Editorial Note

On October 4 the Department of State authorized the Embassy in Yugoslavia, on the basis of the revised United States civil aviation [Page 219] policy toward Eastern Europe set forth in the circular instruction of October 4 (supra), to explore with Yugoslav officials the possibilities of securing air rights in Yugoslavia for American civil air carriers. Yugoslav officials expressed a favorable attitude toward a reciprocal exchange of air rights with the United States. Formal negotiations began on November 5 and concluded on December 24. During the negotiations, which were lengthy, closely argued, but cordial throughout, the United States was represented by William A, Fowler, First Secretary of the Embassy in Belgrade, and Civil Air Attaché Francis Deak. Yugoslavia was represented by Nikodije Jovanovic, Counsellor of the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry, Ivan Cvencek, Chief of Operations, Department of Civil Aviation, Yugoslav Ministry of Transport, and Branko Bakic, Attaché at the Department of Civil Aviation. The voluminous exchange of messages between the Embassy and the Department of State regarding the negotiations is largely concentrated in file 711.60H27.

A provisional civil air transport agreement between the United States and Yugoslavia was concluded at Belgrade on December 24, 1949, through an exchange of identical diplomatic notes. The agreement, which became effective immediately, provided for the establishment of a route or routes by Yugoslavia to and through the United States zones of occupation in Austria and Germany. The United States was granted a route to Belgrade and beyond. The notes were initialled by Chargé Robert B. Reams for the United States and by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Vladimir Popovic for Yugoslavia, For the text of the agreement, which was made public immediately, see Department of State Bulletin, January 9, 1950, pages 63–64, Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 2055, or 64 Stat. (pt. 3) B131.

Just prior to the exchange of notes concluding the provisional air transport agreement, American and Yugoslav representatives exchanged copies of a previously agreed upon memorandum of conversation setting forth certain additional understandings regarding the agreement. The memorandum of conversation explained that the routes to be served by the Yugoslav airline were intended to serve Austria, Western Europe, and Scandinavia. The designated American airline was to operate a route via the North Atlantic and Europe to Belgrade and beyond. The designated American airline would begin the overflight of Yugoslav territory immediately, but traffic stops at Belgrade would be made only when they became technically and economically practicable. The initialled copy of the memorandum of conversation as prepared by the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry, which was not to be published, was transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to despatch 430, December 27, from Belgrade, neither printed (711.60H27/12–2749).

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In his telegram 1321, December 24, from Belgrade, not printed, Chargé Reams reported that at the ceremony for the initialling of the exchange of notes concluding the air transport agreement, Deputy Foreign Minister Popovic expressed pleasure at the conclusion of the agreement, the spirit in which the negotiations had been conducted, and the confidence that the agreement would lead to better understanding and closer relations not only in civil aviation but in other matters as well. Reams responded in a similar vein (711.60H27/12–2449).