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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Kennedy Administration > Volume XVIII
Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, Volume XVIII, Near East, 1962-1963
Released by the Office of the Historian
Documents 144-175

144. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran/1/

Washington, January 28, 1963, 7:11 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 788.00/1-2663. Confidential. Drafted by Tiger (NEA/GTI), cleared in draft by Crawford, and approved by Bowling.

553. Ref Embtel 636./2/ Based on evidence cited reftel as well as such devices employment toughs against students (Embtel 631), we share your concern about unnecessary creation extremist reactions./3/ Although ticklish problem like this clearly not susceptible any overt approach, suggest you utilize any opportunities that may present themselves to encourage Shah to feel that he is fully in command of situation and that it therefore not necessary, and possibly counter-productive, for him to repress opposition in ways suggestive of dictatorial approach. Recognize strong personal reactions to direct attacks and NF Congress might turn Shah in direction increasingly hard line, particularly before Majlis elections, but hope he will eventually realize wisdom of moderate course toward non-communist opposition.

/2/Dated January 26. (Ibid., 888.00/1-2663)

/3/On January 23 in telegram 628 from Tehran, Holmes reported that the previous day an anti-referendum, anti-land reform proclamation signed by leading Ayatollahs was circulated throughout Tehran and that the Ayatollahs had been collaborating with the National Front in opposing the Shah's reform program. Prime Minister Alam publicly threatened to crush dissenters. (Ibid., 788.00/1-2363) In telegram 629, January 23, the Embassy in Tehran reported that the Iranian Government was organizing pro-referendum demonstrations and making a show of military force. All mosques in Qom were to be closed during a January 24 visit of the Shah. In telegram 631 from Tehran, January 24, the Embassy reported that the Iranian police had occupied Tehran University and expelled demonstrating students from campus. Pro-Shah demonstrators armed with sticks had entered the campus and attacked students. (Both ibid., 788.00/1-2363) Additional reports from Tehran on these disturbances are ibid., 788.00, 788.11, and 888.432.

Further Embassy comments will be appreciated./4/

/4/In telegram 568 to Tehran, February 1, the Department of State informed the Embassy that it continued to receive information indicating that the Shah intended to take repressive measures against the National Front and other non-Communist opposition and advised: "It is our tentative opinion that such measures will drive opposition leadership into extremist and foreign-supported hands and will tarnish Shah's new reputation in West." The Department requested the Embassy's views on "nature and extent dangers new repressive policy and what if anything US could do to reverse or mitigate unfavorable aspects." (Ibid., POL 12 IRAN) Holmes responded in telegrams 670 and 683 from Tehran, February 5 and 9. (Both ibid.) See the Supplement, the compilation on Iran.



145. Memorandum for the Record/1/

Washington, January 28, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Robert W. Komer, Vol. I. Confidential. Drafted by Komer. Sent to Bundy and Kaysen.

Kermit Roosevelt of Gulf Oil came in to see me today, primarily to express oil company concern over our Yemen and Nasser policies./2/ Despite the briefing which Talbot gave the key company people a few weeks ago,/3/ they are apparently unconvinced. He said McCloy was also worried.

/2/On January 28, Roosevelt also met with Grant and Blackiston at the Department of State and conveyed the same viewpoint described in this memorandum. The memorandum of conversation is in Department of State, Central Files, 611.86/1-2863.

/3/On January 11, Talbot and McGhee met with the Aramco Senior Vice President R. I. Brougham and high-ranking representatives from Standard Oil of California; Texaco, Inc.; Gulf Oil; Mobil International Oil; and Standard Oil (New Jersey), most of whom were also Directors of Aramco. The memorandum of conversation is ibid., 780.00/1-1163; for text, see the Supplement, the regional compilation.

Kim (and he may be speaking for himself rather than for the companies here) feels that there is no real possibility of working with Nasser because our interests and his are simply incompatible. He claims that in long conversations with Nasser in the past, he has gotten Nasser to admit as much. Kim grants that it would be fine if we could "turn Nasser inward" but that each time Nasser has tried this, he has found it so frustrating (because of the enormity of the problem) that he has turned back to foreign adventures.

With specific reference to Yemen, he understood and agrees with our disengagement plan but didn't think that Faysal would go along. He thought he was bleeding Nasser and that he could keep it up indefinitely. Kim argued that Nasser had less capability to cause trouble in Saudi Arabia than State seemed to credit him with having. Faysal had the loyalty of the tribes; so long as this was the case, he would not be afraid. Faysal was remarkably calm about the defections from his air force, for example. Faysal's honor was engaged and he was unlikely to quit.

I gave the by now standard counters to the above line, stressing that we were not pursuing a "pro-Nasser" policy but that we did think it folly not to cultivate decent relations with him, since the alternative was to leave him an exclusive client of the Bloc. Kim agreed that we had made it crystal clear to Faysal that we supported him domestically and that Faysal would not desert us simply because he disagreed with our Yemen policy. I think that I at least clarified our views on these matters for him, though I doubt that he went away convinced.

Kim spoke of State's failure to keep the oil companies clued in on US policy, which might help to clear up misunderstandings. I told him we'd try to do a better job.



146. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, January 28, 1963, 8:14 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786H.00/1-2863. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Campbell and Seelye; cleared by Strong (in draft), Wallner, Sisco, and Rogers (S/S); and approved by McGhee. Repeated to Cairo, Jidda, and London.

