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Czechoslovakia and Arms Deliveries to Syria, 1955-1989

Czechoslovakia and Arms Deliveries to Syria 1955-1989

Jan ADAMEC

Czechoslovakia was one of the biggest Soviet bloc arms exporters during the Cold War. The Middle East was one of their major destinations. Czechoslovakia closely followed Soviet foreign policy in the region and switched sides, shifting its support of the newly established State of Israel in 1946-1948, deciding instead for massive arms deliveries to Egypt and Syria after 1955. We see four levels within Czechoslovak-Syrian relations : 1) geopolitical : Czechoslovakia followed the USSR and supported anti-colonial, anti-imperialistic and anti-US policy ; 2) ideological : the Czechoslovak Communist Party (CCP) supported progressive and leftist forces in Syria ; 3) trade and economic : Czechoslovakia sought to penetrate new markets, build up production capabilities and import raw materials ; 4) military : Czechoslovakia sold military equipment and sent military instructors to Syria.

The aim of the paper is to analyse archival evidence contained in former Czechoslovak archives concerning arms deliveries to Syria in the period 1955-1989. It will be argued that while in the 1950s and 1960s these arms deliveries were primarily motivated by ideological and geopolitical objectives (support of anti-imperialist and progressive movements, containment of US power), later on in the 1970s and 1980s, these arms deals constituted a substantial flow of cash into the Czechoslovak state budget and helped to feed the already bloated Czechoslovak arms industry. The situation then changed in the mid-1980s when Syrian debt rose to a level Czechoslovakia was not willing to tolerate and pressed (unsuccessfully) for immediate repayment. These efforts were interrupted by the Velvet Revolution in November 1989 and the regime change in Czechoslovakia. This paper draws primarily on archival material from the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party stored in the National Archive, particularly the agenda of the CCP (Central Committee Politburo).

The Beginning of Relations

Czechoslovak foreign policy did not consider Syria as a country of top priority in the region until the middle of the 1950s. It was only after the toppling of the military, pro-Western regime of Adib ibn Hasan Shishakli (1909-1964) and the instalment of a new, more pro-left regime in 1954, that Czechoslovakia began to invest more resources in this mutual relationship and opened an embassy in Damascus on March 9th 1955. The geopolitical turn in relations toward Syria came after the Soviet Union had embarked upon the massive support of Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Czechoslovakia had concluded its first arms deal with Egypt in 1955.

The mutual trade exchange between Czechoslovakia and Syria rose fivefold and reached 79 million Czech Crown (CZK) between 1952 and 1956. Economic relations developed further when a trade and economic agreement was signed in 1956, initiating the construction of a sugar factory, an oil refinery in Homs and a power station. [1] Syria was primarily interested in the import of weapons (“special material”). The first big arms deal was concluded during May and June 1956. Syria acquired (among others) 45 Pz-IV trophy tanks and 12 Pz-III self-propelled guns and paid 5.1 million CZK (254,644 Pound Sterling (GBP)). [2] A long era of mutually advantageous deals began with two major issues which were continually on the agenda – firstly, the number of arms demanded by Syria and the Czechoslovakia’s ability to produce and deliver them within the required timeframe and in the required numbers, then to repair them and train Syrian soldiers and officers on how to use them effectively ; and secondly, Syria’s willingness and ability to pay for these arms, and Czechoslovakia’s readiness to provide special credit to Syria in order to purchase the weapons. These two inseparable issues were discussed constantly with a greater or lesser degree of success and with a different level of satisfaction for both sides. In Czechoslovakia Syria found a reliable exporter of arms and a “credit-lenient” business partner, and in Syria Czechoslovakia found a huge market for its arms exports.

Syria came with a new list soon after the first deliveries in 1957, demanding 15,000 assault rifles, 150 anti-aircraft guns, 10,000 self-loading rifles, 50 million pieces of ammunition and 50 RO-21 radio stations. [3] Syrian Deputy Colonel Kabbani stressed that Syria was in serious need of these weapons in order to secure and improve its defensive capabilities, and that the country planned to import more “special material” up to the value of 80 million CZK during the course of 1957, but “[…] it would welcome more favorable payment conditions, due to the grave economic situation”. [4] In order to secure its newly established and promising relations with Syria, Czechoslovakia agreed to offer it new credit to purchase the special material to the tune of 38.6 million CZK. Syria’s entire credit totalled 208 million CZK by the end of 1957.

