72. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Ford, Washington, January 10, 1975.1 2
THE WHITE HOUSE
January 10, 1975
MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT
- Henry A. Kissinger [HK initialed]
- Reply to President Tito of Yugoslavia
With the letter at Tab B, President Tito has expressed his appreciation for the message you sent him on August 10 affirming your commitment to further improving US-Yugoslav relations, and he has extended an invitation to you to visit Yugoslavia.
On September 6, Tito sent you another letter (at Tab C) setting forth in some detail Yugoslav concern over Cyprus, reviewing the diplomatic contacts his government had undertaken on this issue, and expressing the hope that the United States agreed on the need to take every step possible to resolve the crisis as soon as possible.
Our relations with Yugoslavia were subsequently complicated when Tito alleged in a September 12 speech that the CIA and NATO had engineered the Cyprus coup. I took the Yugoslav Foreign Minister to task on this point during our September meeting in New York. During my visit to Belgrade on November 4, I had frank and detailed discussions with Tito and other leading members of the Yugoslav Government, not only on the even-handed approach we are taking toward Cyprus, but also on the need to consult at the government-to-government level rather than voicing any policy disagreement in speeches and in the press. I believe this point was understood and taken well. As the result of the positive tone of these consultations with the Yugoslavs, I believe it would now be appropriate for you to reply to President Tito’s letters.
A reply at this time would also be propitious because of recent events in Yugoslavia that have contributed to a more positive attitude toward the United States. In September, Tito revealed that the Soviet Union had been caught — again — meddling in Yugoslav internal affairs. The subversive Soviet activity, revealed at its most bungling in the “Cominformist” plot, has angered Tito, confirmed the Yugoslavs’ worst fears that Titoism remains [Page 2] unacceptable to the Soviets and that they will continue their attempts at undermining, and seems to have slightly inclined the Yugoslavs to probe for further expansion of relations with the West.
Judging by my talks in Belgrade and the effect of the above events, it is clear that the Yugoslavs, and Tito personally, attach great importance to our visiting Yugoslavia as soon as an acceptable schedule can be arranged. They will value your meeting personally with Tito as a fresh and clear U. S. endorsement of Yugoslav independence and non-alignment. In my opinion, such a visit will contribute positively to your foreign policy objectives not only toward Yugoslavia but also in terms of maintaining stability in East-West relations.
The reply for your signature to Tito at Tab A would note the exchange of views that has taken place over the past several months and would state the importance you attach to maintaining a continuing dialogue with Yugoslavia on issues of common interest. Your reply would also accept President Tito’s invitation to visit Yugoslavia, stating that you look forward to identifying a mutually convenient date for the visit.
Your letter has been coordinated with Paul Theis.
That you sign the letter to President Tito at Tab A.
- Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, Box 5, Yugoslavia—President Tito. Secret. Sent for action. A stamped notation on the first page indicates the President saw it. Attached but not published at Tab A is Ford’s signed January 13 letter to Tito. Tabs B and C, Tito’s letters, were not found. Kissinger had visited Yugoslavia on November 4, 1974. For Kissinger’s discussions, November 4, with Bijedic and Tito, see Documents 71 and 72.↩
- Kissinger recommended Ford signal, in a letter to Tito, the desire for continued improvement in U.S.-Yugoslav relations and to accept Tito’s invitation to visit Yugoslavia. Ford accepted the recommendation.↩