Skip to content

April 20, 1961

Memorandum of Conversation, Comrade Abdyl Kellezi with Comrade Zhou Enlai

At the meeting there were also present: From our side, comrade Mihal Prifti, from the Chinese side the comrades Deng Xiaoping, Luo Ruiqing, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chief of Staff, and Wu Xiuquan, Deputy Director of the CCP CC International Department. In the lunch that was given after the talks there was also comrade Tan Zhenlin, member of the Political Bureau of the CCP CC and dealing with agriculture issues, as well as Comrade Li Xiannian.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: We took a look at the minutes of the meeting between [Chairman of the Ministerial Council and Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC] Comrade Mehmet Shehu and comrade Luo Shigao that they had after the meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact that was held in Moscow. In addition, we have also seen the minutes of your meeting with comrade Li Xiannian. Comrade Mao Zedong and comrade Liu Shaoqi are not here and we still do not know when they will be back, and that is why we requested this meeting. Today we have a party meeting to attend, too.

Comrade Abdyl Kellezi: (Took the floor and thanked for the great help that was given to us.)

Comrade Zhou Enlai: There is no reason to thank us. In brief, I can tell you that since the Moscow Conference (He was referring to the conference of 1960) the relations between our two parties and our two countries have been strengthened even further, because we have often exchanged thoughts and because, as you also mentioned, what we have to say we say it to each other. These past few days we also received the report by comrade Liu Xiao on the meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact and are of the opinion that the positions, letters and the discussions of the CPSU and of the Soviet government, and especially of Khrushchev, are incorrect. They are in contradiction to the principles of last year's Moscow Meeting, accepted by all the parties. It was especially incorrect the decision over the naval base which was accepted by a forced majority. They, as comrade Abdyl Kellezi mentioned, entered into the inter-governmental jurisdiction. It is a well known fact that all this is in contradiction to the Marxist – Leninist principles. As far as your side is concerned, in our opinion the behavior of comrade [First Vice-Chairman of the Ministerial Council, Minister of People's Defense and Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC] Beqir Balluku was correct. As to the relations between Albania and the Soviet Union since the Moscow Conference and until the Warsaw Pact meeting, whenever we have had the chance, we have suggested to the Soviet comrades that these relations should be improved. We think that the larger responsibility falls to the CPSU because it is a big country and these relations have deteriorated because of them.

During the days that the Moscow meeting was being held, comrades Deng Xiaoping and Peng Zhen have spoken to many Soviet comrades about this. This was reiterated once more by comrade Li Xiannian when he passed through Moscow on his way to your Congress. And lately, during the latest meeting in Moscow, comrade Liu Xiao (ambassador of the PRC to Moscow), whenever he has had the chance, has again spoken to the comrades of the CPSU CC.

During the proceedings of this latest meeting, since we are only observers, we did not read any speeches. We took the position of not reading any speeches. This was as a silent protest against the blackmail and the unreasonable attacks that Khrushchev waged against Albania. In fact there were also some other observers, such as that of Korea and that of Vietnam, who took the same position of silence, approving the Albanian position. We did not applaud Khrushchev. If we are given the chance again, we would continue to keep this attitude toward them. We are convinced that the leadership of the ALP CC and the government of the PRA have taken the correct position and the CCP and the government of PRC stand on your side.

As you also say, we support and stand on the side of those that follow the principles of Marxism-Leninism. Since the CPSU CC proceeded incorrectly and unfairly toward you, we are against them. I believe you know well the situation of our relations with them. Starting from the year 1958, in fact since 1957, we have entered into polemics with them. And especially during the period of 1959 – 1960 we have exchanged very bitter polemics. The polemics reached its climax at the beginning of last year's second half.