2028. Ref: USUN's 2809 to Dept;/2/ Jidda's 49 to USUN;/3/ Cairo's 63 to USUN./4/ View favorable responses to UN emissary proposal from both UAR and SAG and likelihood YAR acquiescence, Dept believes time has come:

/2/In telegram 2809 from USUN, January 21, the Mission commented on the status of the proposal for a neutral intermediary for Yemen and offered a series of proposals for terms of reference. (Ibid., 786H.00/1-2163)

/3/In telegram 49 from Jidda to USUN, January 12, repeated to the Department of State as telegram 559, Hart reported that Faysal had stated that he had no objection to U Thant sending his personal representative to Saudi Arabia, but continued to insist that any solution to the Yemen problem conform to his four requirements (see Document 125). (Department of State, Central Files, 786H.00/1-1263)

/4/Dated January 28, repeated to the Department of State as telegram 1103. (Ibid., 786H.00/1-2863)

1. To inform UNSYG UAR has now agreed to appointment of UN emissary to explore means by which disengagement can be started. You might recall that SAG and HKJ had already accepted Spinelli proposal, that Faysal and Hussein expected go along with new proposal, and that we believe YAR likely acquiesce. You may draw upon reftels in reporting these developments.

2. To reiterate to him our belief, reinforced by recent developments, that personal representative of UNSYG acting as friend of all parties to dispute would have best chance of getting process of disengagement started.

3. To suggest for his consideration our general ideas as to how mediation operation might evolve drawing upon para 3 of USUN's 2809 to Dept. You might point out that following visit by UNSYG representative to four capitals for purpose taking measure of problem and drawing up tentative formula for disengagement we have in mind establishment verification unit if formula accepted. As suggested in your 2809, we should avoid attempting put forward as our own too detailed a scheme, but of course we wish avoid repetition of previous exercise in which parties did not understand what was sought. Immediate objective is to get SYG representative out to area soonest.

4. To indicate our continued belief representative appointed by him stands best chance success resolving this problem and as earnest our support we willing have an American undertake this mission if he so desires. Former Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker prepared serve in this capacity. We consider him an eminently suitable choice./5/ Bunker immediately available. If mission not accomplished by end of February, he would have to return for limited period but could go out again to continue mission if required. As before, we would support mediation efforts in the capitals concerned.

/5/During a telephone conversation on January 22, McGhee recommended to Rusk that Bunker be appointed intermediary for the Yemen dispute. Rusk accepted the suggestion enthusiastically, saying that Bunker would be "three times better" than the other choices. (Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations)

5. We hope SYG, if he agrees to foregoing, will move rapidly obtain approval governments concerned, since present juncture of circumstances is as favorable as we could wish and we would like to get mediation effort underway before further untoward events recur, such as bombing of Saudi soil.

You might wish mention to SYG that in consonance with his suggestion we have urged UK to extend recognition to YAR.



147. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Syrian Arab Republic/1/

Washington, January 28, 1963, 9:17 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783.11/1-2863. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Davies and Barrow, cleared by Rogers (S/S) and Komer, and approved by Strong.

297. You should seek earliest possible interview with President Qudsi in order present following written message from President:

Verbatim text:

"My dear Mr. President:

I have greatly appreciated receiving your friendly greetings on a number of occasions and most recently the beautiful card that you and Mrs. Qudsi sent during the holiday season. Many of the Americans who have known you over a long period of years have spoken of your statesmanship and of your deep understanding, objectivity, and integrity. I have wanted to write you about some of the problems of mutual interest to our two countries, and am now impelled to do so because misunderstanding appears to have arisen in certain quarters about United States policy toward the Syrian Arab Republic.

My Government has followed with sympathetic interest the rapid pace of political and social evolution in the Middle East, including the Syrian Arab Republic. We have welcomed the advent in the Middle East of independent national states dedicated to values similar to those which we uphold. We have been gratified by the steady growth of friendly and mutually beneficial relations between the Middle Eastern governments and the United States. To my mind, relations between the United States and the Syrian Arab Republic are probably as good now as they have been in the last decade and we hope for continued improvement. We are also pleased at the improvement in the Syrian Arab Republic's relations with other Western nations as exemplified in the recently announced agreement between your Government and the Federal Republic of Germany regarding the Euphrates Dam.

It is therefore a matter of particular regret to me that some misinformed or ill-intentioned persons have imputed wrong motives to the United States in its attitude and actions toward the Syrian Arab Republic and have charged that the United States is siding with one faction against another, or that it prefers to deal through certain individuals or regimes in the area. These charges are untrue. United States policy is to seek to develop a strong relationship, bilaterally and impartially, with each state of the area. Specifically, with full regard for the right of the Syrian people to choose their own destiny, the United States has and continues to support the integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and desires to strengthen its relationship with your Government.

You may be assured that we have conducted and will continue to conduct our affairs in the Syrian Arab Republic in a straightforward and open manner and that we are always ready to discuss mutual problems with frankness. We want nothing from the Syrian Arab Republic except friendly relations and respect for our legitimate rights and interests, just as we maintain the deepest respect for the Syrian Arab Republic's rights and interests. Sincerely, John F. Kennedy."

No publicity is to be given message. If SARG should request publication you should refer matter to Department for consideration.

President prefers not send oral message on Allen case./2/ Therefore, you should on your own initiative make following presentation to Qudsi (leaving Aide-Mémoire if you feel it desirable):

/2/An earlier draft of this telegram, attached to the source text, indicates that the oral message on the Allen case was to be from President Kennedy. A handwritten note by Komer, also attached, indicates that Kennedy personally requested that the change be made.

