DUBCEK-ULBRICHT MEETING AT KARLOVY VARY

Created: 8/16/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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COUNTRY CZECHOSLOVAKIA/EAST

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SUUtCT DUBCEK-ULBRICHT MEETING AT KARLOVY VARY

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THE MEETING BETWEEN CZECHOSLOVAK COMMUNIST PARTY (KSC) FIRST SECRETARY ALEXANDER DUBCEK AND SOCIALIST UNITY PARTY (SED) FIRST SECRETARY WALTER ULBRICHTATHER FORMAL AFFAIR. THE INITIATIVE FOR THE MEETING HAD COME FROM EAST GERMANY, AND THE KSC LEADERSHIP WAS NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT, MAINLY BECAUSE IT HAD INSUFFICIENT TIME TO PREPARE FOR IT. NONETHELESS, THE KSC LEADERS FELT THEY COULD NOT REEL'S5 TO MEET WITH THE GERMANS AT THIS TIME SINCE THE RELATIONS WITH EAST GERMANY WERE MORE TENSE THAN THOSE WITH ANY OTHER BLOC COUNTRY.

THE ACTUAL MEETING BETWEEN THE TWO DELEGATIONS WAS VERY SHORT. THEY ACTUALLY MET ONLY00 AND0 HOURS

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DINNER TIME. SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE TA%K3 DUBCEK AND THE OTHER CZECHOSLOVAK CONFEREES WERE EXASPERATED BY THE GERMANS' CONDUCT, UNLIKE PAST OCCASIONS WHEN ULBRICHT HAS TAKEN THE INITIATIVE, EAST GERMAN PREMIER WILLY STOPH TOOK THE LEAD IN TELLING THE CZECHOSLOVAKS HOW THINGS SHOULD BE DONE AND HOW WELL *HEY ARB DONE BY THE GERMANS. ULBRICHT DID FAVOR THE CZECHOSLOVAKSEW LECTURES, BUT MUCH LESS SO THAN DURING HIS TALKS WITH CZECHOSLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER JIRI HAJEK.

THE CZECHOSLOVAK VIEW IN GENERAL TERMS AND ENDEAVORED TO PREVENT ANY COMPLICATIONS IN RELATIONS WITH THE GERMANS. ULBRICHT BEGAN HIS REMARKS BY TALKING ABOUT THE EAST GERMAN ARMY, ALL OF WHICHERY POOR IMPRESSION ON DUBCEK.' ULBRICHT SAID THE EAST GERMANSISCIPLINED, WELL-TRAINED ARMY WITHOUT ANY INTERNAL PROBLEMS AND WHICH IS MUCH STRONGER THAN CZECHOSLOVAKIA'S. THEY CAN RELY ON THEIR ARMY AT ANY TIME, HE SAID, AND IT HAS THE CAPABILITY OFTHE ENTIRE BORDER WITH WEST GERMANY. CCORDING TO ULBRICHT, THE OTHER BLOC COUNTRIES CAN RELY ON EAST GERMANY FOR

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THERE WAS FURTHER EAST GERMAN BOASTING WITH RESPECT TO EAST GERMANY'S STRENGTHS IN THE CULTURAL FIELD,O DISUNITY AMONG HER ARTISTS AND HER STRONG INFLUENCEISCIPLINED YOUTH WHICH DOES NOT CRITICIZE THE REGIME BUT PREFERS TO SING PATRIOTIC SONGS. DUBCEK DID NOT IMMEDIATELY REACT TO THESE STATEMENTS, HE OBVIOUSLY UNDERSTOOD THEM TO BE INDIRECT ATTACKS AGAINST THE KSC LEADERSHIP'S ALLEGED WEAKNESS.

THE EAST GERMANS DID NOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THE CZECHOSLOVAK POSITION, PARTICULARLY WITH RESPECT TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA'S INTENTIONS TO OBTAIN VOLUNTARY POPULAR COOPERATION BASED ON COMPLETE FREEDOM UNDER WHICH GREATER INITIATIVE WILL DEVELOP AS THE PEOPLE SEE EFFORTS TOETTER ECONOMY AS BEING IN THEIR OWN INTEREST.

ALK WITH NEWSPAPERMEN, DUBCEK SAID HE THOUGHT HE SHOULD RESPOND TO ULBRICHT'S STATEMENT ON THE EAST GERMAN ARMY'S CAPABILITY FOR SECURING THE ENTIRE BORDER WITH WEST GERMANY. HE SAID THE CZECHOSLOVAK ARMED FORCES CAN ALONE DEFEND THE CZECHOSLOVAK-WEST GERMAN BORDER.

NO OTHER INTERESTING DEVELOPMENTS OCCURRED DURING THE TALKS.

THE EAST GERMAN DELEGATION INCLUDED SOME ECONOMIC EXPERTS, BUT

TALKS WERE ONLY GENERAL IN NATURE. BOTH SIDES ACKNOWLEDGED 5

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THE NECESSITY FOR GREATER COOPERATION AND AGREED TO MORE DETAILED DISCUSSIONS ON THE WORKING LEVEL.

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8. IN DISCUSSING THE TALKS' POSITIVE ASPECTS, THE CZECHOSLOVAK OFFICIAL WHO PARTICIPATED IN THEM SAID BOTH SIDES, AND PARTICULARLY EAST GERMANY, FOUND IT POSSIBLE TO GET ALONG WELL TOGETHER, AND PRAGUE MADE CLEAR ITS DESIRE NOT TO HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS IN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES AND NOT TO HAVE ANY INTERFERENCE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA'S AFFAIRS. THE TALKS DID NOT, HOWEVER, LEAD TO CORDIAL RELATIONS, AND THE CZECHOSLOVAKS WERE CONFIRMED IN THEIR VIEW THAT THERE ARE NO IDEAS TO BE GOTTEN FROM THE EAST GERMANS WHICH WOULD HAVE APPLICATION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. THE EAST GERMANS HAD COUCHED THEIR ARGUMENTS IN MARXIST TERMINOLOGY AND MADEREFERENCE TO THE NEED TO INTENSIFY THE FIGHT AGAINST IMPERIALIST AGGRESSION, BUT THE CZECHOSLOVAKS RESPONDED IN LOW KEY IN ORDER TO AVOID POLEMICS.

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Original document.

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