslav Archives, Fond No. VOT, File. No. IX, Subject No. 109-V 1964. Translated for CWIHP by Tanja Rajic https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110112
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THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
CABINET OF THE PRESIDENT Extremely Confidential
I N F O R M A T I O N
At the meeting with the president of the Federal Executive Council held on July 3, 1964, the situation concerning the relations between the SFRY - USA was considered. Attending the meeting were: Veljko Zekovic, Milos Minic, Boris Krajger, Koca Popovic, Svetislav Stefanovic, Joze Brilej, Kiro Gligorov, Nikola Dzuverovic, Janez Vipotnik and Veljko Micunovic. At the meeting the following assessments and conclusions were reached:
The relations between the SFRY with the USA, following the exit from the crisis in which they were in 1962/63, now is stagnant and can be even considered to be concrete, but not satisfactory. The fact that they are today, when American behavior in the world arena is more positive (as a result of the understanding that the basic problems of the world cannot be solved through war), are worse than they were on the conditions of the cold war, when we succeeded not only to maintain acceptable, but even good relations with the USA.
It is especially apparent that our relations are stagnating at a time when the USA is beginning to develop intensive contacts with the countries of Eastern Europe.
It can be assumed that this is a result of the decrease in interests of the USA for Yugoslavia, firstly because of the fact that the USA is opening numerous and successful contacts with the USSR and with all of the eastern-European countries, especially as this has been made easier by the conflict between China-USSR and the tendency that all of the current relations are being sorted out between the eastern-European countries and the USSR on the basis of equality and mutual interests. But, even though it has to be accepted that the new possibilities that the USA has gained for dealing with the socialist world, this has changed in American eyes the simple importance of Yugoslavia, and the concrete actions of the government of the USA speak to this that in any event this has not occurred to a great extent, and that contrary to this, the basic interests in Yugoslavia remain. The position of the government of the USA with question to the clause of the most favored nation, along with the public assessment by American functionaries about the foreign policy of Yugoslavia -- is more acceptable for us than those given two years earlier, the public intervention of Rusk with Schroeder because of the relations of the SFRY with the Federal Republic of Germany are only the most important of these actions.
The explanation for this long term interest of the USA for Yugoslavia should be looked for in their expectations (of course for separate reasons) that Yugoslavia is an example and continues to work in the direction of speeding up the autonomy of countries of Eastern Europe from the USSR, as with the fact that the position of Yugoslavia among the nonaligned is increasingly more firm.
The main cause for the delay in Yugoslav-American relations this time can be found mostly on our side. Even though as policy it has nowhere been formulated, in practice we have to conclude that there has been to a degree a decrease in our interests. Although this is even more difficult to confirm through analysis of our public statements, it becomes clear in the lack of practical cooperation with the USA, meetings, consultations and other events when compared to the intensive development of relations with the socialist countries and with the countries of Africa and Asia. Because we are freeing ourselves of certain relations in which we directly depended on the USA -- wheat and other agricultural products, military shipments, credit for investment -- it has come about in practice to a insignificant importance which the USA, already with the fact that it is one of the two main global powers, and even without this specific relationship that is even after the end of assistance, they have to have for Yugoslavia especially because, it actively participates in the global politics.
Before the fact that Yugoslavia is a socialist country and that because of this it is understandably oriented toward separate close relations with the USSR and the Eastern-European countries, the geographic distance from the USA and the small trade activities continue to weaken the "presence" of the USA in our politics. Only in this way can the facts be explained, that, for example Italy and even west Germany are practically more "present" in our everyday politics than the USA. We do not have to specifically prove that this type of activities in continuing actions in our politics have created a certain regional character for (our policies) and continue to narrow them.
It can be shown that the small level of understanding between us and the USA on a number of global questions limits our possibilities of cooperation with the USA and our ability to influence their policies. In the meantime, this type of situation existed even before. Especially because despite these differences we could secure our interests in bilateral relations, and we could create that level of influences on the policies of the USA which was objectively possible, for this it is necessary to have an active relationship and greater initiatives than we have shown over the last period of time.
Significant efforts which we invest in order to further expand our relations with the countries of western Europe, with which we frequently have more conflicting questions than with the Americans, speak to the need and the possibility that this be done with the US as well.
Alongside important bilateral interests, our relations with the USA must not fall beyond a certain level, a danger that now exists, and because of this long term successful relations with the USA is one component of an independent international positioning of Yugoslavia and its prestige and its influence in other countries, including the socialist world.
Not overestimating the success of our earlier relations with the Americans, on the contrary considering the benefits of freedom from some aspects of "support" in which the USA earlier was necessary for us, now that no longer is the case or it is to a lesser extent (needed), it is considered that good relations with them are further necessary, among everything else also for the strengthening of our position between the nonaligned and in the socialist world, that is if we leave out that which the USA represents indirectly, that is in bilateral relations.