USG disturbed to learn that Supreme Military State Security Court has charged American Consul General at Aleppo, Mr. Arthur B. Allen, with complicity in insurrection of April, 1962. Not only would such activity on part of Consul General have been contrary to United States policy, but, on basis of careful investigation of evidence available, USG is convinced that this is of flimsiest circumstantial nature and that charges are untrue. It believes that these accusations, and possibly circumstantial evidence used in support of them, are the work of elements subjected to influences alien to Syria.

It has been suggested that United States should voluntarily withdraw its Consul General from Aleppo because of these charges but, on basis of the contrived and flimsy case presented against him, and on basis of what it considers to be true facts of the situation, USG considers to do so would be a gross disservice to man himself, to United States and, it believes, to Syrian Arab Republic. Responsible Syrian officials have indicated their awareness of unfounded nature of charges against Mr. Allen. Past has witnessed how alien influences can exploit such events to advance ill-intended causes and the USG is certain that it must be desire of Syrian Government and people generally to avoid repetition of such events.

Present Consul General's normal two year tour ends in September of this year. It is sincere hope of United States Government that Syrian Government will permit him carry on his duties in normal fashion until that time. He is dedicated official and merits at least this consideration for wrongs that have been done to him./3/

/3/On February 27, under cover of a memorandum from Brubeck to Bundy, the Department of State transmitted to the White House President Qudsi's response to this message, dated February 19. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 2 SYR) For text of the Brubeck memorandum, which summarizes and analyzes Qudsi's response, see the Supplement, the compilation on Syria.



148. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran/1/

Washington, January 29, 1963, 8:23 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 788.00/1-2963. Official Use Only. Drafted by Tiger and Bracken, cleared by Rogers and McGeorge Bundy, and approved by McGhee.

560. Please deliver following message to the Imperial Court:

"His Imperial Majesty, The Shahanshah of Iran.

Congratulations on your victory in the historic referendum on Saturday. Vice President Johnson, following his visit to Iran last August, told me of the warm reception accorded him by your people and their determination to advance and modernize on a broad front. It is therefore all the more gratifying to learn that a vast majority has supported your leadership in a clear and open expression of their will. This demonstration of support should renew your confidence in the rightness of your course and strengthen your resolve to lead Iran to further achievements in the struggle to better the lot of your people. John F. Kennedy."

White House does not plan release. GOI may release at its discretion. However, would appreciate 24 hours advance notice of intention to release./2/

/2/In his January 31 response, the Shah thanked President Kennedy for his congratulations, noting "The result of the referendum does indeed reflect the wholehearted approval of my fundamental reforms by the well nigh unanimous vote of the people of Iran. It has increased the faith I have always had in their power of discrimination and their support of my determination to raise their standard of life." (Telegram 656 from Tehran, January 31; ibid., 788.00/1-3163)



149. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iraq/1/

Washington, February 5, 1963, 9:17 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1-3 IRAQ-US. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Killgore and Davies on February 1, cleared by McGhee, and approved by Strong. Repeated to Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, Kuwait, London, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Ankara, and Basra.

209. Baghdad's 362./2/ Chargé, members Country Team and all participants highly commended on excellent and detailed estimate Iraqi situation at year's end. We sympathize with staff's desire break US public silence in face of attacks from Qasim and agree validity of number of points made in Embtel 362. We concur situation in Iraq disturbing but as yet by no means clear Iraq actually becoming Soviet base.

/2/Dated January 22. (Ibid. 787.00/1-2263)

Department considering carefully whether on balance US interests would be served this particular juncture by abandoning policy of avoiding public reaction to Qasim's charges while objecting through normal diplomatic channels. Through our posture, US has sought maintenance American presence in Iraq, and, concomitantly, avoidance of open controversy with Qasim regime; readiness to respond to any Iraqi desire improve official relations; and continuance official and unofficial American contacts with view not only of influencing Iraqi attitudes but also of acquiring valuable intelligence. If we are at some point to undertake line of action Embassy proposes, a more specific objective would be required and there would have to be probability of success.

Qasim's latest remarks perhaps deliberately designed provoke US reaction which could then be used as "proof" US hostility to Iraq and serve as basis for increased level of attacks which, having reacted once, we could not well ignore. US statements cannot be disseminated without distortion within Iraq, and shortwave broadcasts would not have impact on wide group. Qasim would have freedom within Iraq to twist US representations to provide basis for increasing tempo of anti-US campaign and intensifying harassment of Embassy and Consulate Basra. We cannot be sure Qasim might not proceed to length of expelling various officers of our missions, thus threatening reduce "presence" which constitutes important US asset [1 line of source text not declassified].

Qasim regime not highly regarded anywhere in Arab world. Our position and prestige in other Arab countries determined by factors other than our relations with Iraq or Iraqi propaganda. Department believes you should continue press for meeting with Prime Minister for presentation along lines Deptel 148, December 3./3/ Should harassment of mission operations accompany rise in Qasim's critical propaganda, Department would wish consider counter moves./4/

/3/In telegram 148 to Baghdad, December 3, 1962, the Department of State provided guidance to Chargé Melbourne for a forthcoming conversation with Qasim. The Department indicated that it was mystified about Iraq's receptivity toward false allegations of U.S. hostility toward Iraq and of U.S. support for the Kurds, and affirmed the U.S. desire to continue friendly relations with Iraq. (Ibid., 787.00/11-2762) For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on Iraq. The Chargé was unable to obtain the proposed audience with Qasim.

