MINUTES OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT JOSIP BROZ TITO AND UAR PRESIDENT GAMAL ABDEL NASSER IN BRIJUNI, CROATIACITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationMinutes of conversation between Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito and UAR President Gamal Abdel Nasser with occasional input from advisors. Nasser describes the situation in the Middle East, including Egypt's relations with the United States and fighting along the Suez Canal. The two leaders also discuss UN Special Envoy Gunnar Jarring's recent activities. Tito closes with a recount of his visit to Japan, Mongolia, Iran, and Moscow and an update of the Yugoslav economy."Minutes of Conversation between Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito and UAR President Gamal Abdel Nasser in Brijuni, Croatia," July 11, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Tito Presidential Archives, KPR I-3-a UAR, Belgrade, Serbia https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111167
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VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT GAMAL ABDEL NASSER
About the talks of the President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito and the President of the United Arab Republic Gamal Abdel Nasser in Brioni, July 11th, 1968.
Talks started at 10:40 am.
Those participating in the talks on the Yugoslav side are: Edvard Kardelj, Mika ?pilja, Vladimir Bakaric, Vladimir Popovic, Ali ?ukrija, Marko Nikezic, Salko Fejic, Danilo Lekic and Dragomir Petrovic. On the Egyptian side were the President of the National Assembly Anwar El Sadat, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahmoud Riad and the Ambassador of the United Arab Republic in Belgrade Hamdi M. Abuzeid.
President Tito: I think that President Nasser could present first in a general sense his views on the current situation, and in the afternoon we could continue the talks on Vanga and consider some other details, and we would also then give information on our activities.
President Nasser: Mr. President, I am really glad to see you again as well as your associates. You know how glad I am to see my Yugoslav friends.
Yesterday you said that this is our twentieth meeting, and that I think is very rare among heads of states. I think it is our duty to put our efforts into deepening the relations between our peoples, and additionally to widen the circle of the leaders meeting.
Relations between our two states are a very good example of how relations between other states should be in general. [end page]
I would just like to say one more time how happy I am to be able to see you again.
Now I would like to say a few words about the current situation in the Middle East. I would like to start with the question of a possible peaceful solution, which is something we already talked about.
You are familiar with the view of the Arab states regarding a peaceful solution and the Security Council Resolution. Only Jordan and we have accepted the Security Council Resolution, while the other Arab states are not willing to accept their obligations. These other states believe that from the point of view of their internal situation, it would not be useful to them to accept all that is in the Security Council Resolution, which is the end of the war-like state, the right to existence of all states, etc.
The President of the Syrian government has said during his visit that if we continue with such politics, it will have an impact on my position in the Arab states. I responded to him by saying that this does not matter to me, and that this is a question of respect which is most needed.
We agreed to the United Nations Resolution and told Yaring our views about every single point in that Resolution. Then we politely asked Yaring to tell us the views of Israel, but the answer never arrived from Israel. Yaring then asked us to meet him in some other place. We agreed to meet in New York. However, that is when the Israeli government gave a statement that they will not accept the implementation of the UN Resolution.
I also wanted to say something about the United States of America. From the very beginning, the United States of America has been helping Israel, has been supporting it, and they are still doing that today. This is well known to you, to the United Nations, to the Security Council and to the General Assembly. They have given Israel the airplanes, the hunters and the bombers, and last week they even gave them the rockets. Besides that, Israel has received money and with the money one gets armaments, food and everything else.
The influence of Great Britain today no longer has the weight it did earlier. They say that they would like to contribute to the solution of the problems, but we have received a letter from head of state Wilson in which he asks why we are not accepting Yaring's arguments. This means that they have wrong information.
France has taken a fair stand. They would like to see the meeting with the representatives of the four great powers where the situation would be discussed and a solution would be found.
The Soviet Union is helping us and they are also willing to find a peaceful solution. But the Americans are constantly maneuvering something, talking to the Soviets about certain questions, and the Soviets are telling us about them. Yet when we tell them that we accept, the Americans in the meantime change their views.
The Israelis are arrogant and want, among other things, to make Jerusalem part of Israel as soon as possible and to kick the Arabs out of their own homes, etc.
We think that now, a year after the defeat, we find ourselves in a better position. When you visited us [end page]
in August of last year, we were in a very difficult situation; there was no army, there was nothing, and I told you all of that.
