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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 20, 1961

NOTES OF MEETING BETWEEN BOUSSOUF, BENAOUDA, AND BELHOCINE AND THE CHINESE AMBASSADOR

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    Minutes of a meeting, on April 20, 1961, between Algerian representatives, Boussouf, Benaouda, and Belhocine, and a Chinese ambassador. In the meeting, which was called to discuss issues regarding weapons supplies from the Chinese, both sides discuss ensuing negotiations between Algeria and France. Also mentioned is Algeria's meeting with a United States ambassador, and the United States desire for compromise between Algeria and France.
    "Notes of Meeting between Boussouf, Benaouda, and Belhocine and the Chinese Ambassador," April 20, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dossier 18/05/25; Fond: GPRA, 1958-62; Archives Nationales d’Algérie, Alger. Translated from French and transcribed by Pierre Asselin, with Paulina Kostrzew https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121597
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Analytical minutes: Meeting of 20 April 1961

Algerian Side: Boussouf, Benaouda, Belhocine

Chinese Side: Ambassador assisted by an Interpreter Secretary

On the occasion of this visit to discuss issues particular to weapons supplies, the conversation naturally extended to the political front. The Chinese Ambassador notably asked a question concerning the recent meeting of Brother Boussouf with the American Ambassador in Tunis and, evidently, regarding the current situation concerning the imminence of negotiations.

Concerning the meeting with the American Ambassador, Brother Boussouf highlighted the interest of Westerners and the Americans in particular in a compromise solution between France and Algeria, a solution which must prevent communist infiltration. The meeting in Tunis itself only had an informative purpose for the Americans who on that same occasion manifested their desire to see negotiations resume. As to whether there existed contradictions between France and United States, Brother Boussouf answered that there were some but that we knew those contradictions were not fundamental.

Regarding the negotiations, the Chinese Ambassador has been informed that the French government has given us clarifications as well as reassurances following the speech by Joxe; given this attitude, our government will soon issue a communiqué announcing its willingness to negotiate.

However, our government is convinced that the French are not yet ripe for real negotiation and for peace; that they are practicing tactical “negociatis” [negociationite]; public opinion being the stake in this operation, we are called upon ourselves to respond in kind while maintaining our vigilance and continue our struggle.

The Ambassador cited their own [Chinese] experience (of having hundreds of contacts with the Americans [in Geneva and Warsaw]) and summarized his thoughts in the following formula: “One must struggle while negotiating and negotiating while struggling.”

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