Paweł Bielicki, PhD
Pilecki Institute

Warsaw, Republic of Poland



Vol. XXXIX, 2/2021, pp. 397–414



The main purpose of this article is to present the most important conditions and variables characterizing the role of the Middle East in Yugoslavia’s foreign policy strategy in the 1970s, based on available literature and documentation. I also intend to analyze the conditions that contributed to intensifying Yugoslavia’s position in the region and led to a decrease in Yugoslavia’s importance in the Middle East in the second half of the decade. Firstly, I will describe Yugoslavia’s relations with the countries of the Middle East in 1970–1973, especially with Egypt, where Gamal Abdel Nasser, after his death, was succeeded by the country’s Vice President, Anwar Al-Sadat. It will also be important to shed light on the Yugoslav Government’s stance regarding the Middle East conflict from the point of view of the situation in Europe. Next, I will present the significance of the Yom Kippur War for Yugoslavia’s foreign policy and its implications for Belgrade’s relations with Cairo and Tel-Aviv. Moreover, it will be extremely important to explain why Yugoslavia’s importance in the Middle East gradually diminished as of the middle of the decade. In addition, I will address the issue of Yugoslav President Josip Broz-Tito’s position toward the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the fading of Yugoslavia’s interest in the region following Tito’s death and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the summary, I want to note that the period under analysis in Yugoslav-Middle Eastern relations was decisive for the country’s foreign policy and its internal situation, as Yugoslavia never again played a significant role in the Arab world.


KEYWORDS: Middle East, Egypt, Israel, Yugoslavia, USSR, United States