If we should speak of thanks, it should be us thanking you, because you took a brave stance at the Bucharest meeting and it was you defending us, a task that was not easy. We have a greater capacity of helping you, than you do us because we are a larger party and you are a smaller one, are situated in Europe, and are a member of the Warsaw Pact. From today onwards we will continue to exchange our points of view because we are Marxists. It should be noted that our opinions are sometimes incorrect, and that is why we need to exchange opinions. As comrade Mao Zedong says, we must stay with the truth and correct our mistakes. This would be the most correct position to take, to look at our mistakes and to correct them. Not only are some of the leaders of the CPSU not on the side of truth and do not correct their mistakes, but they do not even accept them. This is not according to the Marxist – Leninist principles. This must be dealt with seriously.

Now let us talk about the economic assistance. Since we are countries that…

[End of page 2. Pages 3 and 4 are missing. Translation continues on page 5. Zhou Enlai has the floor.]

[Zhou Enlai:] We are of the opinion that the Moscow Conference of the 81 Parties was a great success and it has developed even further the spirit of the 1957 Conference. Of course, this has happened as a result of our work of keeping with the principles of Marxism – Leninism, as a result of the efforts of the CCP and the ALP and of many other parties. But we cannot say this without including [sic] the CPSU and some other parties because they have revisionist points of view, but when faced with the truth they cannot accept this reality. During these past four years we have been able to finish two very important documents: The Declaration of 1957 and that of 1960. These are a common program for the international communist and workers' movement; they are our banner and weapon in our war; these weapons help us in the war against imperialism and against the modern revisionism in the defense of Marxism – Leninism and in the construction of socialism, and that is why we need to value deeply, and carry and raise high this banner. Whenever someone drops this banner and distances himself from the Moscow Declaration, he allows us to criticize him. When this weapon is held by our hand, then the errors will not be able to raise their heads, because we will raise this weapon high and they will lower their heads. It is precisely because we have this weapon that we are strong and on the side of rightness. The events taking place attest to this. The development of the events in our times proves our thoughts on the Declaration and not that of Khrushchev, who claims that we live in a time where we do not need weapons, wars and militaries.

And this time, at the Moscow meeting, Khrushchev did not mention this anymore. On the contrary, he pointed out that importance must be placed on the navy, aviation, nuclear submarines. He spoke about the strengthening of the defensive force of the Warsaw Pact, etc.

Comrade Abdyl Kellezi: But he also wants to close the naval base in our country.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: Everyone is laughing about it and is saying that they think he will not close it. And what do the new events in Cuba tell us? They show that there is no difference between Kennedy and Eisenhower. If there can be any discussion about any differences between the two, then the difference is this: When Eisenhower came to power, he ended the war in Korea; but when Kennedy came to power, he started the war in Cuba. The war in Korea was started by Kennedy's party and was ended by that of Eisenhower. Kennedy is developing military preparedness even further. And if there is another difference, it is this: Eisenhower and Dulles openly followed the policy of “open war,” while Kennedy on the surface appears as a person of peace but in reality has increased armaments. Not three months had passed before he showed his true face. Comrade Mao Zedong has said, “sometimes the criticism of the comrades and even of the masses do not have an effect in a comrade, but the acts of the enemy will have an effect if the comrade is still a revolutionary and a Marxist.” According to our opinion, the leadership of the CPSU and Khrushchev may not have any differences in their ideology and their working style, but we cannot say that they will not be influenced by all of this movement of the masses and the people if they are Marxists. And that is why in this case he could not pass on sending a letter to Kennedy and making the declaration (on the events in Cuba). On this he did a good job and we support him. I believe that you also agree.

Comrade Abdyl Kellezi: We do.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: It seems to us that the situation in Cuba will develop even further. In this situation Kennedy shows his true face and the entire world is learning that America has organized and manages this war against Cuba. As far as we know, the revolutionary Cuban government is prepared and it may even be able to cope with this situation on its own, but since this is a war cooked up by America itself, it will not back down easily. If all the countries rise up and give America a strong punch, then it may back down. As I said, the war on Korea was initiated by Kennedy's party and continued for three years until Eisenhower's party ended it. When one party cannot continue a war, then the other party comes in and ends it. We like a Khrushchev expression from his letter that says approximately, “do not think that it is possible to speak with one country about the establishment of peace and in another to ignite the world on fire.”