Now we have a defensive line and we are capable of continuing further its construction. As you know, we have asked to have Soviet experts come to Egypt and we have many of them. However, we do not have offensive weapons. I told the Soviet leadership: ?Why would the Israelis withdraw, why would they leave the occupied territories when they know very well that we do not have offensive weapons?? Israel was not able to reach its political goal, to impose the solution that it wanted, i.e. the end of the war with the signing of the peace agreement. They won the war, but we were not ready to sign the peace agreement because that would signify a capitulation.
Therefore, why would Israel leave the occupied territories? They expect the changes in the internal situation to lead to a regime change, because people are bitter due to the continuation of the occupation and because they want us to go to war since the occupation is heavily burdening our economy. Therefore, I repeat, at what price would the Israelis leave the occupied territories? As Dajan said, they do not agree with the UN Resolution.
The Soviet Union is for a peaceful resolution but without a capitulation in this situation. We told them that we are not going to give up even a foot of our territory at any price. They promised to help us strengthen our armed forces so that our army would change from a defensive into an offensive army.
I think that this way we can solve the question of peace or war, because as long as the Israelis are thinking that we are not strong enough to confront them, they will remain the way they are. We are informing your ambassador in the UAR about these details on a daily basis.
And now a few words about the USA. Since the month of February, they have been expressing their wish to reestablish diplomatic relations with us. We have told them ? how can we establish diplomatic relation again considering the position of the USA regarding Israel. The USA needs to view a statement about the withdrawal of the Israeli forces to the border of June 5th of last year and then we can reestablish diplomatic relations. I met with many Americans. The day after tomorrow, I will see McNamara. I talked with (McGeorge) Bandy last Sunday, and before that with Anderson, McCloy, and many others. They all insist on the same thing ? diplomatic relations.
Now, if there are any questions, I would gladly answer them.
President Tito: Are there any chances that you will receive offensive weapons?
President Nasser: We already now have offensive weapons, but the problem of our army is its mobility. We have enough cannons, tanks, but for the urgent needs, the army is not mobile enough. Then, it is not only a problem of mobility, but also the training of the army.
President Tito: The day before yesterday there were attacks at the Suez. During that incident there were over 40 civilians killed. Israel now has the capability to hit all cities on your territory.
One day they could even attack Cairo. On the other hand, the distance is such that with the weapons that the UAR had at its disposal before, it will be impossible to reach their sensitive areas. Do you have any possibilities regarding that?
I am thinking of offensive weapons which can reach the distant enemy center which are important to them from a military stand point. If the enemy knew that you had such weapons, they would not be causing incidents such as these. They are destroying the whole set of cities behind the Suez Canal. The main target is Suez right now.
Possession of the offensive weapons does not mean preparation for an attack, but a warning to the enemy that it can be hurt, that you can reach its sensitive targets. I have already voiced my opinion to President Nasser that with weapons, among all, you are letting your enemy know that it will not pay off to wait a long time because it will cost them a lot. That means that being in possession of such offensive means must bring the enemy to reason and lead it to withdraw from the occupied territories. At the end of all ends, if the enemy does not do that, then the responsibility falls on it. And the military action happens when it is all ready.
What President Nasser was saying is correct. Israel knows very well what sorts of forces the government in Cairo has at its disposal, especially in terms of its military potential.
President Nasser: I would just like to point out that the recent attack on the city of Suez is not the first one, and that the cities of Suez and [end page]
Ismalia are very weak points, and that they are exposed to enemy fire because they are very close to the positions of the Israeli artillery. Last year, every day they alternated their bombings of Ismalia and Suez, and daily killed 30 to 40 civilians. That is when the government made the decision to evacuate the population of these cities, and we have moved 200,000 people. We have left only those whose presence is really necessary. Then the question of revenge was posed and certain plans regarding that exist. As you know,, when we sank their destroyer ?Eilat?, the Israelis bombed our oil refineries. The headquarters of our military, Minister of Defense and many others thought that we should respond by bombing Haifa. When I was told about that decision, I told them that we are not ready for revenge because at that time Israeli aviation was stronger.
President Tito: I think that it would make no sense to attack Haifa with bombers or any other region in Israel when it is well known that Israel has a much better defense, aviation and antiaircraft weapons. In my opinion, nothing would have been gained that way. I was thinking that this should be done in a different way ? with rockets - and besides that, Haifa should not be your target, but military centers and objects.
