Treaty of Vis
|Signed||16 June 1944|
|Signatories||Josip Broz Tito on behalf of Partisans
Ivan Šubašić Prime Minister of the Royal Government in exile
The Treaty of Vis (Serbo-Croatian and Slovene: Viški sporazum, Cyrillic alphabet: Вишки споразум), also known as the Tito–Šubašić Agreement, was an attempt by the Western Powers to merge the royal Yugoslav government in exile with the Communist-led Partisans who were fighting the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia in the Second World War and were de facto rulers on the liberated territories.
It was signed on the Dalmatian island of Vis (in Croatia) on June 16, 1944 by Josip Broz Tito, the leader of the Partisans, and Ivan Šubašić, Prime Minister of the Royal Government in exile and previous ban (governor) of autonomuos Croatia in the pre-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The actual formation of a new government was postponed until November 1, 1944, when the Belgrade Agreement was signed. According to its provision, an interim government was to be formed until the people would decide the form of government in democratic elections. Šubašić became the foreign minister in a coalition government led by Tito. The real power remained however in the Communist-led Anti-Fascist Liberation Council of Yugoslavia.
The agreement also included a specific mention that Yugoslavia would be transformed into a democratic and federal country after the end of the war. Since the issue on its form of government (monarchy or republic) was postponed to after the war, the official name of the country in the meantime was Democratic Federal Yugoslavia.
The signature of the agreement was pushed by Winston Churchill, who had his people watching over the negotiations, on hand but hands off, as described in Eastern Approaches: Ralph Stevenson, ambassador to the government in exile, and Fitzroy MacLean, the soldier-ambassador liaison to Tito. Britain thought the agreement would bring a democratic post-war system in Yugoslavia, but it granted full legitimacy and international recognition to Tito's government. Furthermore, the Chetniks, who had previously fought in the King's name, were left without a legitimate covering for their existence, since King Peter recognized Tito's insurgent army as the only legal force fighting the Nazi occupation in Yugoslavia and dismissed Draža Mihailović because of collaboration with the Axis.
The treaty became obsolete after the elections (conducted with British oversight) in autumn 1945, which confirmed the absolute Communist supremacy in the country. Šubašić and other officials appointed by the King resigned in October 1945. On November 29, 1945, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was declared.