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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 08, 1960


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    November 8th, 1960 memo explaining the status of Algerian diplomatic relations. Notes that Algeria's current diplomatic position is very strong, and one of its best assets. Warns that France will try to undermine foreign assistance to Algeria in order to isolate the GPRA in French-Algerian negotiations. Concludes by suggesting that Algeria maintain consultation with sympathetic countries before making decisions, to strengthen mutual trust and alliances. Gives a list of governments to consult before making major decisions, including all Arab countries, China, USSR, Vietnam, Guinea, Ghana, and Indonesia.
    "Report from the General Secretary, ‘Our Diplomatic Action’," November 08, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dossier 55/02/05; Fond: GPRA, 1958-62; Archives Nationales d’Algérie, Alger. Translated from French and transcribed by Pierre Asselin, with Paulina Kostrzewski.
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Cairo, 8 November 1960

The General Secretary

Subject: Our Diplomatic Action

The government has met to assist the situation following our missions to New York, Beijing, and Moscow. Given current circumstances and the mediation offer by the countries of the Community, I believe the government might have decisions to make.

Our diplomatic situation can be considered very good. Other than the peoples who on the occasion of 1 November manifested their sympathy toward our cause, more and more governments are embracing our position, not to mention the new stance of the Soviet Union, the importance of which is obvious.

Friend, the diplomatic factor can be considered one of our best assets.

It is precisely this front of foreign assistance to Algeria which de Gaulle will probably attempt to disrupt in order to isolate the GPRA and force it to negotiate according to his positions. This will be one of the main objectives of operation “mediation.”

I don’t know what issue the government will have to engage and what decisions it will have to take, but I hereby allow myself to bring your attention to an element that I think is important: consultation of fraternal and allied countries.  

On several occasions and particularly prior to the departure for Melun, Arab governments complained of not having been consulted and their resentment has been amplified by the impression that the Maghreb and Tunisia specifically are regularly consulted. Our various Heads of Mission have brought our attention to the sensitivity of those leaders by underscoring their negative effects. Last July the rupture at Melun somewhat reassured our friends by delivering proof that we were the masters of our own policy. For my part, I believe that consultations with fraternal and friendly governments is indispensable – not after we have made our decisions – but before. Admittedly, we have the most at stake and we consider ourselves sovereign. But sovereignty is not the issue here. Far from inhibiting our action, the fraternal and friendly governments could only sympathize with us and provide greater support. Such procedure could only strengthen mutual trust and would give more legitimacy to our policy. The enemy himself is taking notice of the seriousness of our policy and of the strength of our alliances. Is it necessary to add that all allies regularly consult each other before making major decisions? It goes without saying that it will not be necessary to travel to all the capitals but simply to inform the governments close by and the embassies of faraway countries.

Here is a list of governments worthy of being consulted prior to making major decisions:

- All the Arab countries;

- China, USSR, Vietnam;

- Guinea, Ghana;

- Indonesia.

Cairo, 8 November 1960, the General Secretary