A new round of negotiations opened in 1958 with a new deal concluded and covered by a 46 million CZK credit. [5] Initial disagreements occurred when the Czechoslovak authorities complained that Syria had not paid the first installment to cover 20% of the deliveries. [6] However, the Czechoslovak Minister of Foreign Trade was ordered to restructure the debt and conclude a new arms deal, which would allow for a limit of 100 million CZK (with a 9-year credit period ; 25% paid in GBP and 75% in Syrian exports), on August 14th 1957. A recapitulation of the arms deal thus far shows that the balance amounted to 11 million GBP, of which Syria agreed to pay 2 million GBP (40 million CZK) in 1958, and 1.9 million GBP (38 million CZK) in five repayments between 1959 and 1963 (25% in GBP and 75% in Syrian exports). [7]

It is worth noting that it was not just arms deals, which developed successfully. A Czechoslovak government delegation visited Syria and Egypt between 5th and 14th March 1957 to discuss future trade relations and technical assistance. [8] The Czechoslovak negotiators reported that Syria (and Egypt) were “…severely hit by imperialistic forces led by the US as a result of the ongoing political and economic struggle for power in the Middle East”, and concluded that “[…] it is of the utmost importance to increase the activity of the socialist camp in order to support anti-imperialistic forces in Syria and Egypt”. [9]

Political Turbulence in Syria 1958-1966

Mutual political relations froze somewhat after the unification of Egypt and Syria into the United Arabic Republic (UAR) in 1958. The review report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) evaluated them as “provincial” in 1965. The status of the Czechoslovak embassy was lowered to a general consulate, and political and cultural relations suffered as a result. [10] CCP representatives were particularly dismayed when they learned of the persecution of Syrian “progressive forces”, particularly the communists led by Khalid Bagdash (1912-1995), who was forced to seek exile in Prague. However, trade and economic relations continued to develop nevertheless – new 20 million CZK credits on the acquisition of machinery and military vehicles were signed up in 1959 and 1960. [11] Syria left the Egypt-led UAR and became formally independent on September 21st 1961. Political relations improved although Czechoslovak officials characterized the Ba’ath regime as “reactionary” and perceived the fierce intra-party struggles between the so-called military and civilian groups in a negative light. [12]

Despite the political upheavals, the special material “business” remained intact. The next round of negotiations took place during June and July 1962. The agreement on the installment of an arms repair factory was signed in Prague on July 21st 1962. Subsequently, the protocol clearing all the debts and claims originating from agreements concluded between 1958 and 1962 was signed in Prague on August 1st 1962. [13] Czechoslovakia agreed to export to Syria machinery and technical documentation for an ammunition depot, arms repair factory, electrical equipment and transport vehicles which were planned to be delivered from 1963 to 1965 for a total amount of 44.3 million CZK (2.2 million GBP). It was agreed that the first credit repayment was to be paid in advance in 1962 (4.4 million CZK/220,000 GBP), followed by subsequent repayments in 1963 (5.9 million CZK/297,000 GBP), 1964 (9.9 million CZK (495,000 GBP), 1965 (11.9 million CZK/594,000 GBP), and 1966 (11.9 million CZK/594,000 GBP). [14]

Czechoslovakia was satisfied with the ongoing arms trading, especially when it was informed that Syria planned to spend an additional 100 million CZK to purchase military equipment (twenty L-29 military jet trainer aircraft and spare parts). The Czechoslovak Minister of Foreign Affairs, “…taking into account recent economically favorable and politically important trade relations with Syria concerning the ‘special materials’, and the faultless fulfillment of financial obligations on the part of Syria […]”, recommended that requests from Syria to prolong the repayment periods be accepted. [15] On September 10th 1963 the Politburo then agreed to deliver twenty L-29s with spare parts and other special material to the value of 120 million CZK. The agreement was signed on November 1st 1963 and, in addition to the L-29s already agreed, other components for UTI-Mig-15 jet fighters and T-34 tanks were delivered to the tune of 3.2 million GBP (68.5 million CZK).

