This article reevaluates the origins of Yugoslavia's instrumental role in the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and elucidates the roots and conceptualization of Tito's strategic reorientation toward nonalignment. Yugoslav foreign policy became truly independent only after Yugoslavia was expelled from the Soviet fold. The article shows that Belgrade began searching for a “third way” earlier than is acknowledged in the relevant historiography. The search began when, faced with the distinct threat of a Soviet invasion in the early 1950s, Yugoslavia became all but formally incorporated into the Western alliance. Based on previously unknown or inadequately researched documents from the Yugoslav archives, the article demonstrates that Josip Broz Tito's trip to India and Burma in December 1954, particularly his first encounter with India's Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, played a key role in shaping Tito's principles of active peaceful coexistence and noncommitment and in transforming them into a global initiative. The article highlights the well-defined political and philosophical rationale behind the principles that became embedded in the concept of non-engagement and, later, nonalignment.

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