182. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Yugoslavia1

144121. 1. Following summary FYI only and Noforn. It is uncleared and subject amendment upon review of memcon.2

2. Ambassador Micunovic called at his request on Secretary Feb. 24. Recalled regular, helpful practice of consultation with Secretary before returning Belgrade and said we need discussions now more than ever before. Tito and Foreign Office awaiting with great interest details his conversation with Secretary. Stressed his feeling that, without intention either Government, in last five or six months there have been unfortunate developments in US-Yugoslav relations, i.e. legislation of US Congress on Food for Peace,3 question US assistance for economic reform, December demonstration in Zagreb4 and January 29 bombings.5 Question arises therefore of policy and intentions both governments. Need clarification future prospects.

3. Secretary replied bombings outrageous and unfortunate. He had asked Under Secretary to keep in close touch with Department Justice regarding progress investigation. There have been no arrests yet but results not completely blank and these must be checked out carefully. He stressed FBI has committed full facilities to investigation. USG must make clear its attitude toward such incidents very severe, even aside from US-Yugoslav relations, since it affects 118 countries with which we have relations. We will try keep Yugoslavs informed further developments.

4. On Zagreb demonstrations Secretary said these also unfortunate and he did not wish contradict what US authorities had said earlier. Although we have feeling that demonstrations could have been prevented and their effect should not be underestimated, they have not produced permanent injury to our relations as far as President and Secretary concerned and have not affected USG thinking.

5. Secretary recalled Executive Branch had vigorously opposed legislation eliminating Yugoslav eligibility Food for Peace sales and law [Page 484] not aimed solely at Yugoslavia. Outcome result of psychology over Vietnam in Congress. Secretary said he not aware any negative changes in USG attitude toward Yugoslavia and emphasized our hope to further develop relations. As example, cited hope both countries would have success in Kennedy Round.

6. Secretary said debt roll-over not easy but we continue active consideration. One problem is fact US called upon play major, often almost single, role in assistance many countries, e.g. food for India. With huge budget before Congress this year, USG concerned about what other countries doing in assistance field.

7. Secretary emphasized USG would very much like to see Yugoslav economic reform succeed and wishes to help. Problem for us is not one of policy but rather limited possibilities for action by other agencies as to amount of burdens other countries they can assume.

8. Answering Secretary’s question what Micunovic considers major bilateral problems, latter expressed satisfaction Department’s actions on damages resulting from bombing. In eyes Yugoslav Government, public and press there can be no question USG good will but violence against Yugoslav missions must be eliminated and FBI investigation must be successful. Secretary replied FBI actively working on available information but there is difference in possibility of action toward those involved in such acts as bombing and those politically opposed to Yugoslav regime. Micunovic said he referred only to acts of violence. Yugoslav missions in US can no longer operate under “reign of terror.”

9. Micunovic said GOY had received no formal answer to request for economic assistance posed last July. GOY appreciated USG help and favorable attitude. However, whereas Yugoslavs told in October they could pay for CCC purchases at end of three years, now told must pay one third each year. GOY does not even know exact status edible oil in view question of PA requirement for purchase “usual marketing requirement” 15,000 tons oil in 1967, although GOY completed such purchases last year under April 1966 agreement. Micunovic recited emigre actions against Yugoslav premises and personnel in US in recent years. USG must provide minimum conditions for operation Yugoslav missions.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL US–YUGO. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Miller, cleared by Yost, and approved by Lisle. Repeated to USUN.
  2. Not found.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 179.
  4. The demonstration on December 20, 1966, protested U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. It was one of a series of demonstrations and attacks on U.S. Government facilities in Yugoslavia during December 1966.
  5. A coordinated series of bomb attacks against Yugoslav diplomatic missions in Canada and the United States took place on January 29. The Yugoslav Government denounced the attacks as the work of anti-Tito emigres.