When Yusuf Zuaiyin from the left spectrum of the Ba’ath party became Prime Minister in February 1966, the overall picture of the new regime conveyed by Czechoslovak diplomats in Prague was positive – presenting itself as leftist and radical, seeking to cooperate with Egypt, Algeria and socialist countries, and improving relations with the Syrian communists. A Syrian delegation visited Czechoslovakia between 24th and 28th November 1966 and demanded a postponement of repayments for the special materials as signed in the agreements on July 21st 1962 (total 76 million CZK) and November 1st 1963 (67 million CZK). Credit was again restructured and Syria agreed to repay it in seven yearly repayments, with the last payment scheduled on October 1st 1970. The validity of both agreements was to expire by the end of 1970. However, the Politburo agreed on February 2nd 1967 that if Syria was interested in importing further special material, Czechoslovakia would conclude a new contract on arms deliveries with a 7-year credit period not exceeding 50 million CZK. Credit would be repaid on a yearly basis beginning after the signing of the treaty and would draw 2% interest. [16] Czechoslovakia objected to the fact that Syria did not show enough interest in fully exploiting the credit plan and did not import the quantity of special materials agreed. It argued that, of the total amount of both credits – 143 million CZK – Syria had only used 115 million CZK by November 30th 1966, which rendered these credits less advantageous for Czechoslovakia. [17]

The Disaster of the Six-Day War

The devastating outcome of the Six-Day War for Syria led to disagreements and resentment, which soured Czechoslovak-Syrian relations. Syria was disappointed with the position adopted by the USSR and Soviet bloc countries, especially when the Soviets advised Syria and Egypt not to escalate regional tensions during 1967, thus preventing them from invading Israel first. Syrian Prime Minister Zuaiyin was evidently dismayed with the USSR’s “non-aggressive” standpoint in 1966 and 1967 : “It would have been better for us not to have listened to the advice.” [18]
A detailed analysis made by the Ministry of Defense for the Politburo enumerated the various reasons for the Syrian and Egyptian defeat – a surprise air attack from the Israeli forces, the low political and ideological morale of the soldiers, lack of preparedness of the higher military command, the lack of a coordinated operational plan between the military commands of Egypt and Syria, underestimation of the adversary, failure of Syrian intelligence to reveal Israeli military plans, and an inability to fully operate weaponry imported from Soviet bloc countries. [19] The prospects of Syrian military power were not optimistic : “[…] the recent state of military forces in Arab countries prevented them from entering into any more extensive military engagements.” [20]

It was not only military officials in Czechoslovakia who were discussing the situation in Syria. Czechoslovak diplomats and politicians concluded that Israeli military successes had brought about a turning point ; Syria’s plans had been quashed, causing widespread disappointment. Certain Ba’ath officials were reported to have blamed everyone and everything but the Syrian military and political apparatus. [21] It was also noted that there were still some “unsolved” problems between Syria and Egypt, regarding the struggle between Syria, Egypt and Algeria for hegemony in the Arab world. [22]

It was decided immediately after the end of the Six-Day War that special envoy Václav Pleskot would visit Syria to meet the country’s Prime Minister. He was instructed to demonstrate the “principal willingness” of the Czechoslovak leadership to help Syria build up the industry, equip the army with modern military weapons, and send military instructors to Syria. [23] It was also agreed that Egypt and Syria would be given free aid (8.2 million CZK for Egypt ; 7.2 million CZK for Syria) for the sake of the stabilization and further continuation of “() progressive development (…)”. [24]

Pleskot stayed in Syria between 25th and 28th June 1967 and met with Prime Minister Zuaiyin and the Minister of Defense, Hafez Assad. [25] Zuaiyin saw American military and aircraft coverage as having played a decisive role in the Israeli victory. Nevertheless, he continued, the imperialists failed to achieve their main goal – to overthrow the progressive Syrian regime. According to Zuaiyin, “[…] it would be necessary to acquire new, more modern arms which would be equal to the Israeli armoury […]” in order to repel possible future aggression. [26] Pleskot confirmed that Czechoslovakia fully supported Arab countries against the aggressors and was determined to provide Syria with military equipment for a tank brigade to the value of 7 million CZK. Moreover, new credit was opened to the amount of 1.4 million GBP with the option to increase it by 1 million GBP. [27]