Kennedy's circles have understood this and say that they are willing to cooperate in Laos for the reestablishment of peace and that they are willing to carry out the UN resolutions in Congo for the normalization of the situation.

I had a meeting on this issue with the Soviet embassy's chargé d'affaires, because the ambassador is not here. I told him that we must look at the possibility of starting up another situation in another country as well. They are making the situation difficult in Cuba, so we go ahead and start another in a place more suitable for us. We speak up and condemn them in the UN. This should also be happening elsewhere, outside the UN.

He told me that the Cuban government has told the Soviet ambassador that the landing was done with American ships and planes. They must have been using an aircraft carrier, because the planes went and returned within 20 minutes. We can document this because we know how far Cuban land is from the territory of other countries, like Guatemala, etc.

But the war might continue for a long time, and that is why we need to be prepared. Of course, both you and we are far away from Cuba and cannot help her, but we could help her through the Soviet Union, because the Soviet Union has ships and other equipment. It is our opinion that at the last meeting in Moscow the issue of the Soviet Union not helping the other socialist countries so that they may also develop militarily was also left unresolved. The Americans have helped the others, to not mention here France and England. They are also helping Japan, have helped Canada, and Canada is helping India to develop atomic and nuclear weapons. We think that the Soviet Union should help the other countries so that they may also have atomic weapons, nuclear submarines, etc. When comrade Deng Xiaoping was in Moscow, he said that if all the socialist countries had nuclear weapons, peace would be even more guaranteed. And this is a very simple thing. Why does Khrushchev not accept this? He wants the monopoly of nuclear weapons. Well, it does not matter; we will work on our own.

[Translator's note: The notes change into third person here.] He spoke about the situation in Laos and said that [Laotian Prime Minister Prince] Souvanna Phouma cancelled his trip to the USA because of the attack on Cuba. He presents his character as a wavering individual, but said that we must still keep contacts with him because there are progressive elements in his government that cooperate with the Pathet Lao. Then he said that the situation in Laos is developing to the favor of the partisan forces. Then he said, “We can influence the situation not only in Cuba, but also in Laos. In the world there exist and are being fought local wars, but a world war does not come from this.”

He noted that he had had a meeting with the Mongolian ambassador who had just come to Beijing and he had said that the situation in Congo has now been stabilized, despite the fact that the country is isolated. Nonetheless, the situation there looks good.

[Translator's note: The notes switch back to first person.] About the situation, I think that in diplomacy we can use [our] strategic words but we must also prepare for war in practice.

We are Marxist–Leninists and we see that the course of events confirms our forecasts. This will also convince the others and that is why we must keep high the Moscow Declaration.

The leader comrades of our party and government, relying on the lessons of comrade Mao Zedong, started off in unity and through the necessary war [sic] we want to arrive at a new unity. We have come up with our own method through the war experience of our party. You know well that we have also had enemies and have fought against various currents within our party. From this long struggle within our party we have gained our own experience, according to which:

1) In the struggle against the enemy we do not speak first but second. We do not raise the issues but allow the adversary to do so, because through this he uncovers himself. After this we answer our adversary. This tool is more powerful. We defend the right and by defending it the masses and the others that do not see clearly, little by little are enlightened and come to our side.

2) We keep high the banner of unity. Often the opposite side does not keep this banner high, such as in Bucharest against us and now in Moscow against you. They do not keep the banner of unity high and through their stance wanted to expel us from the camp and make us kneel. But we understand their intentions and in Bucharest we fought our own war and presented our own points of view. For example, we signed the Bucharest Declaration, but we also distributed our own declaration.

At the Moscow meeting of November 1960, they conceded and we did the same and, finally, the Declaration was signed. Comrade Mao Zedong tells us to keep high the banner of unity. The intention is to bring the masses of the party and the people to our side, because when we have them on our side, it is more difficult for the enemy.