Every radical anti-Americanism from our side can only serve to scare the nonaligned and to serve as a factor of distancing from us, because they are all tied to the USA with significant interests. Our position is attractive to the nonaligned world, along with our progressive and speedy internal development, because through the current Yugoslav practice it has been shown that it is possible to have an independent foreign policy and with this at the same time maintain friendly relations with all the great powers. Our prestige among the nonaligned, regardless to the conflicts which individuals among them can have with the USA, would receive a heavy blow if an impression was created that our relations with the USA had for the long term worsened and that we, with respect to the great powers, had been forced to cooperate only with the USSR. This would with time without a doubt bring about the suspicion concerning our intention to lead nonaligned politics, and also the objective possibility of our independence.
Our position toward the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe also to a large extent depends on our successful relationship with the other countries in the world, including among the first the USA. We cannot count on the further strengthening of our position among the socialist countries in the case that to a meaningful degree we neglect our relations with the USA, because the interests of these countries for the development of relations with us cannot depend only on the assessment of whether we are honestly building socialism and similar (things), but in the first regard to the strength of the international position of the SFRY. Because of this it seems that it is necessary, especially in the moment that the socialist countries themselves are making unhidden efforts to improve their relations with the USA, that we along this line maintain our independence of actions and our degree of advantage.
Starting from the above assessment it is considered necessary that we begin to realize the measures that would practically align our politics with them. In this direction are directed the suggestions which, along with the agreement of the DSIP, were brought about by Ambassador V. Micunovic the President of the FEC.
In the first point of order it is necessary to secure certain political meetings and consultations. At this moment this would easily be accomplished by inviting the president of the international political committee of the Senate of the USA Fulbright that during the summer or autumn he visit Yugoslavia, as was earlier discussed with him and in general agreed to. In addition to this it would be necessary that during this year's meeting of the United Nations that the State Secretary, Koca Popovic attend (he has not participated in the last two), which would allow for the possibility for consultations at the appropriate levels with the American government.
In respect to the contacts of the American public, it is believed that the most useful and most efficient actions would be to have President Tito give an interview to the New York Times, which has already several times been asked for. In addition to this, it would be useful if someone of the most respected Yugoslav political personalities give an interview or (write) an article for a leading American political journal which as well has been asked for a number of times over the past few years.
In the context of the expressed facts it is believed that it is necessary that our press, and in the first row the leading papers as well as radio and television, begin to show with a greater political maturity and in greater context a treatment of the American policies and positions, both in our bilateral relations, as well as especially in the wider international arena. Leaving aside frontal and simplistic anti-Americanism does not assume the elimination of sharp criticism of American politics when, our interests or our principles desire this, but this would only make this more efficient.
1. Unanimously was accepted the detailed analysis and recommendations submitted on the part of the DSIP concerning the status of relations between the SFRY-USA.
2. It was concluded that the suggestions be given to the Executive Committee of the CC LCY that they in line with the preparation for the Eighth Congress of the LCY in their discussions concerning foreign affairs of our countries be found a place for the problem of the relations of the SFRY and USA. Since a discussion concerning this question can only begin in the month of September, it is necessary that until then the DSIP, together with the SSST and other agencies, on the basis of the agreed upon analysis concerning the current relations, that they prepare adequate suggestions.
3. It is concluded that under the presidency of Dr. Joza Brilej that the representatives of the interested agencies meet to consider the open actual questions in relations between the SFRY and the USA and that they suggest appropriate solutions.
In accordance with these conclusions under the presidency of Dr. Joza Brilej a meeting was held on July 6, 1964 and those present were: Kiro Gligorov, Marko Nikezic, Veljko Micunovic, M. Rajacic, Vujica Gajinovic and Iztok Zagar.
During this meeting the following decisions were reached:
1. It is recommended that a positive reply be given to the request of Pierre Salinger to be received on August 9 by the President of the Republic, in so much as the comrade President is in a position to accept this request.
2. It is recommended that as quickly as possible (orientationally around September through October of this year) an agreement on cultural exchanges known under the name of the Fulbright program be signed with the USA, given that the proposed agreement, with some modification that was brought into it successfully by the Yugoslav side, favors our country both from the political and the financial perspectives, and by not solving this question for years this has strained interstate relations between the SFRY - USA. Likewise, it is recommended that the FEC send an invitation to Fulbright to come to Yugoslavia for the signing of the agreement. By realizing this recommendation the possibility will be opened for one of our respected Yugoslav representatives to likewise do a return visit to the USA.