Negotiations on military issues were led between Pleskot and the Minister of Defense Hafez Assad who admitted that 80% of Syrian aircraft and more than 50% of its military vehicles were destroyed. Assad stressed that the Syrian army needed transportation vehicles, radios and telecommunication devices in general, and also anti-aircraft artillery. During subsequent negotiations, General Louis Dakar demanded T-55 tanks, telecommunication devices and anti-aircraft artillery. [28]

A Syrian delegation led by Assad returned the visit and travelled to Czechoslovakia between 9th and 16th October 1967. The prime reason was to continue negotiations on the prospect of mutual military cooperation and new arms deliveries for the Syrian army, which had been severely damaged by the Israeli attack. [29] Members of the Syrian delegation visited several military units and were shown various pieces of military equipment, from armored vehicles to machine guns. The Syrian military officials showed interest in importing armored vehicles, anti-tank artillery, T-54 tanks and especially Tatra 138 lorries. Credit for the new deliveries was opened to a limit of 1.4 plus 1 million GBP. Syria nevertheless complained about the prices of the special material offered by Czechoslovakia, which the Syrians considered to be 2-3 times higher than what they had paid for the Soviet deliveries. Czechoslovakia argued that it was not in their power to provide 33% discount as did the Soviets. [30]

The Assad Era

Czechoslovak officials and diplomats often complained about Syrian internal policy, which they considered turbulent and unpredictable, especially in the period 1955-1966. Now it was Czechoslovakia’s turn for serious internal turmoil resulting in the invasion of the Warsaw Pact armies on August 21st 1968, a massive changeover of leaders and elite groups, and the temporary paralysis of active foreign policy. However, as Sieber correctly points out, despite the fact that some Syrian officials residing in Prague expressed concerns that Czechoslovakia might change its foreign policy towards Syria during the Prague Spring, the “special relationship” continued relatively unhindered during 1968 and 1969. [31] A further agreement on the special material delivery was concluded on December 28th 1968 and then signed in Damascus on 25th January 1969. The credit limit was set to 1.2 million GBP (77 million CZK) with 3% interest, to be repaid between 1970 and 1976. Another credit plan based on new Syrian requirements (jet fighters, tanks) was set up with a limit of 8 million GBP on July 23rd 1969. [32]

Syria asked for further credit at the end of 1971 in the form of 50 MT-55 armoured vehicle-launched bridge tanks, 30 VT-55 tanks, 30 tank repair complexes for T-55A tanks or 20 transportable repair tank complexes. [33] A request for ammunition, mines, plastic explosives, gas masks, equipment for a telecommunications training center and an ammunition depot followed soon after, to a total value of 14.2 million GBP. [34] It was agreed that the credit conditions would be similar to those stipulated on November 22nd 1970 : 5% to be paid immediately within 90 days, and 5% to be paid within 9 months of signing the agreement ; 90% on credit with 3% interest to be paid in 11 six-month installments, following the delivery of the special material. 40% of every debt would be repaid in money and 60% in goods selected by Czechoslovakia.

Syrian officials also asked to extend the contract concerning the Czechoslovak military aircraft instructors. They were supposed to leave Syria by the end of 1971, but Syrian army officials requested on July 21st 1971 if they could remain in the country, arguing that the instructors were “[…] invaluable for the training of Syrian pilots and, if they left, a critical situation would arise throughout the Syrian army.” [35] The Czechoslovak side then proposed that six instructors would stay until 1971 and the extension would be resolved as part of the complex issue of the special materials delivery to Syria in subsequent years. It is worth noting that the instructors were paid by Syria in cash. Finally it was agreed that a new contract would be concluded to cover the special material, artillery ammunition and equipment for a telecommunications training base to the total value of 10 million GBP (637 million CZK) ; Syria would be provided with credit of up to 90% of the value of the deliveries, to be repaid over the following 8 years with 3% interest. [36]