/4/On February 7, the Department of State sent the White House the Embassy's analysis of the situation in Iraq and its recommendation that the United States actively move to counter Qasim's continuing public criticisms of the United States. The Department indicated its disagreement with the proposed course of action. (Memorandum from Brubeck to Bundy; Department of State, Central Files, POL 1-3 IRAQ-US; for text, see the Supplement, the compilation on Iraq)



150. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, February 6, 1963, 10 a.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, REF ARAB. Confidential. Drafted by Grant on February 7 and approved by the White House on February 11.

The Johnson Plan

The President
Dr. Joseph Johnson, Special Representative of the Palestine Conciliation Commission
Mr. Feldman, The White House
Mr. Komer, The White House
NEA--James P. Grant

The meeting took place at 10:30 a.m. pursuant to Presidential invitation. The President opened the meeting with an expression of thanks to Dr. Johnson for his untiring efforts in the past year and a half on the Arab refugee problem./2/ He asked Dr. Johnson for his comments on the road ahead.

/2/Joseph Johnson formally presented his resignation as the Palestine Conciliation Commission's Special Representative on January 31. He left the record of his mission and draft report marked "confidential" with the Commission. Both Johnson and the Commission agreed that the draft report should not be released at that time. (Telegram 2931 from USUN, January 31; ibid., 325.84/1 - 3163) Additional documentation relating to Johnson's resignation is ibid., 325.84.

Dr. Johnson welcomed the USG intention to move ahead in the refugee field, saying that the USG in his opinion could do what he as an individual under the PCC umbrella could not do. He said that the Johnson Plan was dead, but certain principles incorporated in it were still most valid.

Dr. Johnson said that an Arab-Israel peace was a long way off. Attacking the refugee problem was one way, and, in his view, the best way of starting to erode the problem. He said that if the refugee problem could be solved he really felt that many of the other problems would fall into place, none of them, e.g., the corpus separatum issue, being as conducive to keeping alive the hostility between the two peoples.

He reported that he had submitted a draft report to the PCC and listed what he regarded as the essentials of any feasible refugee initiative. These were: (a) refugee expression of their will. By this he did not mean a plebiscite but more subtle devices. (b) Some repatriation. Paragraph 11 must be given some substance. He believes that less than one out of ten of the Arab refugees would end up by residing in Israel, particularly if Arabs who choose to repatriate to Israel could later leave. (c) Did not see any possibility of a formal agreement; acquiescence must be the key. (d) The right of disengagement must accompany the concept of acquiescence. (e) Any plan must move slowly; the Arabs cannot have their desire of mass and immediate movement of refugees. (f) There must be general simultaneity of action on both sides. (g) Clear understanding that sovereign states are involved.

The President noted that the principal problem was the need for the two parties to present the repatriation question to their respective publics in very different lights, e.g., the Arabs have to make it appear as if all refugees can return to Israel whereas the Israel Government needs to make it appear that only a very small fraction, less than ten per cent, will return. Dr. Johnson said this was a question of form, in his judgment, since there are means for the Israelis to control the extent of repatriation. He also noted that some Arab leaders now accept the one to ten concept. He then commented that there is a real problem of communication between Israel and the Arab states, saying that we had more communication with the Chinese Communists than the Arabs and the Israelis have between each other. Each hears only the extremist voices of the other. Dr. Johnson noted his own efforts to be a quiet voice. He said that he had passed on to the Israelis Nasser's comment that "War was not on the agenda", but he doubted that a dialogue through an individual was worth much on either side. If a third party dialogue had to be carried on he believed it could better be done by Governments.

The President then asked Dr. Johnson to look back on his experience with the Johnson Plan. What appeared to be acceptable to the parties; what proved unacceptable? Dr. Johnson replied that it was not clear on the Arab side since they were giving the appearance of acquiescence while awaiting Israeli action. With respect to Israel, Dr. Johnson noted its concern with the dangers of repatriation but he could not tell how controlling this was on their other actions. Israel also was concerned with the UN administering any scheme so directly related to its security, that the Israelis dislike and distrust the UN instrumentalities. The Israelis are convinced also that a majority of the refugees want to come back. Dr. Johnson noted, however, that he could not really give the viewpoint of the Israelis on the plan since they had refused to talk to him about it except for that one "cold" meeting which Mr. Feldman had arranged.

The President said that the open-ended nature of the Johnson Plan seemed to be the principal objection of the Israelis, the unpredictability of where it would come out. He asked why the sampling approach had not been acceptable to the Israelis as a way of meeting the open-end problem. Dr. Johnson commented that we might yet have to come back to sampling.

Mr. Feldman replied that the Israelis were convinced that this would mean nothing more than Israel receiving another five or six thousand refugees with the problem still being exactly as it had been before.

The President noted that there appeared to be no pressure on either party as long as we paid the bill for the refugees. Dr. Johnson expressed his belief that neither party believed our threats to withdraw support from the refugees.

Mr. Komer asked whether there was any indirect means of meeting the Israeli demands for a guarantee from the Arabs before starting on repatriation of refugees. He noted that formal guarantee was not possible from the Arabs.

Mr. Feldman said that from his talks he understood the Israelis would accept a procedure under which the US went to the Arab countries and secured an informal guarantee, to which would be added the US guarantee. He thought this might do the trick.