3) Confronted with the issues we must keep a correct stance. We say that we must speak openly and carefully. Sometimes we take this course: You speak and yell loudly, and I say nothing. This is a silent protest. For example, comrade Beqir Balluku, when he spoke, said to Khrushchev, “Will you let me continue, or not?” This was a good protest.

4) We must deal with restraint both in the war against the enemy and in the internal struggle between the parties. We do not say our entire piece to the end, because the situation cannot develop in only one manner. There can be two, three, or four ways it can develop. For example, Khrushchev says his final word first, but the situation does not develop as he thinks, and so he has to pull back and change course.

Comrade Deng Xiaoping: Such is his position when dealing with the naval base. He deals without restraint. He said that he would liquidate the base, but this must not be done. Under these conditions the decision that was taken has no value. We must deal with restraint. As far as the base goes, we must require that the existing agreement is honored. This base lies in Albania, and that is why Albania should have command of it. For example, Albania says that we must improve relations and the base must be strengthened. This is fair.

Comrade Abdyl Kellezi: He says that he will remove the base, but we say no.

Both of them: They are saying that they think it will not be removed, because it should be kept.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: Of course, the enemies realize that there are differences between China and the Soviet Union and between Albania and the Soviet Union, but they do not know what these differences actually are. That is why we need to analyze these issues step by step and with restraint. For example, Khrushchev always goes into battle personally, but we do not follow this course. In Bucharest we sent comrade Peng Zhen and in Moscow we sent comrade Deng Xiaoping. We hold back the other comrades. We keep comrade Mao Zedong and Comrade Deng Xiaoping in reserve for later.

Comrade Liu Shaoqi, when he went to Moscow, told Khrushchev, “Why do you continually go personally to other countries? Let the other comrades go and prepare the situation and then you can go.” We saw then that many Soviet comrades liked this idea of ours, but in Moscow it was Khrushchev again who came out. That is why we say that Khrushchev's method of thinking and his style of work are difficult to change. Nonetheless, we do not say that his politics will not change, because the development of the situation and the pressure from the people and the party will have an influence on him.

We think there are a few possibilities here:

1) You should continue your struggle with determination. We will help you in this struggle and you, through your struggle, will influence the other parties. But, nonetheless, a bad outcome may not be avoided.

Comrade Deng Xiaoping: This would not be a very big or a difficult outcome. Should it happen, we will help you with all our strength.

His words were approved by comrade Zhou Enlai, who then continued: We will show the enemy, his party and the other sister parties his mistakes and weaknesses and force him to answer for those mistakes.

We will attempt and change him and will not make concessions on these points of view. We think that whenever we have the chance, we will speak again with the Soviet comrades to see if the relations with you can be improved. As far as the military assistance, we think that we should wait a little longer until he [Khrushchev] answers you with a letter. After this, we will say that we will temporarily help Albania. You will also talk about this with comrade Mao Zedong.

If the other socialist countries really do not help you, we think that we should make some adjustments to the proportion of assistance you receive. We think that the field of agriculture should be the primary concern of these adjustments. And when we do this (meaning the socialist reconstruction of the country), we should take into account all the variables, such as the work force, the raw materials, etc., etc.

Comrade Deng Xiaoping: Comrade Zhou Enlai mentioned all the issues and these are the opinions of every one of us. They are the opinions of the CC of our party. I would only like to mention two issues.