President Nasser: Now we are thinking about guerrilla (partisan) fighting. We are working well with the guerrillas; we help them, train them and give them support and they are ramping up their actions. They are causing a lot of casualties among Israelis.
Israel does not care so much if it loses its military technology, but the loss of life is what hurts them the most.
President Tito: I would like to ask one question. I have sent a message to Mr. President in which I informed him in detail about my talks with Goldman. It is possible that even Goldman himself thinks honestly, but as far as I could gather, he does not have enough influence in Israel for his views to be taken as something that they should pay attention to.
At the recent Assembly of the World Jewish Congress, where he was once again elected president, he said that after such a long time Israel should look at things a bit more realistically.
I am not familiar in any detail with your opinion regarding this.
President Nasser: I was surprised when I learned of Goldman's views. Because, we follow the Israeli press, we know what is going on there and what internal conflicts they have. There were attacks in the Israeli press on Goldman and they accused him of interfering in the foreign affairs of Israel. Such a statement was even given by the Israeli government after Eban's visit to the Scandinavian states. Similar statements were given by Dajan and others.
I could not believe what Goldman was saying. I think he is such an intelligent man who sees far, and clearly knows that if Israel wants to live, it has to have good relations with its neighbors. I agree with everything that Goldman has said. What he is saying is the best, but the question is how to make it happen. [end page]
President Tito: Your opinion stands for me, and also because Goldman is insisting on coming again. I would not want to receive him if there is no point to it.
President Nasser: I think it would be useful. It cannot be said that Goldman does not have influence, because a man that has such a position must have influence. But that influence is not powerful, because Israelis are doing one thing, and saying the other thing because they want to get money from him.
President Tito: Goldman also said: ?If those in Israel are not brought to reason, we will have other means that will make them realize that they have to think a little?. The Jewish organization is collecting significant means and material factor can influence. It is correct that they have big possibilities, but the question is: do they all think alike? After all, they are all capitalists.
President Nasser: Goldman had special meeting sessions with each Israeli minister, and that is quite different from having a meeting with the whole cabinet. This way, each of them will listen, will talk to him, and agree, regardless of what their real standpoint is.
President Tito: It seems that a dead end has been reached again regarding the implementation of the Security Council Resolution. According to some information, Yaring is going to London because of the new movement of some actions. Considering Israel is following what is going on, the Israeli government has sent its representative to London so that they would be informed of eventual talks. Michael Stuart has also given some statements. But because President Nasser says that the British are
poorly informed, I do not know if there is any use of that. Would the British be able to be mediators and would they be able to do something? I think that the British cannot do anything without the Americans.
President Nasser: There must be some agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union first.
President Tito: It is clear from the latest information that America is giving rockets to Israel, and that is not by mistake. We heard that Israel has received bombers. How are the Soviets viewing that? Are they doing something regarding the Americans, because they are holding a dialogue with them, and even have a constant phone line.
President Nasser: As far as the rockets are concerned, we received the news far too late after our talks in the USSR. We were mostly holding talks for the first two days of the visit. The Soviet leadership told us that during the time of last year's crisis the direct phone line with Washington was used and that on the critical night they did not even sleep. They also told us that they have other ways of influencing the United States and that is why we should not abandon the idea of finding a peaceful solution. They also told us that there is an array of questions and many things in the whole world in which the USA is interested. (President Tito: That is not by chance.) I responded to that by saying that what was taken by force must be returned by force. They agreed with that ? but they added that when one says ?force,? that could also mean political force.
President Tito: I completely agree with your view that there is a need to use political means as much as possible, as well as strengthen your forces at the same time. If the problem cannot be solved using political means, then one day it must be solved by force. What else can be done? If eyes are closed to the reality and no effective measures are taken, Israel will never leave the occupied territories.
President Nasser: That would mean that we are wasting our money.
President Tito: The fact is that force is being used today in other places where there is no right to use it. However, with you the situation is different and if a solution cannot be reached any other way, then the use of force is justified.
It has been a year since the Israeli aggression. During that time public opinion has changed a great deal in favor of the Arab states. What Israel is doing by refusing the implementation of the Security Council Resolution is only damaging it and causing bitterness in the world. And, if one day the Arab states, and primarily the UAR, think they are strong enough to use force and see that the solution cannot be reached any other way, then the use of force will not antagonize the world. Because then it will be clear that it is a justified fight of the Arab people for the defense of its own territorial integrity. The only question is the time, i.e. can you wait that long and sustain yourself while all the preparations are been completed? It should also be remembered that the other side is continuing to receive help, which they are receiving anyway from Americans right now.