Despite the improved performance of Syrian military forces during the Yom Kippur War, in comparison with the results of the Six-Day War, Syria was again in great need of new arms to replace its destroyed weaponry. Czechoslovakia thus donated to Syria 103 T-54A tanks, 12 Mig-21F fighter jets, and anti-tank missiles, all totalling 193 million CZK. [37] On the invitation of Syrian Prime Minister L.I. Ajjubi, Czechoslovak Prime Minister Lubomír Štrougal paid a visit to Syria from 11th to 14th November 1974 with the aim of assessing the nature of mutual relations thus far, and clearing up certain disputes concerning the situation in the Middle East. [38] During an evaluation of mutual economic and trade relations outlined in an agreement on economic cooperation concluded in July 1974, Syria expressed its disapproval over the lack of spare parts and other components needed for various industrial complexes, which Czechoslovakia was supposed to have delivered. [39]

The government delegation was soon followed by a delegation from the Czechoslovak Communist Party led by a key party secretary, Vasil Bilak, who visited Syria from 16th to 18th April 1975. The Syrian president complained that, although Syria had demanded 500 new tanks, Czechoslovakia had not been able to deliver them. Bilak replied that the production capabilities of the Czechoslovak military industry were already “over-stretched” and that Czechoslovakia was bound by long-term obligations to “other countries” at the time, especially Libya, which paid in cash with no credit necessary. Assad’s response was to state that “other countries” were not facing “(…) imminent imperialist danger (…)”. Assad was also interested in new arms systems, especially the development of “earth-to-earth” missiles. [40]

The mutual relations came to a head when the President of Syria and General Secretary of the Ba’ath party Hafez al Assad visited Czechoslovakia from 8th to 11th September 1975. When negotiating with Czechoslovak officials, he stressed that Syria was not willing to “go the Egyptian way” (i.e. to conclude a separate agreement and get closer to the USA) and it still strove for a “complex solution” of the Middle East situation. [41]
Economic issues were negotiated between Czechoslovak Minister of Foreign Trade Andrej Barčák and the Syrian Minister of State Planning Nuralah Nuralah. It was agreed that Syria would be given a 100 million USD credit to finance the construction of several non-military factories. [42] A new, long-term credit agreement on special material deliveries, valid until 1980, was signed after Assad’s visit on September 16th 1975. [43] The visit was seen as a success, confirming that Czechoslovakia was still perceived as a reliable friend and ally by Syria. The final report on Assad’s visit concluded that further development of economic relations “() strengthened confidence toward Czechoslovakia ()”, Syria was thus more oriented towards Socialist bloc countries and there were new opportunities for Czechoslovakia to influence the “progressive” development of Syria. However, the Czechoslovak authorities were worried that Syria’s state budget was overburdened due to the previous conflicts, and that the economic situation overall was worsening. [44]

Syria’s complex and excessive demands for arms constituted a serious problem for Czechoslovak industry at the time, since it had to coordinate all ministries, government and party agencies in order to locate funding and manage production capabilities. [45] Syrian Minister of Defense General Mustafa Tlass visited Czechoslovakia in October 1978 and presented a new list of requirements, specifically 700 light infantry combat vehicles, new T-55 tanks and L-39 military jet trainer aircraft. Czechoslovakia was not able to deliver the entire order but Syria pressed on the delivery. Czechoslovak military experts who visited Syria in March 1980 reiterated that Syria’s excessive demands could not be met in full. [46] Syria was still interested in purchasing 1,000 light infantry combat vehicles, a further 200 light infantry combat vehicles (ambulance version), and 30 L-39s. It also wanted to modernize the aircraft training base in Aleppo and establish a special military training center, a telecommunications training center, a vehicle repair center in Aleppo, and a training base for chemical warfare. [47]

The report from 1980 again warned that Syria’s arrears were rising and that the debts totaled 270 million USD for special material and 200 million USD for non-military goods. However, Syria paid regularly for the special material, even prioritizing Czechoslovakia above others. [48] The government finally agreed to set another credit limit up to 400 million USD. [49]

