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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 23, 1974

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY REPORT ON CURRENT FOREIGN AFFAIRS (EXCERPT)

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    This report by the foreign ministry states that socialist countries should seek to increase their influence among "progressive" Arab countries such as Syria, Iraq, and Algeria, and states that war in Indochina is unlikely.
    "Hungarian Foreign Ministry report on current foreign affairs (excerpt)," February 23, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL XIX-J-1-j-SzU-144-00-1577-3/1974 (106d). Translated by András Bocz https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122523
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[…]

4./ The Middle Eastern conflict

They want to pursue the same political course in order to find a solution. They try to ensure that more comprehensive series of negotiations are conducted which do not end by the separation of troops and the talks in Geneva continue. If the resolution of the issues is stuck with the separation of troops, it would result in the conservation of the conflict and the increase in American influence and possibilities.

They will increase the number of meetings in the future with the Arab countries that are directly affected. Comrade Gromyko will travel to Cairo, the deputy secretary of the Iraqi Baath Party will soon visit Moscow and they will prepare President Assad’s visit to Moscow.

Comrade Katusev stressed that in the future the socialist countries should pay more attention to the most progressive Arab countries surrounding Egypt, especially to Syria and Iraq as well as Algeria, despite its weakness, and to strengthening relations between these states and the socialist countries. In doing so, we will, together with Somalia and South Yemen, two other progressive countries, strengthen progressive movements and the influence of the socialist countries and the Soviet Union in the Middle Eastern region. This will have beneficial effects on Egypt both in terms of the American influence and in terms of reducing room for maneuvering in Egypt. They are also considering how the Soviet Union’s and the socialist countries’ efforts could be appropriately coordinated in regards to these countries.

5./ Indochina

The Soviet comrades are definitely less concerned about the possibility of one or the other party sparking another war. They believe that the current “neither war nor peace” situation will be maintained in the next period too [...]