The President again thanked Dr. Johnson, and said that we've got to go ahead on the refugee issue. Dr. Johnson then asked the President for his approval on what he, Johnson, might say to the press on departure. The President read the briefing paper on this, and said that Dr. Johnson could say something along the lines of: he had come to see the President on finishing his assignment; the President had expressed his thanks and appreciation for Dr. Johnson's efforts, and his regret that it had not been possible to accomplish all we had hoped with respect to the settlement of the refugee problem; and that the USG continues its interest in the problem.


151. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, February 7, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Yemen, 2/62. Secret.


Progress (or rather lack of progress) report on Yemen. Royalists appear to be ahead again, partly because YAR/UAR actions seem to have alienated many of tribes (Baidhani canned partly for this reason).

But UAR is sending further reinforcement. As we've said, Nasser has tiger by the tail, and can't afford to let go. Instead he's more likely to up the ante again.

Meanwhile our effort to sell Bunker to SYG as mediator has struck rock of U Thant's reluctance to seem a US stooge. He's miffed at us on several counts. We're trying to get Arabs to insist on an American but we'll end up with SYG's choice./2/

/2/Instructions to and reports from USUN are in Department of State, Central File POL 27 YEMEN.

UK is still stalling on YAR recognition, though Talbot softened them a bit in London./3/ I'm urging we press Faysal harder, before Nasser acts up again. Conclusion--this peanut war will be with us a long time yet.

/3/The Embassy in London transmitted to the Department of State in airgram A - 1858, February 19, a memorandum of Talbot's conversation with Deputy Under Secretary Sir Roger Stevens that took place in London on February 6. (Ibid.) For text, see the Supplement, the regional compilation.

Bob K


152. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, February 7, 1963.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL PAL - US. Confidential. Drafted by Crawford on February 8.

United States Position on Jerusalem

Mr. Shaul Bar-Haim, Counselor, Israel Embassy
NE--William R. Crawford, Jr.
UNP--Stephen J. Campbell

Mr. Crawford recalled a conversation between Assistant Secretary Talbot and Ambassador Harman on July 17, 1962,/2/ in which Mr. Talbot had said we would no longer take the initiative in presenting our views on the status of Jerusalem to governments contemplating the initial establishment of a diplomatic mission in Israel. In describing the limits of this concession, Mr. Talbot said we would not acquiesce in Israel insistence on issuance of visas or consular exequaturs that would inhibit the freedom of movement of U.S. Consular Officers within the corpus separatum, or in other Israel moves which we would view as eroding our stand in principle on the status of Jerusalem.

/2/See Document 6.

Mr. Crawford further recalled that the Israel Embassy had subsequently taken strong exception to our reference to the corpus separatum, in conversations between Mr. Strong and Minister Gazit on July 20 and 30, respectively. These exchanges led the Israel Embassy, in a conversation between Mr. Bar-Haim and Mr. Crawford on August 6, 1962/3/ to seek our approval of its own recapitulated formulation of the U.S. position. We reserved our reply, saying we would like to refer the Israel formulation to officers in the Department with long experience on this problem.

/3/See footnote 4, Document 6.

Mr. Crawford said this study has now been completed, and our comments on the Israeli formulation are evidenced in the following revision of it:

1. The Government of Israel may take as its guidance in interpreting the United States position on Jerusalem the U.S. Aide-Mémoire of July 9, 1952,/4/ and Secretary Dulles' speeches of June 1, 1953, and August 26, 1955,/5/ of which Israel is fully informed.

/4/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1952-1954, vol. IX, Document 455.

/5/For texts, see Department of State Bulletin, June 15, 1953, pp. 831-835, and September 5, 1955, pp. 378-380, respectively.

2. In the United Nations resolution of partition of Palestine, Resolution 181(II)/6/ and in the Swedish-Dutch draft resolution subsequently considered by the General Assembly, various solutions to protect the interests of the U.N. in Jerusalem were laid down, but in both Resolution 181 and Swedish-Dutch draft, the geographic area of Jerusalem was the same; i.e., as defined in Resolution 181. The attitude of the Department is that, while the United States Government is of an open mind as to the type of arrangements which might be made for the area to satisfy the international community's interest in it, the geographic boundaries of this area are as set forth in Resolution 181. The U.S. believes that whatever arrangement is made should have the concurrence of Israel and Jordan, and the necessary majority of the Members of the United Nations. (Mr. Talbot's use of the term corpus separatum on July 17 was in reference only to this geographic definition.)

/6/Reference is to the U.N. General Assembly resolution concerning the future government of Palestine, which provided for a plan of partition with economic union, adopted by the General Assembly on November 29, 1947. For text, see Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session, Resolutions, 16 September- 9 November 1947. Also in A Decade of American Foreign Policy, 1941-1949: Basic Documents, pp. 695-709.

3. This basic U.S. view concerning the geographic definition of the area describes also the area of jurisdiction of the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem.

Mr. Crawford stressed that the basic U.S. position is as stated in Paragraph 1. Paragraph 2 should be regarded as "informal comment and current amplification". As regards Paragraph 3, we have not dissented from the Israeli formulation provided Israel recognizes that the term corpus separatum does in fact describe the area of jurisdiction of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. As footnote to Paragraph 3, we would point out that the Consulate General's area of jurisdiction includes areas in Jordan which are over and above the area defined by Resolution 181.

