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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 02, 1963

TELEGRAM FROM AMBASSADOR J.N. KHOSLA, 'PROPOSED NON-ALIGNED CONFERENCE' AND 'TITO’S TOUR OF THE AMERICAS (CONTINUED)'

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    Yugoslavia accepted a proposal for a second non-alignment conference, but was "not to keen" on it. Further details of Tito's tours through Bolivia, Mexico and the United States.
    "Telegram from Ambassador J.N. Khosla, 'Proposed Non-Aligned Conference' and 'Tito’s Tour of the Americas (Continued)'," November 02, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, File No. HI/1012(59)/63. Obtained by Ryan Musto. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/133949
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Tel: S/1/4/63

SECRET

DATE: November 2, 1963

FROM: J.N Khosla, Ambassador

TO: Foreign Secretary, MEA

Proposed Non-Aligned Conference

Nasser-Bandaranaike proposal for a second- non-alignment conference came here as somewhat of a surprise. Yugoslavia immediately accepted the proposal, but not with their usual enthusiasm. I got the impression that they were not too keen for an early conference. Nikezic, the acting Foreign Minister, told me that such a conference should be properly prepared and many more countries should be invited to participate in it. It was also felt here that Tito’s visit would prepare the ground for some of the South American countries to join the Conference. But occasional references to the Conference made by Tito and Koca Popovic during their tour of the Americas were rather vague…

Tito’s Tour of the Americas (Continued)

During October, President Tito continued his tour of the Americas, and visited Bolivia, Mexico, and the United States, in turn.

Everywhere he was accorded warm welcomes. He was particularly pleased with the way he was received in Mexico where he spent no less than 10 days. Yugoslavia observers like to emphasize that no one ever got a bigger welcome in Mexico than Tito did. Even though the visit to Washington was not defined as official, Tito was accorded full honors and red carpet was laid for him. It is understood that the talks in Washington were cordial and satisfactory. President Kennedy was anxious to know Tito’s opinion about the recent developments within Russia, about international situation and East-West relations. Tito too, it is believed, has understood the Western point of view better since his “frank and cordial exchange of views’ with Kennedy.

Tito returned to Belgrade on the 1st of November. He was given a great welcome by his Government and his people. His speeches made on his arrival at the airport and an hour later at a public function in the city were both moderate and statesmanlike.

The significance of Tito’s tour cannot be underestimated. The tour has greatly added to his personal prestige both in Latin America and in the United States. His speeches were moderate and free from polemics. His main emphasis was on consolidation of international peace. In this, he emphasized that non-aligned countries had a special role to play. The policy of peaceful co-existence, he stressed, was not to be restricted to efforts to eliminate dangers of war. It is required further efforts to strengthen wide international cooperation which would promote political, economic, and social progress in the world.

One of Tito’s purposes for arranging a tour of South America was to get somehow an invitation also from Washington. He was happy that he succeeded in this. A meeting with Kennedy was essential to re-establish in Western circles, his non-alignment, which since his recent personal contacts with Khrushchev, was in doubt. On the other hand, the very fact that Washington agreed to invite him even though for a “working visit,” showed that the climate in the United States had also changed. When Eisenhower proposed to invite Tito some years ago, there was such a hue and a cry that he had to give up the idea. Even this time there was some criticism, but on the whole his visit was generally welcomed and was widely recognized to have improved Yugoslav/US relations. Indeed, the communiqué issued after Kennedy-Tito meetings on 18th October said that he meetings provided a “timely opportunity for exchange of views on a number of important questions both in regard to international situation and US/Yugoslav relations.”

After his stay in Washington, Tito was to visit California at the invitation of Governor Brown, who came to Yugoslavia last summer. He was also to tour one or two other parts of the United States. As he caught cold at Washington, he decided to cancel the rest of the tour and to return to New York immediately. This gave rise to rumors that the cancellation of the program was in fact due to the fear that Yugoslav emigres organizations – the “Ustashi” and “Chetniks” – might create some untoward incidents. Even in Washington, these organizations did try to create trouble, but the Federal authorities had taken full precautions. In New York, however, quite a number of ugly incidents took place. The Yugoslavs lodged quite a strong protest against the inadequacy of security measures taken by the New York authorities. They felt certain that the police in that State, particularly at the lower and medium levels, was conniving at these activities. Some of the Yugoslavs even blamed Governor Rockefeller, who, they said, with an eye on the Presidential election next year, did not mind incident which could create an awkward situation for Kennedy.

Another important result of President Tito’s tour has been the expansion of economic cooperation and trade between Yugoslavia and these countries.

With Bolivia, for example, a trade as well as investment credits agreement has been signed. Yugoslavia has given to Bolivia a 10-year credit of $5 million , at 3% interest, primarily for purchase from Yugoslavia of hydro-electric power plants and electrical equipment for the nationalized Bolivian mines, leather tanneries, textile and fruit processing factories and a small foundry. In addition, Yugoslavia has offered technical assistance to Bolivia to accelerate its economic development.

For Brazil, a joint undertaking with a view to expanding the Bakar Port and the Port of Rijeka was agreed upon. In addition, Brazil had agreed to buy 600 tractors worth 8.5 million dollars as well as 50,000 tons of rails.

In Chile, it was agreed to facilitate the expansion of trade to $5 million each way in a couple of years.

Even fore trade with the United States, this visit should bear fruit. Tito-Kennedy joint communiqué recommended expansion of mutual economic relations. It is expected that Kennedy Administration would make renewed efforts to secure Most Favored Nation Treatment for Yugoslavia.

Tito’s Address to the UN

President Tito’s address to the United Nations marked the climax of his six weeks tour. His speech was well received. Even the New York Times regarded it as “welcome and constructive” and free from “the language of ideological warfare.” Adlai Stevenson also regarded it “reasonable and peaceful in tone and constructive.” The Washington Post praised Tito as a “champion of the relaxation of tensions.”

Tito asserted that a vast majority of nations now favored non-alignment and this attitude had developed into a movement for consolidation of international peace by ending “relations based on the right of the stronger, whether it be in the political the economic or in any other sphere of human life.” Economic equality amongst the nations, he emphasized, was essential for peaceful co-existence, and therefore, advocated the elimination of embargoes and other discriminatory measures.

Tito proposed a summit meeting or a high level meeting or world statesmen to draft a code for peaceful co-existence.

This was an attractive suggestion but it may not elicit much support, at least  for the time being, because of the feeling that he Charter of the United Nations already provides such a code, and at any rate the chances of an agreement on a new code are not too bright in the present context of the world situation.