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Italy and Tito’s Yugoslavia in the Age of International Détente


Edited By Massimo Bucarelli, Luca Micheletta, Luciano Monzali and Luca Riccardi

World War II and East-West confrontation redefined borders between Italy and Yugoslavia, reshaped national frontiers and adversely affected political relations. As a result, major quarrels and disputes arose over territorial claims, demarcation of State boundaries, expulsion of national minorities, and diverging visions on international and domestic politics. It was only in the 1960s and 1970s, during the years of Détente, that rapprochement between Rome and Belgrade became possible and normalization of bilateral relations was attained. Long-lasting territorial disputes, such as the Trieste question, were solved and bilateral relationship greatly improved, so much so that Belgrade became an important asset in Italy’s Balkan and Adriatic strategy, while Rome was a sort of bridge between Socialist Yugoslavia and Western Europe.
This book is intended to shed light on the process of Italian-Yugoslav normalization and rapprochement, which ultimately brought to the Adriatic Détente. Based on a wide collection of primary sources and documentary materials, it aims to contribute to a better understanding of the history of the Adriatic region, a conflicted European space that had been affected by territorial disputes and ethnic strife for decades during the 20 th century.
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Aldo Moro, Italian Ostpolitik and Relations with Yugoslavia




1. Aldo Moro and relations between Italy and Yugoslavia

During the first phase of his life and political career2 Aldo Moro did not show great interest in the problems of international politics.3 In the period ← 199 | 200 → that came after the crisis of fascism and lasted until the early 1960s, Moro focused mainly on domestic issues instead of on the issues of foreign policy.4 In June 1946 Moro was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly.5 After the elections of 18 April 1948, he became part of the fifth cabinet led by Alcide De Gasperi as Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs with a special responsibility for emigration. This first government experience was certainly not pleasant, marked by disagreement with De Gasperi on the issue of Italian membership in the Atlantic Alliance, while the Apulian politician was close to the dissident positions of Dossetti,6 hostile to Italian participation in a Western military alliance. His experience as Undersecretary, which ended traumatically with his dismissal from government following De Gasperi’s decision in 1950, however, served to familiarize Moro with the diplomatic environment7 and gave him his first real international experience, helping to start the process of the de-provincialization of his political vision.

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