1) One is the problem of the internal relations within the socialist camp. As you well know, Bucharest was a struggle against us. You found yourselves in the flames of the fire, drew the fire of the battle upon yourselves, and that was a good move. You showed bravery. Marx was also the brave type. All of the Marxists are the same. They are not afraid of prison, or of internment, and not even afraid of death. They follow this road out their own free will. Then, at the Moscow Conference, both our parties were in the line of fire. After the Moscow Conference, their fire was directed back against you. It seems like the fire against us is a little bit softer, maybe because we are a larger party. But in fact, they direct their fire not only against you and not only against us both. It seems like this issue is here to stay for a long time. As I speak, I may also repeat things a few times. During the Moscow Conference I did not have the chance to meet comrade [First Secretary of the Albanian Party of Labour (ALP)] Enver Hoxha and had a lot of meetings and talks with comrade [Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC and Secretary of the CC] Hysni Kapo. The same with comrade Liu Shaoqi, most of whose meeting were also with comrade Hysni Kapo. The opinion that this is an issue that will take a long time is a common opinion of both our parties. But we are on the side of justice. Justice is with us and this is essential. But even formally we should always be just. We should owe nothing. In fact, they owe us, but this struggle will be long, and that is why we should operate in such a way that both formally and in actuality justice should be on our side and they should owe us. Let us look at the naval base, for example. You are on the side of justice. You should request that the relevant agreement be respected. You should keep repeating this and say nothing else, until you find out what he has to say. We think that the method that comrade Beqir Balluku used was very correct. If you get mad, then why shouldn't I? If you curse, then why shouldn't I? This makes them think.

It seems that this struggle will be a long one, which is why detailed and careful work is required here. I am convinced that we have common points of view and that there are no misunderstandings between us. We immediately understand all your materials. For example, the case of the five girls we understood immediately, because we also had our own experience with this issue. During the Moscow Conference, comrade Hysni Kapo gave me a list and told me…

We are convinced that your opinions are correct and we cannot fathom how small Albania could be the perpetrator against the big Soviet Union.

We recognize the truth at first sight. The issue is how to organize our work. We used to have a good coordination with Moscow. Of course, they have attacked you unfairly during the last meeting and the way you retorted was good. We did not speak. We will look to find out the right time to speak.

We have mentioned this issue many times in the coordination commission and comrade Liu Shaoqi has spoken officially to Gomulka. We told them that they should not act in such a way toward Albania and that Albania is right in this case. In his greetings, comrade Liu Shaoqi spoke about twelve socialist countries. He said that from Albania to Vietnam and from Germany to Korea there should be complete unity and whoever destroys this unity shall be committing a historic crime. We will always repeat this position.

This time we only sent our ambassador to the meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact, while in other meetings we have sent a delegation. They understand our position. We had instructed our ambassador that if the meeting's proceedings were in order, he could read a greeting, but if there would be anything spoken against Albania, he should be silent. Sometimes, when you do not hold a speech, it weighs more than if you say something. This does not mean that we did not take a position in Moscow. They owe you and the entire communist movement. We will be speaking out, but when or how we are going to do this, is an issue that we must look over carefully. For example, he [Khrushchev] has not decided to remove the base, and even if he does so, to prevent him from doing so. But we will try so that he does not. This is in your favor and that of the entire socialist camp. That is why we will carefully study the issue of when we will speak out about this. We will also weigh its effect. It may be that the events in Cuba have some sort of benefit for you. Of course, should they not back down, there should be a retreat position. This is our opinion for the moment. Of course, when we speak out and what we will say will be discussed with you first. For the moment, we are being silent. But, of course, on such an issue, one cannot stay silent forever.

2) The second issue has to do with the matter of economic assistance. Should they decide to not help you, it will be our duty to do so, because you have given a great assistance to the world communist movement. This is what we say: We will help you with all the capacity we have. If there are some things which, right now or in the near future, we cannot help you with, we will tell you so. These are issues which have to do with the development and technological stage where we find ourselves. These are issues which we should solve in stages. There are some objects which we are not able to build right away.

We think that in the field of economic cooperation you should operate in such away that for the next 100 years the responsibility falls on them. Whatever you can solve, solve it with them, keeping justice always on your side. The rest we can look at together. But in your conditions, the way to solve these issues (the construction of socialism) is a big deal. We also raised these issues with the Cuban comrades when the general secretary of the party was here and we exchanged opinions with them. Comrade Mao Zedong said, “first of all, you should keep and strengthen the people's police force. Second, you should change their one-sided economy and develop the agriculture.” Now in the development of their economy they are keeping this in mind. Instead of planting only sugar cane, they will also develop the production of rice and other cultures. Now they have a 300,000 strong people's police force, which serves as a guarantee for them. Can the [Soviet] missiles [stationed in Cuba] really be used? This is not an easy thing, because a world war could be ignited, while local wars have always existed and will continue to exist. Today, a people's police force is more important than a regular military. It is possible that the enemy can occupy all the main cities, but the war will be continued in the rear by the people's police force.