Mr. Crawford said Israel would note that the foregoing involved no change in the long-standing U.S. position on Jerusalem. It is somewhat our feeling that Israel made a mountain out of a molehill in contesting Mr. Talbot's use of the term corpus separatum. We saw no advantage in reopening discussion of the U.S. position, but felt we should not avoid comment when the Israel Embassy sought to formulate our position for us.

Mr. Bar-Haim said he hopes this U.S. commentary will put an end to the exchange.

Mr. Bar-Haim said he wished to raise a question earlier discussed by Mr. Gazit with Mr. Strong: the use of the term "Jerusalem, Palestine" in the passports of U.S. officials in Jerusalem. Israel wishes the U.S. would drop this practice. The use of the term "Palestine" is historical fiction; it encourages the Palestine entity concept; its "revived usage enrages" individual Israelis; the Jordanians, also, would be happier if it were dropped; this is a trivial irritant; the U.S. position on Jerusalem would in no way be eroded by ceasing to use this term.

Mr. Crawford replied that, insofar as he could recall, Mr. Strong had implied to Mr. Gazit that pushing this matter will serve little practical purpose. If Israel, nevertheless, wishes to press this officially, we will look into it. By way of preliminary, informal comment:

1. The present practice has caused no problem in the past fourteen years.

2. It is not a "revival".

3. It is difficult to see how it "enrages" Israel opinion.

4. The practice is consistent with the fact that, in a de jure sense, Jerusalem was part of Palestine and has not since become part of any other sovereignty.

5. We would not see this as simply a question of dropping the phrase "Jerusalem, Palestine" from the passports of those few officers we have in Jerusalem. What about related questions such as quota nationality, in regard to which U.S. legislation and regulation continue to employ the term Palestine?

6. Israel has been informed that we do not approve actions which might be regarded as watering down our stand in principle regarding Jerusalem. Israel has termed this "trivial", but we would necessarily have to judge it against the background of other actions of the past year, such as Israel's elimination of the Foreign Liaison Office in Tel Aviv and its request that we cease taking the initiative in representations to other states regarding the location of their missions in Israel.

7. We question whether the Jordanians would be happier if we drop the term. They fear the ridicule of other Arab states.

Mr. Bar-Haim said he appreciates Mr. Crawford's informal comment but hopes this matter can be looked at by the Department./7/

/7/On February 12, Bar-Haim told Crawford that the Israeli Embassy had concluded from what was said on February 7 that the United States would no longer use the term corpus separatum in public or private statements. Crawford responded that this was an unwarranted inference and that the statement should be interpreted exactly as it was given. (Memorandum of conversation; Department of State, Central Files, POL PAL - US) On February 15, Crawford reported to Bar-Haim that in response to Israel's request he had checked as to whether the Department of State might stop using the term, "Jerusalem, Palestine" in the passports of U.S. Consular Officers assigned to that city. The answer was that the U.S. current practice was consistent with U.S. policy on Jerusalem and that Jerusalem, part of the former state of Palestine, had not since passed under the sovereignty of any other state in a de jure sense. (Ibid.)


153. Memorandum From Stephen O. Fuqua of the Bureau of International Security Affairs, Department of Defense, to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Sloan)/1/

Washington, February 8, 1963.

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 67 A 4564, Iraq 000.1--1963. Secret. Drafted by Colonel Preble. Brigadier General Fuqua was Director of the Office of the Near East, South Asia, and Africa Region.

Iraqi Coup

Sometime after midnight, local time, elements of the armed forces staged a coup in Iraq./2/ Information presently available has not confirmed that Qasim is actually dead. A National Council was established consisting of six officers, one colonel, two captains and three lieutenants. Some members of this council have been identified as being members of the Bath Party. Most military units have reported in or officers from the military units have sent messages reporting their loyalty to the coup. The leaders have broadcast that their aims are to (a) strengthen national unity; (b) resolve the Arab-Kurdish problem; (c) live up to all international treaties; (d) comply with the UN charter and (e) support unity of Arabic countries. The coup appears to be in the hands of the Bath Party. Rumors have been widespread that that party had been planning a coup for several months. It is believed by members of CIA that the coup was triggered by Qasim's recent arrest of a large number of Bath Party members. The remaining members still at large felt that if they were ever going to attempt such a coup it would have to be done now. Although announcement has been that the coup is pro-Nasser in nature, it is believed by members of State Department that this may be slightly exaggerated./3/ The party announced several months ago a very elaborate program at such time as they took over the Government and it is believed that although relations may improve between the UAR and Iraq their aim is primarily nationalistic in nature and that it cannot be termed as a revolution staged by Nasser. Their anti-Communism is supported by the reported assassination of the Chief of the Air Force who is reportedly Communist. There has been no report of the molesting of any foreigners. A message is being prepared by the Department of State to be delivered to the new government as soon as its success is confirmed, requesting that all U.S. personnel be protected and that the new government issue a statement which would attempt to meet U.S. requirements for early recognition. The consensus of members of State and CIA is that if the coup is successful, relations between the U.S. and Iraq will be considerably improved and the internal situation in Iraq should gradually improve./4/

/2/On February 8, Komer sent a memorandum to President Kennedy that reads in part: "While it's still early, Iraqi revolution seems to have succeeded. It is almost certainly a net gain for our side." He concluded: "Nasser is trying to embrace the new crew, but we suspect he's whistling in the wind. We will make informal friendly noises as soon as we can find out whom to talk with, and ought to recognize as soon as we're sure these guys are firmly in the saddle. [2 lines of source text not declassified]" (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Iraq, 1963)

/3/In circular telegram 1383, February 8, the Department of State instructed the Embassy in London and certain Near Eastern posts to inform their host governments that the new Iraqi regime showed no indication of Communist influence and appeared essentially Baathi-Nationalist in orientation. Posts were to advise host governments that they should avoid actions or statements that might tend to exacerbate the situation in Iraq and to indicate that the United States had no reports that the new regime was pro-Nasser. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 IRAQ)

/4/A memorandum from Fuqua to Sloan, February 12, containing a more detailed account of the coup is the Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 67A 4564, Iraq 000.1--1963. For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on Iraq.


154. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, February 9, 1963.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 IRAQ. Confidential. Drafted by Killgore (NEA/NE) and cleared by Talbot, Knox (EUR/BNA) (in draft), and Bracken (NEA/GTI) (in substance). Attached to the source text is a "Proposed Statement on Recognition of New Iraqi Republic Regime," drafted on February 9 by Davies (NEA/NE). Talbot forwarded this memorandum to Rusk on February 9 with a recommendation that he sign it. (Memorandum from Talbot to Rusk; ibid.)

Request for Contingency Authority to Recognize the New Iraqi Regime

A coup d'etat reportedly led by Colonel Abdul Karim Mustafa was mounted in Baghdad in the early morning of February 8, 1963. Former Prime Minister Qasim is reported dead. Affirmations of support for the new regime have come from military and civil leaders in all parts of Iraq. Barring the unforeseen, the new regime seems likely promptly to establish itself in full authority in the country.

The leaders of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command and the members of the Cabinet have a nationalist orientation with a strong Pan-Arab bent. They appear to be anti-Communist. We have neither evidence nor reason to believe that the United Arab Republic will wield any undue influence in Baghdad. In our opinion the new regime is likely to be an improvement over that of former Prime Minister Qasim, which had few friends either internally or externally.

Our Chargé d'Affaires at Baghdad is under instructions to convey informally to the leader or leaders of the Revolutionary Command friendly overtures from the United States Government after he has first satisfied himself the Command is in firm control of the country./2/ He will explain United States criteria for recognition of a new Government and will indicate that the United States would welcome public affirmation that the new Iraqi regime intends to carry out Iraq's international obligations. He will also ask for assurance that the new regime will safeguard American citizens and interests in Iraq./3/

/2/Telegram 220 to Baghdad, February 9, conveyed criteria for recognition of the new regime. (Ibid.) The criteria are taken from a memorandum from Lawrence Hargrove (L/NEA) to Killgore, February 8. (Ibid., L/NEA Files: Lot 70 D 165, Iraq)

/3/Melbourne executed these instructions on February 10 during a conversation with Foreign Minister Talib Husain Al-Shabib, who assured Melbourne that U.S. citizens and interests would be protected and that Iraq would honor its international obligations and follow a nonaligned foreign policy. (Telegram 409 from Baghdad, February 10; ibid., Central Files, POL 16 IRAQ)

The desired public Iraqi affirmation may be forthcoming soon. It would appear to be in our interest to grant early recognition to the regime when the prerequisites to recognition have been met. For this reason we should like to have contingency authority to recognize. Six Arab countries, including Jordan and Kuwait, have recognized the new regime, and we are now undertaking close consultations with the British, Turkish, and Iranian Governments on the recognition question.

In requesting this authority I must state the possibility that Saudi Arabia may wish to defer recognition and may seek to persuade the United States to delay. Should our policy on recognition diverge from that of our Saudi friends, we may expect criticism from them beyond that already levied against us because of our policy on Yemen. On balance, the advantage lies in prompt recognition when circumstances otherwise warrant.

Finally, as you recall, our Ambassador to Iraq was withdrawn at Iraqi request in June 1962. Following our recognition of the new Iraqi regime, assignment of a new Ambassador will be required./4/

/4/The United States announced its recognition of the new Iraqi regime at noon in Washington on February 11. (Circular telegram 1398, February 10; ibid.) For text of the U.S. statement, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1963, p. 598.

Dean Rusk/5/

/5/Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.


155. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, February 9, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, President's Office Files, Staff Memoranda, Komer, Robert W. Secret.

Ignore the bulk, but you'd find it well worthwhile to scan the first 16 pages of this paper from Rostow on next Arab-Israeli moves./2/ Its proposition is that, since we're getting nowhere on refugees, we ought instead to probe quietly whether BG and Nasser might accept a bit of tacit arms control.

/2/Reference is to Polk's paper entitled "The Palestine Problem: The Next Phase," dated December 3, 1962. (Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 69 D 121, Near and Middle East) On January 25, Brubeck forwarded the paper to Bundy, noting that the Department would soon make recommendations in this area and that Komer shared the Department's view that the President should be familiar with the study. In response to Bundy's query whether this were true, Komer wrote Bundy on February 9: "Yes I do think JFK should read first few pages of this. It suggests what is now the most promising card available to us in Arab-Israeli game, and one we ought to play before Israeli reactor or UAR rockets get too far along. This is another plot of mine. Bill Polk's fascinating talk with Nasser (also attached) makes this a real exercise rather than just a planner's dream." (Both memoranda in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Palestine Refugees, 12/62-11/63, Vol. II) The extract from Polk's study is in the Supplement, the compilation on the Arab-Israeli dispute.

With BG complaining to us about UAR rockets and radiological warfare and Nasser worried over Israeli BW and their nuclear reactor, both might be receptive at this point. In fact, we just took a discreet sounding with Nasser (results are fascinating--Tab B).

