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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2862


Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 21/03/1973

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2862

M/ 57 21 March 1973
The Prime Minister of Yugoslavia accompanied by Mrs
Bijedic and a party of senior advisers, visited Australia
between 20 and 22 March at the invitation of the Australian
Government for discussions with the Prime Minister of
Australia. The Minister of the Yugoslav Government for
economic matters, Dr Ludviger, also had discussions with
senior officials of the Department of Overseas Trade and
the Treasury. Further discussions were held by the
Yugoslav Deputy Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Petric,
with the Minister of State, Senator Willesee and senior
officials of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and the
The discussions took place in a warm and friendly
atmosphere and covered the main features of Yugoslav and
Australian thinking on foreign policy matters. Matters
of common concern in bilateral relations between Yugoslavia
and Australia were also discussed.
International Questions
Reviewing the international scene the two Prime
Ministers welcomed the existence of positive processes
which had led to growing detente among the major Powers
and to attempts to find solutions to problems through
negotiation and agreement. At the same time, however,
the two leaders recognised that there were still areas of
potential conflict which gave rise to anxiety.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the conclusion of
cease fire agreements in Viet-Nam and Laos, and emphasised 2..

the necessity for all parties to the agreements to abide by
their terms in order to achieve the objective of peace in
In considering the situation on the Indian sub-continent
the two Prime Ministers expressed the hope that there would
be a speedy solution of all outstanding issues so as to
establish lasting peace and security in this region.
The two Prime Ministers expressed their concern about
the situation in the Middle East and accepted that the terms
of Security Council Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967
offered the basis for a just and lasting settlement of this
grave problem.
Mr Bijedic informed Mr Whitlam of the present activities
of the non-aligned countries and of the preparations for the
Fourth Conference of Heads of State and Government of nonaligned
countries, at which their further actions in the
struggle for peace and security, development and democratisation
of international relations will be considered.
Australian interest in the work of these countries was
expressed by the Prime Minister of Australia who saw value
in closer Australian observation of such meetings.
Both Prime Ministers laid stress upon the interests of
their country within their own geographical neighbourhoods.
The Prime Minister of Yugoslavia outlined his Government's
thinking in relation to questions of European security and
co-operation between European countries. The Prime
Minister of Australia similarly stressed the great
importance attached by his Government to co-operation with
the countries of Asia and the Pacific. The Yugoslav
delegation appreciated the willingness of the Australian
Government to contribute actively to the development of
co-operation among the countries of the region.
Both Prime Ministers expressed their Governments'
determination to work for the elimination of the remaining

vestiges of colonialism. The Prime Minister of Australia
outlined the progress that had been made in relation to
Papua New Guinea which would shortly achieve selfgovernment
and thereafter independence as soon as this was
practicable. The two Prime Ministers also expressed their
abhorrence of all manifestations of racial discrimination
wherever they might occur and their determination to support
efforts in the United Nations and elsewhere to eliminate
remaining instances of inequality between peoples of
Sdifferent colour.
Both Prime Ministers stressed the importance they
* attached to the role of the United Nations and agreed that
their foreign policies would be conducted within the
principles of the Charter of the United Nations. They also
emphasised the importance of developing useful co-operation
between the representatives of Yugoslavia and Australia in
the United Nations and in other international organisations.
The two Prime Ministers underlined the willingness of
their respective countries to engage actively in constructive
measures designed to reduce the economic gap between the
developed and the developing countries. They agreed on the
indispensability of equal participation of developing
countries in the solution of the economic problems of the
modern world.
Bilateral Relations
The two Prime Ministers reviewed the state of bilateral
relations between Yugoslavia and Australia and agreed that
there was scope for their further development to the mutual
advantage of both countries.
The Australian Prime Minister said that his Government
was not satisfied that sufficient action had been taken in
the past towards the detection, suppression and expulsion
of extremists in Australia engaged in activities against
Yugoslavia, and foreshadowed more vigorous action in the

future. The Yugoslav Prime Minister greatly welcomed this
assurance of the Australian Government's intentions.
In the field of economic relations, both sides expressed
their desire to develop trade in both directions, as well as
to promote other ways of achieving economic co-operation.
The Yugoslav side informed the Australian side about the
Yugoslav economic system and principles of functioning of
the Yugoslav free market economy. The need to increase
Yugoslav exports to Australia was pointed out, and the
Australian side expressed its readiness to consider the
creation of the necessary conditions to that end.
The Yugoslav Prime Minister, on behalf of his wife and
all the members of his delegation, as well as on his own
behalf, expressed the warmest gratitude for the extremely
friendly reception and hospitality extended by the Australian
Government during his visit.
The Prime Minister of Yugoslavia invited the Prime
Minister of Australia to visit Yugoslavia. The invitation
was accepted with pleasure. A

Transcript 2862