Of course, such advice is not for Albania's conditions, because all the people are behind you. For you important is the issue of reconstruction and this should be at the basis of your work.

Your agriculture has a relatively high potential and this is an important issue. The development of industry should have at its base the development of agriculture. First we should fill our bellies and then comes the rest. As for the other issues, you can see to them yourselves, because you have enough experience. In general though, developed industry with underdeveloped agriculture becomes a hindrance. For example, every year we supply the province of [Manchuria] with 1.6 billion tons of grains. There are also examples of other provinces where work in various industrial projects has been suspended. We now have to slow down the building of industry to develop our agriculture. In the next three years we will not see a visible development of our industry. We will mainly place the most importance on the development of agriculture.

When you go back to Albania, please tell comrade Enver Hoxha that we will help you with all our strength, with all we have, but we will not be able to fulfill all of your needs.

(As comrade Zhou Enlai and comrade Deng Xiaoping finished their speeches, Comrade Abdyl Kellezi asked for permission to speak and spoke as follows.)

Comrade Abdyl Kellezi: Comrade Zhou Enlai and comrade Deng Xiaoping presented their opinion that we have common points of view and have no disagreements. We are convinced of this because we found each other on the same page in Bucharest without any previous planning. We found ourselves holding the same positions in defense of Marxism – Leninism. The Central Committee of our party is completely convinced that we have common points of view when it comes to the defense of Marxism – Leninism, because both you and we are on a just course, because between us there have not been and there are no disagreements.

We were not caught unprepared in the meeting of the Consultative Committee because our leadership had foreseen that there might be some kind of attack against us there, which it actually happened. You had also foreseen that there might be an attack against Albania. Nikita Khrushchev, backed by the rest of them, elevated the issue of ideological disagreements to the level of inter-state relations.

We did not start the fight at the meeting of the Consultative Commission. The speech by comrade Beqir Balluku was correct and principled; it had been approved by the leadership of our party. Our speech relied on the Moscow Declaration after the Conference of the 81 Communist and Workers' Parties of 1960, in which, the need for the strengthening of the militaries of the countries of the Warsaw Pact and the dangers that American imperialism presented were mentioned; the activities of the imperialists, Kennedy, and of the Belgrade revisionists were unmasked publicly; the need for the strengthening of our military was stressed, etc. In other words, that speech was correct and principled.

Nikita Khrushchev, on the other hand, and the rest of them attacked Albania and, as you well know, presented shameful declarations and arguments against our country and our party. The fabrications and the slander on the issue of the naval base are ignoble. Nothing has happened at the base which has been done purposefully by us. (Comrade Deng Xiaoping interrupted here and said that they had heard about the case of the five Soviet women that had been stopped by the police and that the Soviets had used such methods against them too.) The reason for their attack is not this event, but what happened in Bucharest and we said this openly in the meeting. It is a fact that since Bucharest they have started to sabotage the readiness of the base and of the military; they have not completed supply deliveries of any goods and we have raised this issue with them time after time. They requested that either only Soviet personnel be stationed at the base,or else it be removed. We explained that the base was constructed at the initiative of the ALP CC and in agreement with the CPSU CC and that there is a signed agreement on this between us and the Soviet government. We told them that we would never agree to remove the Albanian personnel from the base, and that if they wanted, they could remove the base, but I also said that it would be a violation of the signed agreements and that they would be held responsible by their [own] people, by the world communist movement, and by history. The removal of the base damages Albania, the Soviet Union and our entire socialist camp, but we defend and will continue to defend our country in every situation. We told them that if they would remove the base, we would help them and would not hinder their work, but that we think that the base should be strengthened instead. They also delivered a letter to us, but our delegation did not answer them on the spot. It was a letter by [Warsaw Pact Supreme Commander Andrei A.] Grechko and we only answered it after they asked us for an answer. In other words, it was not us who started the fight. It was they who started it, and we answered as we should have. It was they who trampled on the Moscow Declaration of the 81 Parties.

