London memorandum

Map of Free territory of Trieste

On day October 5th 1954 the representatives of Yugoslavia, Italy, USA and United Kingdom singed international agreement in London, called London memorandum (also London agreement, Memorandum about consensus or Second London agreement). With signing they temporarily regulated disorderly question of demarcation line between then Yugoslavia and Italy. The question of the border was open since the end of war operations in 2nd World War in Slovenian Istria and the vicinity of Trieste.

With the agreement, the military administration in zone A and B of the Free territory of Trieste, or FTT, was passed from temporary civilian/military administration to civil institutions. With the memorandum they determined that:

– Italian civil administration is extended to entire territory of zone A, England-USA army must leave the territory
– Yugoslavian civil administration is extended to entire zone B, which was occupied by Yugoslavian army since the retreat from Trieste on June 12 1945, and with that two hundred meter line on southern part of zone A is increased.

With the agreement Slovenia got back the area, which was, before 2nd World War under Italian power, and with that also a free exit to the sea and part of the coastal territory.

Agreement consisted of nine articles with additions; with them they solved some basic questions:

– the division of FTT
– protection of international minorities of both sides
– promise of free harbour in hinterland (Trieste), what was very important, as on this area was no other international harbour. Harbour Koper started with its expansion only after the signing of the London agreement, when it was realized, that Trieste was lost.

Important part of memorandum is the statute, which managed the rights of minorities on this area, where Italian or Yugoslavian civil administration expanded. It is an international document, which managed the protection of Slovenian minority in Italy, but only for the territory of zone A. Then Federal folks Republic Yugoslavia accepted the agreement on October 25 1954, Italian parliament did not ratified it.

Finally the question between Italy and Yugoslavia were solved with Osim agreement, which was signed in year 1975 in Osim near Ancona. Ratified documents were exchanged only in year 1977. With independency in year 1992 Slovenia is a successor of Yugoslavia in these agreements.


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