Guerrilla fighting in the occupied territories can, in my opinion, be very significant. When there are guerrilla actions developing, then important communications are damaged, and that can be very dangerous for a small country like Israel. The heating up of guerrilla fighting would weaken Israeli forces.
At the end I would say that I agree with President Nasser that the UAR should continue to try to find a solution using political means and to accept the Resolution adopted in the Security Council even though it is incomplete; and to, on the other hand, prepare its military forces in the event they are needed one day.
Concerning this, I also think that it is necessary to explain to the wider masses, as well as to the army, that it is momentarily impossible, or rather very risky to make any military moves which would not lead to success. Because, in that case the failure would have much more dangerous consequences than the defeat in June last year.
I would like to ask only these two questions. Maybe other comrades would like to say something.
Edvard Kardelj: I would like to ask something. Regarding the talks with Yaring and his arrival in London, the press wrote about some new initiatives of the UN representative and even of the UAR government. Is there anything real about that or is it just speculation?
President Nasser: Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad read a dispatch which talked about Yaring's mission this morning, so he might be able to say something about that.
Mahmoud Riad: I met with Yaring in Stockholm, and after that he spoke with Abba Eban in Copenhagen, and now again with Abdul Munim Rifai. He also met with the representative of Israel who came to London.
Today I received a telegram from Minister Rifai in which he talks about the results of the meeting with Yaring. Yaring told Rifai that the UAR has taken a very constructive stand and he is very happy with it and with our talks in Stockholm. Israel still presents a problem for him because the Israelis are stubbornly and relentlessly sticking to their views. Yaring thinks that it was not useful that we went back to New York from Cyprus. He is thinking of returning to Cyprus, from where he would visit the capitals of the Middle Eastern states, just as he did previously.
The only new thing is the British comment that Yaring is now going down a new path. He seeks to meet with the leading people of the great powers. He has already spoken to the Soviets, and now in London he is holding meetings with the representatives of the British government. Such comments encourage Yaring to continue down this path because he thinks that he is able to exert more pressure that way. However, he does not have any new suggestions. Yaring said that he cannot have any new suggestions until the Israelis clear up whether they are accepting the implementation of the Security Council Resolution and explain the meaning of the term ? secure borders?.
President Nasser: Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, as you have heard, could not tell us anything new.
President Tito: We have to be patient.
Edvard Kardelj: We have also assessed that thing similarly especially after the meeting of our Ambassador in Washington with Secretary Rusk. Dean Rusk has told him that he is somewhat of a bigger optimist than he was before. But after that, nothing new was done. That is obviously more of a game.
Mahmoud Riad: Rusk has also told the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the NATO member states that the US cannot exert any more pressure on Israel during their last meeting in Iceland.
President Tito: They are talking about not being to able to exert any more pressure on Israel yet they are sending missiles to Israel. That is unfair.
We could now move on and address other questions.
I would like to briefly inform you about our visits to Japan, Mongolia and Iran, and then discuss conversations with the Soviet Union. Besides that, President of India Zakir Hussain paid a visit to us.
The visit to Japan took place based on the invitation that the Japanese government sent us already two years ago. Last year I postponed that visit and this year we completed that duty. It was interesting because they persistently insisted that this visit happen. That was the first visit of a socialist country president to Japan.
In our opinion, the reason behind that insistence was the fact that Yugoslavia is a non-aligned country. They are very interested in the politics of the non-aligned states because they find themselves in a pretty isolated situation because of their connection to the United States. They are clearly looking for ways to overcome that isolation.
During the talks with the Prime Minister and other Ministers of the Japanese government, they told us that they have a mutual help and defense pact with the Americans and that such a pact serves them to a certain extent, but that they would still like to have a different foreign policy. As a part of their constitution they have passed legislation that prohibits the war as a political means and they stand for the peaceful resolution of the conflict questions. In order to realize their political and economic goals, they need a bigger space and therefore would like to act on the international stage as a country that is not only connected to the United States but that also has free hands. They say that because they have rejected war as politics and a means of conquest, they would like to conquer the markets of the whole world with their production and high-quality goods.
They are pretty sympathetic to our activity regarding the upcoming non-aligned conference. They said that they completely agree with the principles that lead our country and that this really agrees with their views on the world events.