Khrushchev said that the Albanians are trying to overthrow him and other things. This is absurd and anti Marxist, but he thinks of himself as someone who has taken under his wing and defends the enemies of the ALP. How is it possible that the ALP could seek to overthrow the secretary of another party? It is not our business. Who is and who remains the secretary of a party or another is only the business of the communists who are members of that party. But we do say openly to Khrushchev that he should have nothing to do with the traitors of our own party. He should not interfere with the internal business of our party, because we do not allow anyone to do this. So, we did not initiate an attack. Khrushchev did and we gave him the counterpunch. In this situation it is Khrushchev the one who is trampling on the Moscow Declaration. Our party has fought and will continue to fight for the execution of the Moscow Declaration and we are convinced that both our parties will always be the ones to consistently hold high that banner, and they will be left to hold the other banner, the banner of opportunism and revisionism.

They came to our Fourth Congress and trampled on the Moscow Declaration. We, on the contrary, continued with the Congress's proceedings in the spirit of the Moscow Declaration, on which you have been briefed by Comrade Li Xiannian. They tried to find some crack in our work, but were disillusioned, because our party showed itself to be monolithic. It was said here that this struggle will be long because this is an ideological struggle. We agree that it will be a long one, that patience is needed, and that we will prevail. We are presenting to you our opinions … [illegible] … it says that our position is correct. For example, Cuba, Laos, Congo, etc. show that justice is on our side. They do not want to change and the reason is that this issue is not simple. It is an ideologically anti-Marxist point of view. He says we have the missiles, we tell him that it is not only the missile that matters. The people must be armed, they must be vigilant, the military must be strengthened, and imperialism must be unmasked. Then he says that we must remove the base from Albania. In the meeting of the Warsaw Pact the danger was not American imperialism, it was Albania and its naval base. Thus, here we see two opposing theories, two ideologies. Patience is necessary and our party thinks so too. As our people say, “The tree cannot be felled in one strike.”

The comrades here said that you did not speak at the meeting in Moscow, just like the others that were there as observers did not speak either. But you are on our side and you support our stance. We know that your ambassador had instructions to not speak and that he spoke outside the meeting. We know that you will speak up when you think it necessary and will not stay silent forever. We believe what you say. You know it better when, what and at what level you will speak up. We are confident that when you deem it necessary, you will speak up and this you know better. We are confident that we have common points of view in our just and principled struggle.

Comrade Zhou Enlai spoke on the need for the stocking up of reserves and for the preparation of people for good days and for bad days. We are realists. We understand that we may also face difficult days ahead, but we are not afraid of them. We have, as always, prepared the people and will continue to do so, with the slogan, “In one hand the pickaxe, on the other the rifle.” As far as the grain, fuel and other materials' reserves, the CC has kept them in mind, but the conditions have not been favorable and we have not had any surplus in those materials to build any reserves. We are taking serious measures. Thus, for example, the members of the CC and the government have gone in teams in plant after plant around the country in order to economize the material and financial funds and in a short time we will devise a plan on the strengthening of the regimen of frugality, which will help in the creation of our reserves…

[Translator's note: End of page 15. Page 16 is missing. Translation continues on page 17. Abdyl Kellezi has the floor.]

[Abdyl Kellezi]… but they will fail in this and in it the great assistance that you gave us played a very important role. There are also nuances, for example, the Hungarians did not make it difficult for us. The Czechs, merchants that they are, might not break the agreements with us, because they would rather trade the goods, especially the iron and the copper they get from us. We agree to trade with them. But there is one thing that is clear; they are trying to sabotage our five-year plan.

