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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 04, 1960

NOTE FROM THE GPRA SECRETARY GENERAL TO FOREIGN MISSIONS AND DELEGATIONS, ‘OUR FOREIGN POLICY’

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    A memo from Algeria's Secretary General to its foreign missions and delegations, regarding Algeria's foreign policy. Explains, first, Algeria's current position in regard to the "socialist camp," noting recent positive signs of improvements in Algeria's relationships with China and the Soviet Union. Identifies apprehensions within the western bloc that Algeria may slide toward the socialist camp, and gives instructions on how to respond to and reduce these apprehensions, so as to more fully broaden Algeria's base of support in its struggle against France. The memo recognizes that the western bloc is still supporting France in its fight to keep Algeria as a colonial subject, and recommends issuing an ultimatum to these western countries; either they cease complicity with France or be considered fundamentally hostile to the Algerian cause.
    "Note from the GPRA Secretary General to Foreign Missions and Delegations, ‘Our Foreign Policy’ ," October 04, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dossier 41/05/14; Fond: GPRA, 1958-62; Archives Nationales d’Algérie, Alger. Translated from French and transcribed by Pierre Asselin, with Paulina Kostrzewski. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121605
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121605

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Note: To Foreign Missions and Delegations

Subject: Our Foreign Policy

During its latest meetings (August-September), the Government decided to accelerate the implementation of decisions taken by the CNRA in the different domains: military; overall policy; foreign policy. Regarding this last front, it was decided to pursue a more rigorous action in the following sectors: Maghrebo-Arab; Afro-Asia and especially Africa; the socialist camp; the western bloc.

[…]

C-Socialist Camp

Our department seeks and will continue to seek to clarify our respective positions. While it is not easy to suspend the apprehensions and the fears existing concerning the future orientation of our diplomacy, it is also necessary to obtain assistance from this camp, all the assistance possible (political, material, and technical) that could allow the Algerian revolution to confront the Atlantic coalition.

Beijing’s recent invitation to President Abbas, recent official meetings between Heads of State in Moscow (received at the airport by the first Vice President Kosygin), and [the meeting] of Krim with Khrushchev in New York are very positive signs.

Predictably, apprehensions have not ceased to emerge in various “western” and “neutral” countries. To those we can respond that the FLN remains a democratic nationalist movement; that the same reasons that prompted the United States, Great Britain, etc. , to ally themselves with the USSR against Hitlerism, are now part of the struggle of the Algerian people against French colonialism; that if it was not for the complicity of westerners and the inadequacy of the assistance from neutral countries, fighting Algeria would not need to broaden its alliances; that, lastly, a more just attitude by westerners, a more dynamic support from neutrals are the best means to prevent an oppressed people from sliding toward the socialist camp.

D-Western Bloc

Two observations can be made:

  • The first is that only political, financial, and material support from the western bloc has allowed France to wage its war of colonial re-conquest.
  • The second is that our moderate attitude has been poorly interpreted, and understood as a sign of weakness.

Consequently, our government has decided on a “clarification” initiative: either the western bloc ends its complicity with colonial friends, or it must be considered (despite the liberal trends within it) as fundamentally hostile to the Algerian cause and to the freedom of peoples. It is thus that NATO, already denounced politically for quite some time, has been the subject of a memorandum of official and solemn denunciation.

Here is, outlined rather generally, our foreign policy line. It is up to the missions and delegations abroad to focus all their activities to implement [this line] and to achieve tangible results. Naturally, an effort to explain and to adapt locally must be made. The Ministry expects from all missions and delegations abroad reports that are as complete and regular as possible […].

Cairo, 4 October 1960

The Secretary General