I met the representative of the Socialist party in Tokyo, which is by its numbers and by influence the second party of Japan. They are very harsh regarding their opposition to the current government.
They are mounting a big fight and I do not know what will happen to Prime Minister Sato at the next election. They are also very positively assessing the role of the non-aligned and expressed their wish to have their representative participate at the upcoming conference of the heads of states and governments of the non-aligned states in whatever form.
I have to say that we gained a very positive view of Japan as a state that is technologically developing very fast. They have huge and very modern factories. During the visit, comrades and I visited two factories. One was in Yokohama and produces tankers that have a capacity of 270,000 tons; and an electronics factory in Osaka where 40,000 people work, including 5,000 engineers and 8,000 technicians. It is interesting that Japan has two large electronics factories that produce color television sets and other electronic equipment. There is a very strong rivalry between these two factories in their domestic market, yet they act together in foreign markets. We need to envy them on that. That, for example, is not the case in Yugoslavia.
We also learned that this is a country with huge possibilities, even though they import 85 per cent of all raw materials, especially coal, petroleum, ore, etc. I think Japan has a big future. I do not think they will find much ore there. However, they are developing fast thanks to the high levels of technical education of their people, a large number of engineers and technical cadre in general, and they are already selling their work and knowledge to others abroad.
Because of their importing, most of their factories are along the sea shores, so that the cost of transportation can be reduced.
We were also impressed by the exceptional work discipline that even Germans have never had.
President Nasser: Is the whole state that disciplined?
President Tito: They are all disciplined, in companies and in any other place.
We also liked their communications. For example, Tokyo is an overly populated city, but most of the communications have been built above the roofs, and above which trains, cars etc, zoom very fast across. In general, their transportation is very well organized.
Tokyo has 10 million people. Osaka with its surroundings has 6 million people, and all other cities are very well developed with the most modern communications.
Besides Japan, we visited also Mongolia. Ulaan Baatar used to be a village once, and now it is a pretty modern city of 250,000 people, which represents approximately one quarter of the whole population.
President Nasser: Did you fly over China?
President Tito: No, we had to go around.
President Nasser: Have you been to Mongolia before?
President Tito: No, I have not.
President Nasser: I went to Mongolia two years ago.
President Tito: We were especially surprised to learn that Mongolia has such a rich mineral/ore wealth. Now with the Soviets' help, they are building a whole new city, Darhan, where they are going to have a large steel mill. Near that town there are big deposits of high-calorie coal and iron ore.
Mongolia also has other ores: copper, zinc, gold, etc. Mongolia is starting to develop now, and the Soviet Union and other socialist states are helping it in its construction.
Mongolia has a border with China that is a few thousand miles long, but it does not have enough soldiers to maintain its border patrols, so now they have Soviet troops present there ? but not directly on the border. Namely, China is constantly threatening to seize Mongolia and the Chinese are propagating that even today.
I spoke to Cedenbal and other leaders. Maybe you are not familiar with the fact that the Sino-Soviet conflict is old. Cedenbal told me about this in some detail. Since 1947, during the Stalin period, when Anastas Mikoian visited China, Mao Tse-tung told him that Mongolia should be part of China. Mao Tse-tung was not in power yet, but Chiang Kai-shek. Stalin firmly rejected this and it seems that he respected Chiang Kai-shek more than Mao Tse-tung, specifically because he could agree better with Chiang Kai-shek on the question of Mongolia. As I said, Stalin did not even want to discuss the possibility of Mongolia becoming a part of China.
Later, sometime in 1952, when one of the Soviet leaders went to Peking, Mao Tse-tung was pretty enthusiastically seeking to solve the question of appropriation of Mongolia by China because that was Chinese territory. This Soviet leader has however told him that he does not have any authority to give such promises, and has to consult Moscow. Stalin answered very swiftly: Get that out of your head. No way, because Mongolia is an independent state and the people of that country decide. And in no way can you say that it is Chinese soil and that you need to attach it to China.
However, the Chinese have not given up on that demand even today, and according to Cedenbal's account, on their geographic maps they are showing Mongolia within Chinese borders. In my opinion, that is one of the very important components of the conflict between China and the Soviet Union.
Besides that, the Chinese are expressing expansionist tendencies by appropriating a large part of the Soviet Union's Far East territories. That means that the conflict is not limited to ideological differences, but it has become part of the inter-state conflict.
Because of this, the situation in Mongolia is always tense. Had China not had the Cultural Revolution and if the mutual killings did not take place, maybe the situation on the border would have been even more difficult. Of course, Mongolians are completely relying on the Soviet Union because they would not like to fall under China.
According to Cedenbal and others, the Chinese are uprooting Mongolians and moving them to Tibet and other locations from the so-called inner Mongolia where most of the population is ethnic Mongolians. The Chinese are infiltrating in that region and they are putting one Chinese in every family that has young women so that they can change the population structure that way. What the Chinese are doing is absolutely impossible. There are conflicts all the time on that border. For example, the Chinese are getting into Mongolian territory, catching and taking livestock.
When one realizes how big the Mongolian area is and it shares a border with a power such as China, the possibilities are limited.
After Mongolia we visited Iran and that way we returned the favor to the Shah, who has previously visited Yugoslavia. Iran has started to develop pretty fast. They receive 800 million dollars a year for their petroleum. They also have huge amounts of natural gas. They have now signed an agreement with the Soviet Union regarding the construction of gas pipelines and they will sell them large amounts of gas. They have found huge deposits of iron ore near Isfahan, as well as large amounts of high-calorie coal. With the help of the Soviets, now they are building a large steel mill which will start the production of 2 million tons, and in the second phase it will produce up to 5 million tons of steel. The conditions for production are very good, because there are lots of rivers round there whereas generally in Iran there is little water available. The Shah has nationalized water because previously it was owned by the rich people, who sold it to the villagers.
The Shah took away part of the land owned by the rich with his agrarian reform, because almost the entire country was in the hands of the landowners. The Shah was among them because owned approximately 2,000 villages. The villagers worked for tips. A total of 20,000 villages were in the hands of the landowners. The Shah gave his land to the villagers, i.e. they have to gradually pay it off. By taking the land from the rich, the Shah planned to proclaim these villages free. That is why there were attempts on his life. After that the government decided to pay the landlords for the land that was given to the villagers. That was his agrarian reform ? a move from the Middle Ages and giving the land to the villagers who can work on it under certain conditions.
Yet, I have to say, a lot has been done in the past few years. We have a pretty large number of experts in Iran that work in a number of different sectors, in the field of exploration, as agricultural advisors, etc. The Shah has decided to start creating large farms. Some of our experts are working on that.
The Shah was also saying that from a military point of view, the CENTO pact does not have any significance and that the thing is dying out. This is how the Shah explained the politics of Iran to us: before World War II Iran was under the influence of the British, and during World War II under the influence of the British and the Russians. After the war, they have primarily aligned themselves with the West, which was pressuring them all the time. Now that they are somewhat stronger economically, they have decided to be connected to either the West or the East, but they would like to cooperate with all the states that are conducting independent politics. They are improving their cooperation with
the Soviet Union, and continuing to maintain their cooperation with the West. Judging by all of this, the politics of non-alignment would be appropriate for Iran.
That much about Iran.
While we were traveling, Moscow suggested that we should stop in the USSR on our way back from Iran so that we can talk. We agreed. We had very general talks with the Soviet leadership. We had mostly identical views regarding foreign policy questions. On questions of the Middle East, Vietnam and the current international situation, there were no differences. After that we spoke about domestic political questions. Brezhnev presented their domestic situation, then spoke about the help they are giving to Vietnam. We are surely talking about huge means. (Vladimir Popovic: Two billion rubles.) Therefore, about 2.5 billion dollars. Brezhnev also said that the USSR will continue to help the UAR and other Arab states, and that they consider that their duty, etc.
When they spoke about the domestic development of the USSR, they pointed out that everything is excellent. It is clear that they are achieving big results in Siberia and in other places, but they did not speak of any difficulties, and we all know they have them.
At the same time they were criticizing our internal development by saying that we are closing doors to foreign capital, that we have high unemployment and that the economy is not improving etc, etc.
It is understood that we talked the way brothers talk, i.e. pretty tough. I told them that they are wrong in their assessment of our internal development, because the difficulties we are having we will sort out ourselves and they need not worry about that. For example, Brezhnev said that their people hurt when they see that not everything is going well for us. I answered him ? that is because your people do not know how it is in our country, because you are not informing them well. I reminded them of 1948 when Stalin stopped all the agreements with us, and left us, so to speak, between a rock and a hard place. We had to ask for help where we could, but we never sold out. We knew how to preserve our independence.
We think that it was good to speak to them openly because it seems that this was the first very open dialogue. We very firmly said, No, you are wrong when it comes to our internal questions. We are solving them on our own, and we will solve them. We directly pointed out that they should not interfere in our internal issues and by the end it was all well. They are content that we were speaking openly.
I told them that we have certain difficulties, that we passed the economic reform and that we are doing everything to implement it. Brezhnev added that it is not going the way it should. We told him that we know that, but that it will all go and we will solve all of those difficulties.
Then they mentioned the fall in productions rates at home. For a number of years our production experienced growth of 11 to 17 per cent, but we also had inflationary tendencies during that period. With the economic reform, we had to liquidate such tendencies. Now there is reorientation and reorganization of our companies. It is certain that many companies have got themselves into a very difficult position in this period. But, we knew that there will be difficult positions and that production will be in danger. Last year our production growth was only 3 per cent.
Mika Spiljak: In the first two years after the economic reform the production grew 6 per cent annually, and last year 3 per cent.
President Tito: This year, after bigger changes in the structure of production were implemented, and after our industry has reorganized a bit, production has started to rise again.
Mika Spiljak: In the first five months the production growth is 3.5 per cent, and we are anticipating that this year it will grow by 5 per cent.
President Tito: The only thing is that this production growth is not balanced across the country; in Slovenia, for example, the production growth has reached 10 per cent. Mainly, everything is displaying the fact that production is growing again.
The Soviet leaders certainly see what is going on here, but they do not understand the gist of it. Our determination has shown that nobody can interfere in our internal affairs. Because we are not interfering in theirs, they should not be interfering in ours. We parted ways in a very friendly manner.
After the talks regarding the questions of internal development, we spoke about the events in Czechoslovakia. We could not agree in that regard, because I said that the events in Czechoslovakia are matters of that country and that they are strong enough and united enough to deal with the questions of their development themselves. However, they said that there is a danger of capitalism's return to Czechoslovakia or that some pro-western group comes to power.
I would suggest to end our talk now and continue them in the afternoon.
Talks ended at 12:45 pm.
Marko Nikezic (two copies)
Highly classified archives of the President of the Republic
JOINT STATEMENT OF THE SOCIALIST FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA AND THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC
Invited by President of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito, President of the United Arab Republic Gamal Abdel Nasser made a friendly visit to Yugoslavia from July 10th through 12th, 1968.
During the talks that were held in Brioni, two Presidents and their associates exchanged their opinions regarding the most important international problems and questions of the bilateral relations and cooperation between Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the United Arab Republic.
Two Presidents agreed with pleasure that the bilateral cooperation is successfully developing in the spirit of traditional friendship and that both are exerting efforts to continue its improvement, which was confirmed by the recent meeting of the Mixed Committee on Economic Cooperation as well as talks on the cultural and educational cooperation.
During the talks on the international problems, Presidents Tito and Nasser especially paid attention to the current situation in the Middle East created by the Israeli aggression on the Arab states. Israel's refusal to implement the Security Council Resolution and to withdraw the forces from the occupied territories represents a constant violation of the United Nations principles and its resolutions. This does not only prevent the political solution but also widens the crisis in the Middle East. President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has pointed out that Yugoslavia will continue to support Arab states, the victims of aggression in their efforts to gain their legitimate rights along with other peace-loving and progressive states and forces.
By reaffirming their solidarity of their peoples with the heroic fight of the people of Vietnam, the two Presidents expressed their full support
for independence and feel that the bombing of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam needs to brought to a halt urgently as a precondition for the peaceful solution.
Two Presidents also considered other current international questions such as the situation in Africa and problems of the developing states, and they exchanged thoroughly their opinions regarding the mutual efforts of the non-aligned and other states to end the current and disturbing developments of the international situation and contribute to the creation of the favorable conditions in order to secure independence, peace and economic development.
Presidents Tito and Nasser pointed out again the particular significance of the politics of the non-aligned to reach the aforementioned goals. They contend with satisfaction that up-to-date consultations concerning the organization of the conference of the non-aligned states have yielded positive results.
The two parties have unanimously expressed their belief that the visit of the President of the United Arab Republic to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the talks that were held during this occasion, will contribute to further strengthening of the friendship and cooperation in the interest of people of both states, peace and progress in the world.
These talks were held in cordial and friendly atmosphere and the identical points of view were expressed regarding all questions considered.
VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT GAMAL ABDEL NASSER