3. It is recommended that the Director of the Export - Import Bank, Linder be invited in the fall to come to the SFRY as a guest of the Federal Secretary for Finance, and because of the negotiations concerning the possibility of further cooperation with the Export - Import Bank, that is concerning the American investments in the development of Yugoslav tourism as well as other actual questions concerning economic cooperation between Yugoslavia and USA.
4. In the program of the Yugoslav visits to the USA it is envisioned that the Federal Secretary for Agriculture Joze Ingolic returns the visit of the American Minister of Agriculture, Freeman. However, the current situation was not completely favorable for the visit of the Federal Secretary of Agriculture (news concerning the departure of Freeman from the role of Minister of Agriculture, our requests for wheat, cotton and others at the same time when comrade Ingolic would be in the USA) so we need to continue to ensure that during the course of this fall the visit of another member of the FEC is realized, if possibility allows someone who is at the head of one of the economic ministries. A definite recommendation will be made by the DSIP to the FEC, because our ambassador upon his return to the USA also gives his suggestion.
5. In the current discussions already a principle was accepted the possibility that the President of the Central Council of the SSJ comrade Svetozar Vukmanovic at the invitation of the American union leader V. Rutters visit the USA. It is considered that by realizing this visit it would be of great benefit.
6. It is recommended that an invitation be sent to Senator Humphrey to visit our country. Keeping in mind that in the American Congress Humphrey is now filling the role of the head of the congressional majority, it is suggested that the invitation to Humphrey be initiated by comrade Kardelj.
7. In line with the American intervention with the goal of definitively building and at the right time beginning to use the fabricated settlements in Skopje it was concluded that, the necessary financial resources should be found so that it would be possible to realize in full the agreement concerning assistance to Skopje concluded between the USA and Yugoslavia. The Federal Secretary for Finances, Kiro Gligorov has taken upon himself to make a suggestion to resolve this question.
8. In view of the negotiations about the pre-war debt it was confirmed that the USA accepts all of our basic suggestions and they even are treating our country more favorably than others (Greece). Because of this, agreement was given so that as soon as possible a treaty can be concluded on the agreed upon basis. The treaty should be signed by Ambassador Veljko Micunovic.
9. As the negotiations between the SFRY - USA about the nationalized property have been suspended, this suggested that from our side we make a new attempt to find a solution. It is important that this question be solved before the elections in the USA. If the American side does not agree to the sum less than 4 million dollars, then we should choose an appropriate moment to accept the last American suggestion concerning this amount. A definitive policy should be adopted following another sounding out of the situation in the USA by our Embassy.
10. Because the Federal Executive Council in the main has given approval for the use, under certain circumstances, foreign private capital in the building of investments in our country, it is recommended that the responsible agencies work out the framework and the platform for our negotiations with the Americans concerning this. Concerning this question contact with the President of the International Bank, Woods, is envisioned as well as with the representatives of American companies which have shown interest in the area of tourism.
11. It is recommended that the negotiations concerning the purchase of wheat, cotton and other agricultural products be announced to the government of the USA as soon as our needs for 1965 are known. If it is shown to be impossible to buy these articles on the basis of American Law PL 480 - period 1, that is, with the payment in dinars, then we need to attempt to complete this according to the same Law - period 4 (credit in dollars for 15 or more years), because for us this remains the most beneficial next possibility.
12. In relation to the scientific-technical cooperation it has been decided that [ZAMTES] provide the Federal Executive Council a detailed proposal concerning this, keeping in mind our interest in cooperation and the new conditions (joint financing). In this document [ZAMTES] should show a concrete platform and detailed suggestions for negotiations with the USA.
13. In view of the program Leader's exchange it has been concluded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests to the Federal Executive Council a change in the current instructions of the FEC, given that the current practice prevents political functionaries from going to the USA for this program, and they should suggest measures for an organizational middle policy for us in this country in relation to this program.
14. It is recommended that the Yugoslav representatives at the responsible level participate in the upcoming international convention "peace in the world," concerning which soon will be made certain decisions by the end of the year, after the formation of the new government in the USA, but keeping in mind that this meeting is envisioned for February 1965.
15. It has been determined that during last year on the Yugoslav side many initiatives were not accepted from the leading American journals, which had contacted our leading decision makers with a request for articles in which our views on individual actual questions would be shown. Similar situations existed with relations to the press, where for a longer time no requests from a single American journalist for an interview of our decision makers has been granted. In relation to this it is recommended that comrades Kardelj and Koca Popovic -- to whom leading American journals have already written -- according to their availability to meet these requests.
16. The Secretary for Finances, comrade K. Gligorov has informed that during the summer the suggestions of measures will be completed concerning our debt to America, and that this would be given to the FEC in September of this year.
18. July 1964
THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL