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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 30, 1981

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY REPORT ON THE VISIT OF THE IRAQI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER IN HUNGARY BETWEEN 18-20 MARCH 1981

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    Iraqi First Deputy Prime Minister Taha Jasin Ramadhan discusses the Iran-Iraq War and the improvement of relations with Hungary.
    "Hungarian Foreign Ministry report on the visit of the Iraqi deputy prime minister in Hungary between 18-20 March 1981 ," March 30, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, 288.f. 32/1981/60. ő. e. Translated by Levente Gajdócsi. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122528
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Top Secret!

003/13

Briefing On the official visit of Taha Jassin Ramadhan, First Deputy Prime Minister, to Hungary

/Based on [Foreign Minister] Comrade Puja’s report/

I.

Taha Jassin Ramadhan, member of the Revolutionary Council of the Republic of Iraq, First Deputy  Prime  Minister,  at  the  invitation  of  György  Lázár,  President  of  the  Council  of Ministers paid an official visit to the People’ Republic of Hungary between 18 and 20 March, 1981. Taha Jasin Ramadhan was received by Comrades János Kádár and Pál Losonczi. The Iraqi First Deputy Prime Minister had discussions with Comrade György Lázár. Taha Jassin Ramdhan invited Comrade György Lázár for an official visit to Iraq. An official communiqué was issued, at Iraq’s initiation. Simultaneously with T.J. Ramadhan’s visit, the 7th  session of the Hungarian-Iraqi Economic Cooperation Permanent Joint Committee was held. The Minutes of the session was signed by the Co-Chairmen of Joint Committee, József Marjai, Deputy Prime Minister and Hassan Ali, Iraqi Minister of Commerce.

[...]

II.

[...]

[T.J. Ramadhan reported on the internal situation and economic development in Iraq] Parliamentary elections were held on democratic basis in 1980. The internal situation in Iraq is stable. People support the government even in the midst of war. The aim of the Baath Party is to build up a socialist society, free from exploitation, in Iraq and in the Arabic world. Comrade János Kádár said, that we welcomed the revolution in Iraq from the beginning, as we saw them to become the owner of their own faith  and natural resources, and that they themselves  want  to  lead  the  direction  of  the  country’s  development.  We  welcomed  the revolution wanting Socialism and its anti-imperialist nature.

III.

Comrade György Lázár gave an overall picture of our aims and of our views on the most important international issues. He empathetically talked about the new offensive launched by imperialism against international peace and security, against détente and disarmament and he declared that the World’s progressive forces should take a strong line against that. He outlined our position on solving the crisis in the Middle East, the peace and security of the Persian Gulf. He deplored the conflict between Iraq and Iran, pointing out its dangers and urging the restoration of peace.

[...]

[T.J. Ramadhan declared that]

In Iraq’s foreign policy, strengthening of the ties with the Socialist countries is an important element

[...]

During the talks, T.J. Ramdhan put the issue of the war between Iraq and Iran in the center. He emphasized that the dispute between the two countries over the borders were centuries old. Iran had always exploited Iraq’s relative weakness to grasp further and further territories. In 1975, due to internal problems, Iraq was forced to give in. After the revolution in Iran, Iraq tried all  possible  ways to enforce its rights put forth in different treaties. Iranians did not answer to Iraqi petitions,  and even threatened occupying further Iraqi territories, called the Shiite population in Iraq for a revolt and then started to shell and bombard Iraqi cities starting on 4 September 1980.  Between 4 and 22 September Iraq tried to warn Iran several times with no effect, thus she was forced to deal the Iranian troops a blow with a  military action launched on 22 September 1980.

The Iraqi Army reached its goal in a week. Following this, the Iraqi leadership expressed its intention for a cease-fire. Iran was proposed to admit Iraq’s claims and hold discussions on disputed questions. Iraq does  not want to acquire Iranian territories, and, maintaining its claims, is ready to withdraw its troops to a line accepted by both parties. Iraq wants peace from a power position and would like to maintain good neighborhood relationships with Iran. Iraq demonstrated its good will by responding positively to the calls for a cease-fire from the UN Security Council already at the beginning of the war, supporting mediation by non- aligned, Islamic countries and the UN.

Iraq wants peace but is prepared for a long  war, too. The Iraqi Army is well prepared; its moral status is good. The relationship between the leadership and the people is perfect. The work ethic is good in the hinterland.

[...]

Comrade János Kádár said that the war between Iraq and Iran took us by surprise. We are concerned, as we know that imperialism takes advantage of all situations like this. We did not welcome Iraq’s step but we did not  condemn it either. We stressed, that the war causes damages. We welcome the Iraqi intentions for talks and consider them important.

On the Iranian revolution, Comrade János Kádár said that we welcomed the outbreak of the revolution, as it  was a blow on imperialism. The Iranian world of ideas is far from us; currently the nature of this revolution is not fully clear to us.

We appreciate  the  non-aligned  movement  and  Iraq’s  role  within  it.  The  non-aligned movement is  known to involve different elements and this underlines Iraq’s role in this movement at a greater extent. We wish Iraq successes for its activity in this movement.

Comrade Pál Losonczi [Chairman of the Presidential Council], speaking of the Iraq-Iran war, welcomed the efforts of the Iraqi leadership for a peaceful settlement. We wish the peaceful settlement of all disputed questions in every case. We are concerned about the protraction of the conflict, thus providing a pretext for  the  imperialists to strengthen their position in the area.

We welcome the Iranian revolution, however, we condemn the export of the revolution. In our opinion, there is a perplexing situation in Iran, many would like to restore the old regime.

IV.

Speaking about the bilateral relationship, Comrade György Lázár expressed, that we are interested in their comprehensive development on the ground of mutual benefits.

Taha Jassin Ramadhan emphasized that his visit took place based on a special decision. The aim of his visit was to raise our relationship on a higher level. Iraq has its determined aim to raise our cooperation to a special level. The relations are developing well between the two countries, even if we had conflicts, we could settle them with mutual understanding. We have done  a  lot  for  developing  the  relations,  however,  there  are   still  plenty  unexplored opportunities. We have common aims, we are building a new society, pursue anti-imperialist course of policy, we are small countries. We need to apply new methods on new fields. However, we need to open every door for a widening cooperation. Closed door hinder the relations. The development of the relations can be developed fast if we are mutually ready to examine the  other party’s claims. In the period to come we need greater coordination to achieve  our  goals  and  to  prevent  the  activities  of  those  not  interested  in  widening  the Hungarian-Iraqi cooperation.

Iraq wishes sincerely that Hungary participate in accomplishing the development plans in Iraq at a greater  extent. We must search new areas of cooperation. Iraq is firmly determined to urge the cooperation in all areas.

V.

Simultaneously with the talks were held the meeting of the Joint Committee, and other trade meetings.

During the Joint Committee talks, the Iraqi party talked with appreciation of the  Hungarian experts’ firmness and good work in Iraq.

The two parties recorded that since the meeting of the Joint Committee in August 1980, the economic   cooperation  between  the  two  countries  have  accelerated  and  have  become undisturbed. They agreed to maintain this tendency and speed up the decision-making process mutually.

During the talks, new opportunities of cooperation were revealed, including the participation in oil and gas  mining and storing, electrification, vehicle construction and delivery on the road, planning and construction of the underground in Baghdad and development of the Iraqi agriculture. These were recorded in the minutes of the Joint Committee.

The technical-scientific  cooperation  work  schedule  for  the  years  1981-1982  was  signed. However, this will only be effective when the Iraqi party positively returns to the settlement of financial/payments problems.

Dr. Taha  Ibrahim  Al-Abdullah,  Minister  of  Planning  had  talks  with  Comrade  dr.  Lajos Faluvégi on the possibilities for cooperation in planning.

During the talks in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Iraqi party recommended the development of the cooperation and working relations between the two foreign ministries. The Hungarian party raised those issues that hinder the work of our foreign representations and citizens in Iraq.

The representatives of the Ministry of Transportation and Post held discussions with their Iraqi partners. During the talks the Iraqi party submitted the proposals of the treaty for road delivery and company transportation.

Budapest, 30 March 1981.