Popović, Koča

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Koča Popović (kō´chä pō´pōvĬ´tyə), 1908–80, Yugoslav soldier and political leader. He early joined (1933) the Yugoslav Communist party and fought (1937–39) in the Spanish Civil War. During World War II he was one of the chief organizers of Serbian resistance. After the war, Popović served as chief of the general staff of the Yugoslav army (1945–53), minister of foreign affairs (1953–65), and Yugoslav vice president (1966–67). He also headed numerous Yugoslav delegations to the United Nations. In 1971 he was chosen one of 22 members of Yugoslavia's newly established collective presidency, but he resigned (Nov., 1972) in disagreement over policies aimed at restricting the autonomy of the federal republics.