The Epilogue of a Long Friendship

Despite its rising debt, Syria was still perceived as one of the “[…] most important recipients of Czechoslovak military equipment.” [50] It imported more than 1,300 tanks, 100 jets, 600 light infantry combat vehicles, aircraft engines, additional aircraft material, training units and ammunition amounting to a total of 85 million GBP and 580 million USD during the years 1972-1981. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that Syrian payment morale for the special material was very positive : “[…] even when Syria was in dire financial straits and failed to fulfill its non-military trade obligations, it repaid the credit for the special material.” [51]

And Syria was still “hungry” for Czechoslovak arms. In 1984 it again demanded 700 light infantry combat vehicles, three RAMONA radio locators and an unspecified number of T-72 tanks to the value of 500 million USD. Syria was also interested in the construction of special investment units (complexes) up to a value of 200 million USD. [52] Czechoslovakia agreed to deliver 435 light infantry combat vehicles with the necessary spare components, three RAMONA radio locators and investment complexes with a value of up to 100 million USD. [53]

General Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party Miloš Jakeš, who succeeded Gustáv Husák in 1987, negotiated with Assad in April 1989 and continued to remind Syria that it had not paid the credits provided by Czechoslovakia to cover arm deliveries since 1985. He tried to persuade his counterpart that mutual relations had to be mutually advantageous as well. He also tried to persuade the Syrian side to repay its debt with regular annual oil deliveries. [54] He stated that the total sum of Syrian debt had by this stage reached the astronomical figure of 900 million USD, putting Czechoslovakia in a very awkward position : “When we need to complete certain arms deliveries for Syria, some of the components have to be bought on free world markets for hard currency”. Assad attempted to appease Jakeš by pointing out temporary economic problems and promised to increase the amount of oil pledged in order to satisfy Czechoslovak requirements and repay the debts. [55]

[1] “Report on the visit to Egypt and Syria paid by the government delegation, headed by Minister of Foreign Trade, Comrade Richard Dvorák, (Amendment N. IVb. Syria)”, in The visit to Egypt and Syria paid by the government delegation, headed by the Minister of Foreign Trade (22nd February 1957), in NA (National Archive), The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (PB CC CCP) 1954-1962, f. (file) 1261/0/11, vol. (volume) 134, a.u. (archival unit) 174, i. (item) 4.

[2] Petr Zídek, Karel Sieber, Ceskoslovensko a Blízký východ v letech 1948-1989, Praha, 2009, p. 273.

[3] “Partial Syrian demand for a military equipment delivery in 1957 (Amendment IV.)”, in Further deliveries of special material to Syria (1st February 1957), in NA, PB CC CCP 1954-1962, f. 1261/0/11, vol. 128, a.u. 167, i. 22.

[4] Ibid.

[5] 25% percent of the credit was agreed as a cash repayment and 75% of it as Syrian goods, in The adjustment of certain tasks as ordered by the Ministry of Foreign Trade in relation to the delivery of special material to Syria (15th March 1958), in NA, PBCCCCP 1954-1962, f. 1261/0/11, vol. 171, a.u. 232, i. 4.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Report on the government delegation’s visit…, op. cit. (22nd February 1957).

[9] Ibid.

[10] Analysis of Czechoslovak-Syrian relations with some conclusions regarding subsequent steps to be taken (September 1965), Ministry of Foreign Relations, No. 022.025/65-9, in NA, Office of the First Secretary of the CC of the CCP Antonín Novotný, f. 1261/0/44, box 220, Syria (Syrian Arab Republic)-Czechoslovak-Syrian Relations (political issues), No. 514.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Conclusion of an agreement between Czechoslovakia and the Syrian Arab Republic on the delivery of apparatus for the repair of military equipment, and on the financial settlement for the delivery of special material from Czechoslovakia to Syria (1st October 1962), in NA, PB CC CCP 1954-1962, f. 1261/0/11, vol. 366, a.u. 459, i. 2.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Request from the government of the Syrian Arab Republic to postpone repayments for the delivery of special materials and special investment (2nd February 1967), in NA, Office of the First Secretary of the CC of the CPC Antonín Novotný, f. 1261/0/44, box 220, Syria (Syrian Arab Republic)-Czechoslovak-Syrian Relations (economic and military issues), inv. no. 515.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Information on the visit and negotiations headed by Comrade Václav Pleskot to the Syrian Arab Republic (3rd July 1967), in NA, Office of the First Secretary of the CC of the CPC Antonín Novotný, f. 1261/0/44, box 220, Syria (Syrian Arab Republic)-Czechoslovak-Syrian Relations (political issues), inv. no. 514.

