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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 16, 1961

VISIT TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDIUM OF THE SUPREME SOVIET OF THE TAJIK SSR COMRADE M.R. RAKHMATOV 16. 9. 61

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Moroccan Ambassador Al Fassi speaks with Rakhmatov about his visit to Tajikistan and the outlook for the Tajik republic.
    "Visit to the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Tajik SSR Comrade M.R. Rakhmatov 16. 9. 61 ," September 16, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsGART, f. 1516, op. 1, d. 101, ll. 34-38. Obtained and translated by Artemy Kalinovsky. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/177864
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Visit to the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Tajik SSR Comrade M.R. Rakhmatov 16. 9. 61

Al Fassi: We are very happy that you were able to receive our delegation. During our time here we have gotten to know all the regions of your republic. I would like to express my gratitude to the individuals who accompanied us and helped us.

Our visit marks the start of bilateral relations which, I am sure, will only develop and grow stronger.

Rakhmatov: I am happy to that this was made possible for you.

Al Fassi: We were quite impressed by the rich harvest of cotton and even more high level of culture, art, and the wide selection of books in different languages.

Rakhmatov: You were in the Ferdowsi library, and you were probably shown books in Arabic?

Al Fassi: Yes, but there were not that many and we also gave the library some books. In the future I think we need to establish a wide book exchange. But in truth Tajikistan is a republic whose example should be followed. And in the near future we will follow your path and will apply all our energies to catching up with you no matter how quickly you move ahead.

Rakhmatov: We would be only happy, but I should warn you that we will also not stand in one place. Our republic will blossom even more during the current seven year plan, and on its territory, on the river Vakhsh, an energy giant – the Nurek Hydropower Plant, will be build, and it will be one of the biggest construction projects in the country.

Al Fassi: We also have a large power plant that is so powerful that it supplies not only Morocco but also neighboring countries. Unfortunately, however, it is in the hands of the French. Let’s say that all the electric power you have is in the hands of some foreign company. How would you act in this situation?

Rakhmatov: The issue of the fight for independence is the business of each people and we would never interfere in the internal affairs of a foreign country.

Al Fassi: I did not suppose that you would see my question as pertaining to interference in internal affairs. I just asked how you would act in our place.

One cannot ignore the fact that as long as there exists imperialism which divides a country in two, as it happened with Morocco and Mauritania, while there exists imperialism that creates obstacles for true independence, peaceful coexistence is impossible. The preservation of the status-quo at this moment would mean the continuation of imperialist domination over a whole group of countries.  In that case we can only talk about peace for peoples, but not for imperialists.

Rakhmatov: Are you not tired from all this politics. Tell me, have you been to the theater?

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