|The Presentation of the Collection of Documents Yugoslav-Algerian Relations 1956-1979|
|In the presence of numerous guests, representatives of diplomatic corps in the Republic of Serbia (Ambassadors of Algeria, Angola, United Arab Emirates, Republic of Guinea, Iraq, Iran, Congo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunis, Montenegro and charge d’affairs of the Embassy of Indonesia), representatives of scientific and cultural life, promotion of collected documents Yugoslav – Algerian Relations 1956-1979 was held on November 19, 2014 in the Archives of Yugoslavia.
The book is mutual project of the Archives of Yugoslavia, National Archives of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria in Serbia. The publisher of the collected documents is the Archives of Yugoslavia, the cultural institution of national importance.
Maja Gojković, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia; Dr.Mohamed Larbi Ould Khelifa, President of the National Assembly of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria; H.E. Abdelkader Mesdoua, Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to Serbia; Dejan Ristić M.A. State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and Miladin Milošević, Acting Director of the Archives of Yugoslavia.
It is highlighted that the book contains documents that are witnessing the relation between the Yugoslavia and Algeria that was started already in the time of Algerian struggle for independence, cooperation and meetings at the highest state level in both Belgrade and Algeria in the period from 1956 to 1979.
Messages that had been exchanged from the autumn of 1962 on, between Josip Broz Tito and Algerian statesmen were significant for the development of good international relations and coordination of attitudes regarding important matters; General Secretary of the Algerian National Movement Moulay Merbah, Member of the Algerian National Liberation Front Dr. Lamin Debaghine, President of the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic Ferhat Abbas, President of People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Ahmet Ben Bella, President of People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and President of the Revolutionary Council and Government of People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Houori Boumediene and General Secretary of the FLN party and President of People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Chadli Benjedid.
Among the documents of special significance were those dealing with international crisis of Cold War and universalistic concept of non-aligned politics. Political messages influenced development of special relation between Josip Broz Tito and Algerian statesmen characterized by mutual respectability, sincerity and confidence.
Algerian Government delegation headed by Ferhat Abbas, President of the Provisional Government visited for the first time Yugoslavia in June 1959. Staying close to and believing in the principles of anti-colonial politics, Yugoslav representatives confirmed their previously uttered statements regarding legitimacy of liberation struggle of the peoples of Algeria. The visit itself meant de facto recognition of Provisional Government of Algeria. This visit succeeded six visits of the President of the Republic of Algeria, three visits of the President of General Assembly and two visits of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito visited Algeria four times. Besides, heads of state had several meetings at the Conferences of Non-aligned Courtiers: in Belgrade 1961, Cairo 1964, Lusaka 1970, Algeria 1973, Colombo 1976 and Havana 1979.
"By expressing my sincere desire of the Peoples of Yugoslavia who have strong feelings and great sympathy for the Algerian people and their heroic struggle, for a number of years – I would like to declare in the name of Yugoslav government that since our government for some time has recognized de facto Algerian government we would like to recognize it de jure with its president who is here with us today". By those words of Josip Broz Tito uttered on September 5, 1961 during the First Conference of the Heads of State and Prime Ministers of the Non-aligned countries, relation between National Liberation Front of Algeria and Yugoslavia were transformed into international relations of Yugoslavia and Algeria. Yugoslavia was the first European state that recognized Provisional Government of Algeria.
After June 1962 and after gaining the independence, relation between Yugoslavia and Algeria was at a rise. Already in 1962, Yugoslavia accredited its Ambassador to Algeria while the Algerian side did the same thing in March 1963. In the period from October 1962 to the 1980s, five of Yugoslav Ambassadors were accredited to Algeria and from June 1963 to the 1980s, four Algerian Ambassadors were accredited to Yugoslavia. Diplomatic representatives from the very beginning played the important role in transmission of messages, information and attitudes. Numerous parliamentary, party, ministry, soldiers, youth, educational and trade union organizations that two countries exchanged in the course of 1963,1964 and 1965, were also significant in developing good relations between two countries.
Upon establishment of international diplomatic relations, numbers of bilateral agreements were made between the countries. The first one was signed in June 1963. From that time to the 1980s, fifteen agreements were signed and ratified in the field of trade, science and technology, crediting, air traffic, visa cancelation, economic and financial cooperation and informative activities.
In many things Yugoslavia was an example for the leadership of Algeria. That was the reason why representatives of Yugoslav state and party leadership permanently reminded their interlocutors that someone else’s experience in the development of the state and also Yugoslav could be "used" but not "copied" taking into consideration specific features of each country.
Documents depicted for the collection were from the fond AJ-837 (Cabinet of the President of the Republic). First of all those were letters – messages exchanged between leaders of two countries, notes, minutes, notes in shorthand regarding highest officials conversations during meetings, declarations, mutual announcements during visits etc. Documents are presented in chronological order.
The structure of the Collected Documents besides keynotes of Miladin Milošević, Acting Director of the Archives of Yugoslavia and H.E. Abdelkader Mesdoua Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to the Republic of Serbia, is introduction written by Professor Ljubodrag Dimić, Corresponding Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and Dragan Bogetić, PhD Principal Research Fellow with the Institute of Contemporary History, documents in Serbian language and their translation into French, name register and contents.
Abdelkader Mesdoua Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to the Republic of Serbia got credit for publication of the documents in French and his engagement and contribution to cooperation between two archives.
The Collection of documents was prepared by Miladin Milošević and Nada Pantelić.