151. Telegram From the Embassy in Yugoslavia to the Department of State0

486. Rome for Lister. Tito at Nis November 22 expounded Yugoslav view that greater emphasis must be given UN in achieving world relaxation tensions. Summit meetings which conducive East-West rapprochement he said are highly desirable if they not indeed precondition any general relaxation. Khrushchev visit and forthcoming meetings other high government officials1 thus welcomed, he asserted but benefits active coexistence can only be finally realized with elimination bloc concepts and development coexistence on universal basis.

Turning to immediate problems within Balkans Tito declared Yugoslavia had always favored any positive approach to general rapprochement and had only resorted to Yugoslav Greek Turkish agreement when broader understanding proved impossible. Under this agreement he said Greek Yugoslav relations had prospered. Now with elimination Cyprus issue2 there are no reasons why similar improvement should not take place with Turkey and he had recently said as much to Turkish Ambassador. With respect Bulgaria, Rumania and particularly Albania, however, situation is such “there are not realistic foundations for a meeting” (presumably along lines recent Rumanian proposals).3 Unless bilateral relations improved Tito said “this meeting would be pure propaganda and it would bring more harm than benefit”.

Comment: In discussions Tito speech at Nis with senior Foreign Secretariat officials Rukavina and Primozic both agreed today that statements regarding desire improve relations with Turkey rather than engage in “propagandists” general Balkan conference represented important expression current Yugoslav attitude. Rukavina moreover volunteered additional remark that some suggestion has been made (he [Page 398] failed specify by whom) that Albania might be simply ignored as way around difficulty posed by strained Yugoslav-Albanian relations4 thus enabling other Balkan countries achieve harmonious settlement their differences. According Rukavina Tito speech at Nis should make clear that any such suggestion completely unacceptable to Yugoslavs who adhere firmly to their now established position that substantial improvement bilateral relations must precede any generalized “settlement” (for further discussion this point see Embtel 416).5 Any Balkan rapprochement without Albania Rukavina added would only free that country to continue its disruptive activities thus rendering rapprochement meaningless.

Judging from Rukavina, Primozic further remarks as well as other official comment heard recently Tito references to necessity eliminate blocs in order realize benefits coexistence also represented something more than mere repetition familiar Yugoslav positions. Thus in separate conversations both men asserted East-West rapprochement without assurance of progress toward elimination blocs would only lead to kind of partition of world along lines at one time favored by Stalin. Such partition they said could only be harmful to interests uncommitted countries in manner certain to provoke rather than eliminate further tensions.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 768.00/11–2359. Confidential. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, Moscow, London, Paris, Bucharest, Zagreb, Sarajevo, and Rome.
  2. During November and early December, British Foreign Secretary Lloyd, German Chancellor Adenauer, Italian Prime Minister Segni, Foreign Minister Pella, and President Eisenhower made visits to other Western capitals to discuss plans for a summit meeting. These meetings culminated when the four Western heads of state met in Paris on December 19.
  3. Accords signed in London on February 19 by the Greek, Turkish, and British Prime Ministers established a Republic of Cyprus on February 19, 1960.
  4. On June 8 the Romanian Government proposed a meeting of Balkan Prime Ministers with the objective of completing a collective security treaty and establishing a nuclear-free zone in the Balkans with a great power guarentee for both agreements.
  5. Yugoslav-Albanian relations deteriorated during 1958 as Albania joined in the Communist bloc campaign against Tito’s “revisionism.” In addition, Albania accused Yugoslavia of mistreating its Albanian minorities and renewed its territorial claims against Yugoslavia. The Albanian Minister to Yugoslavia was recalled in August 1958 and returned only in the fall of 1959.
  6. Telegram 416, November 3, reported on an editorial in the Belgrade daily Politika that indicated Yugoslav interest in improving its relations with other Balkan governments. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.6166/11–359)