As to the matter of military assistance, I have also told comrade Li Xiannian that since the Bucharest events they have not sent any more supplies and are not even thinking of sending them. They also want to destroy the base. Once again, on this issue, they showed themselves to be in opposition to the Moscow Declaration and with the signed agreements. After the Moscow meeting (of the Warsaw Pact), our representative requested from the Soviet side that they decide on the materials and equipments that should be sent to Albania for the military. The Soviet representative asked him whether the answer that Khrushchev and Grechko gave us was not enough for us. In other words, they are not going to send any supplies for the military.

This was also indicated by the work of the commission that made the decision of how the munitions would be produced and the difference between its decision and the list of the equipment that we asked to receive from the Soviet Union. They asked that the supplies be bought 50% through clearing and 50% through a loan plus annual interest. We opposed this and it was removed from the protocol. Chinese comrades, we do not ask for the fulfillment of the list. We only ask for the munitions from it.

(Then it was agreed that the competent comrades set off for Albania to deal with this issue, because the Chinese comrades are willing to help us and the defense minister will be the point person on their side. Comrade Abdyl Kellezi thanked them once more for their readiness to assist us and emphasized once again that what we were asking for are needed to create what comrade Zhou Enlai advised about, the creation of necessary reserves for bad days. Comrade Abdyl Kellezi told them that our entire party and our entire people would fight for the defense of our fatherland, for the defense of their revolutionary victories, for the defense of Marxism – Leninism. He assured them once more that all what was said he will faithfully transmit to comrade Enver Hoxha.

Comrade Zhou Enlai said that the next day there would be a great rally for Cuba where there would be 100,000 people attending and hundreds of thousands more would be listening from public squares. He invited us to attend this rally and comrade Abdyl Kellezi gleefully accepted the invitation.)

Comrade Abdyl Kellezi: Comrades, you said that there is no reason for us to thank you. You have to forgive me but we thanked you because we, first of all, have to fulfill the instructions that Comrade Enver Hoxha gave us. Furthermore, this is something that we deeply feel it in our hearts and we cannot keep it inside. You are helping us in an unprecedented manner, as true brothers. We come here to you and we ask that you forgive us for continually bothering you and making so many requests. We are saying this like communist friends and brothers and you should do the same and tell us openly what your capabilities are and where you can help us. We will never forget this internationalist assistance. Just like you understand us when we come and openly seek your assistance, we also understand you we you say to us that this is something you have, or something you do not have, but which you will try to maybe give it to us a bit later. We understand that sometimes it is difficult for you to say no to us, but we also understand that you are doing what you can and more, because you are taking from your own table to give to us. This is an internationalist behavior. We are also very confident that when you tell us that a certain factory, for example, shall be delivered to us on that date, which may not be very suitable for us, your apparatus, following your orders, will work hard to deliver it before the deadline.

(Comrade Zhou Enlai intervenes here and said that there may also be technical difficulties or some materials, like steel for example, due to shipping problems may be delivered after the deadline. Comrade Abdyl Kellezi added that such things may happen in life, but that we understand each other and that what is important is that our unified forces will be put to use to execute the tasks that await us. He also added that we have no doubt about this. Comrade Zhou Enlai said that it may happen that they could give us something which may not be completely perfect and may have some problems. He said that if that happens they would plead with us to send it back. Comrade Abdyl Kellezi added that we will solve everything like communists and that… [illegible].

After the conversation lunch was served where a warm conversation ensued, various toasts were made to the friendship, to both our Parties, to both our leaders, comrade Enver Hoxha and comrade Mao Zedong, and to the defense of Marxism – Leninism.)

Conceived by A. K. and M. P.
Typed by T. F.
Three copies were produced, two of which were handed to comrade A. K. and the other to M. P.

Zhou Enlai expressed China's opinions on the result of the meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact, China's support of the principles of Marxism-Leninism in several Soviet-Albanian conflicts. They also discussed issues of economic and military assistance.

Document Information


Central State Archive, Tirana, AQPPSH-MPKK-V. 1961, L. 13, D. 6. Obtained by Ana Lalaj and translated by Enkel Daljani.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date



Memorandum of Conversation


Record ID