[19] Resolution of the 37th meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia on 20th June 1967 : The situation in the Middle East and our future policy, in NA, PB CC CCP 1966-1971 (02/1), f. 1261/0/5, vol. 37, a.u. 37, i. 9 (17th June 1967).

[20] Preliminary conclusions on the military defeat of Syria and other Arab states and some thoughts on steps to be taken in the field of military weaponry in the light of military aspects, in The Situation in the Middle East…, op. cit. (17th June 1967).

[21] The Situation in the Middle East…, op. cit. (17th June 1967).

[22] Ibid.

[23] Resolution of the 37th meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia on 20th June 1967 : The situation in the Middle East and our future policy, in NA, PB CC CCP 1966-1971 (02/1), f. 1261/0/5, vol. 37, a.u. 37, i. 9.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Information on the visit and negotiations headed by Comrade Václav Pleskot to the Syrian Arab Republic (3rd July 1967), in NA, PB CC CCP 1966-1971 (02/1), f. 1261/0/5, vol. 39, a.u. 39, i. 8.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Report on the visit paid by the military delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic (9th November 1967), in NA, Office of the First Secretary of the CC of the CPC Antonín Novotný, f. 1261/0/44, box 220, Syria (Syrian Arab Republic)-Czechoslovak-Syrian Relations (political issues), inv. no. 514.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Petr Zídek, Karel Sieber, Ceskoslovensko a Blízký východ v letech 1948-1989, Praha, 2009, p. 281.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Report on the request from the Syrian side to deliver military equipment, and the proposal to meet this request (Amendment III), in : The request from the Syrian Arab Republic for new deliveries of military equipment, and the conclusion of the intragovernmental agreement for these deliveries (26th November 1971), in NA, CPC-CC 1945-1989, Prague-PB 1966-1971, f. 1261/0/6, vol. 24, a.u. 25, i. 11.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Petr Zídek, Karel Sieber, Ceskoslovensko a Blízký..., op. cit.,, p. 284.

[38] Report on the visit paid by Czechoslovak Prime Minister Comrade L. Štrougal to the Syrian Arab Republic from 11th to 14th November 1974 (2nd December 1974), in NA, CCP-CC 1945-1989, Prague-PB 1971-1976, f. 1261/0/6, vol. 139, a.u. 141, i. 11.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Report on the visit paid by a delegation from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia to the Syrian Arab Republic (13th May 1975), in NA, CPC-CC 1945-1989, Prague-PB 1971-1976, f. 1261/0/6, vol. 154, a.u. 158, i. 9.

[41] Report on the visit paid by Syrian party and state representation to Czechoslovakia (17th September 1975), in NA, CPC-CC 1945-1989, Prague-PB 1971-1976, f. 1261/0/6, vol. 167, a.u. 169, i. 9.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Report on the demands made by the Syrian Arab Republic concerning deliveries of special material (12th September 1980), in NA, CPC-CC 1945-1989, Prague-PB 1981-1986, f. 1261/0/8, vol. 148, a.u. 151, i. 6.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Report on the new demands from the Syrian Arab Republic concerning deliveries of special material and special investment complexes within a new intergovernmental credit agreement : “Credit agreements concerning the delivery of special material and special investment complexes between the Czechoslovak and Syrian governments” (6th January 1984), in NA, CCP-CC 19451989, Prague-PB 1981-1986, f. 1261/0/8, vol. P93, a.u. 84, i. 8.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Report on the official state visit paid by the General Secretary of the Central Committee and the Chairman of the Central Committee of the National Front of Czechoslovakia, Comrade Miloš Jakeš, to the Syrian Arab Republic between 10th and 12th April 1989, in NA, PB CC CCP 1989, f. 1261/0/9, vol. P 113, a.u. 89, i. 3.

[55] Ibid.


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