We'd be so much the gainers from this scheme that it's worth a try. Success would both limit the risks of local war and reduce our indirect subsidies to Israel to compensate for Soviet arms to the UAR. The rub is precisely the same as in the US/USSR arms dialogue--inspection and control. Rostow's scheme seems over-elaborate, but a less ambitious UAR/Israel tacit agreement to refrain from acquiring "unconventional" weapons (with the US discreetly policing the exercise) might just work.

Your blessing would give impetus to fleshing out some such scheme. We'd then secretly try it on for size, if you approved, through some device like the highly secret Anderson Mission in 1956 (pp. B - 5 to B - 12) which never leaked.

R.W. Komer


156. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/

Washington, February 12, 1963, 7:40 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 YEMEN. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Seelye, cleared by Strong and Bergesen (EUR/BNA), and approved by Talbot. Repeated to Jidda, Cairo, Amman, Taiz, and USUN.

4299. Ref: Embtel 4259 to Dept./2/ Depcirtel 1406./3/ Request you immediately call UK attention to substance Depcirtel 1406, especially first paragraph. Quite clearly YAR on horns of dilemma. With great difficulty and in face extremist pressures inside regime YAR has exercised commendable restraint re its relations with South Arabia Federation and Aden Protectorate. Yet UK recognition has not resulted and insofar as YAR can see is not forthcoming. This obviously major reason why YAR considering reversal policy of restraint and initiation aggressive policy against Aden. As Aini informed us, YAR has great capability foment trouble in Aden. Likewise YAR can create trouble in Saudi Arabia. Longer British delay, more certain UAR and YAR will become convinced that UK in fact hostile and supporting royalists.

/2/This reference should be to telegram 4259 to London, February 9, which instructed the Embassy to make another effort to persuade the British Government to extend recognition to the Yemen Arab Republic, because the absence of British recognition was hampering the entire disengagement effort. (Ibid.)

/3/In circular telegram 1406, February 11, the Department of State informed certain posts that on February 11 the Yemen Arab Republic's U.N. Representative, Aini, had conveyed renewed assurances from Prime Minister Sallal on Yemen's determination to live in peace with its neighbors. Aini warned against continued attacks from Saudi and Aden soil, however, and noted that revolutionary elements in the Yemeni Government were pushing to launch an initiative against those countries. (Ibid.)

Emb might inquire what UK wants from YAR as prerequisite to UK recognition. It appears to us situation can only get worse rather than better. Reversal YAR policy of restraint would no doubt ruin prospects UK recognition. Foreign Office no doubt will recognize Sallal's ultimatum to UK "to recognize or get out" makes prompt recognition action even more imperative. FYI. UK seems to have considered that period of quiet which ensued after Gandy's departure from Yemen made recognition unnecessary. If trouble with Yemen occurs, it doubtless will be used as justification to continue withhold recognition. End FYI.

Since UK may be unwilling to recognize under Sallal threat, if HMG desires USG would be prepared, on receipt UK assurances it will recognize once threat removed, to request Sallal withdraw ultimatum on private USG assurances UK will recognize within week following demarche. We urge UK take this opportunity prevent creation situation in which UK recognition would almost certainly become impossible. USG considers that if UK fails recognize YAR promptly UK likely bring on itself difficulties in Aden area. USG support for UK position in Aden is known to UK and we have privately stressed to YAR and UAR need for restraint./4/

/4/An Embassy officer discussed these points with Walmsley of the British Foreign Office on February 13 (telegrams 3113 and 3129 from London, February 13; ibid.), but by this time the British Government had received an ultimatum from the Yemen Arab Republic to close the British Legation in Taiz by February 17. At British request, the U.S. Government assumed responsibility for British interests in Yemen following Yemen's expulsion of British diplomats. (Telegram 477 to Taiz, February 15; ibid., POL 17 UK - YEMEN) On February 14, Prime Minister Macmillan wrote President Kennedy expressing his regrets that the United States and the United Kingdom were out of step on Yemen policy. (Telegram 4351 to London, February 14; ibid., POL 1 YEMEN; for text, see the Supplement, the compilation on Yemen)



157. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, February 13, 1963.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL -3 IRAQ-US. Secret. Drafted by Strong and cleared by Talbot and McGhee.

United States Relations with Iraq

Within the framework of non-alignment, Iraq is likely to wish to conduct friendly relations with the United States. Our posture should be that of a friend whose presence is known and appreciated but is not overshadowing. Any indication of interference in Iraqi internal affairs must be avoided. We must also be careful to avoid creating the impression that we sired the regime or are now trying to father it. This philosophy will be worked into the telegram which will be sent in pursuit of (2) below.

Apart from the instructions already sent, we have the following in preparation:

(1) Arms policy toward Iraq (must be limited).

(2) Economic assistance policy.

(3) Instructions to the Embassy at Baghdad to discuss with the new authorities the dates problem.

(4) Telegram to London seeking UK views on IPC (Iraq Petroleum Company).

(5) Reminder to the Embassy quietly to encourage the new regime to release, or to handle expeditiously the case of, our Army Attache's local employee.

Without seeking to smother Iraq with kindnesses or create misconception as to what we are willing and able to do, we have in mind looking into whether Iraq needs PL 480 because of drought, offering counter-insurgency and police training after the Kurdish problem is settled (as we think it will be), and if the new regime has immediate budgetary problems, we would support an Iraqi request to IPC for a loan. We shall of course encourage American businessmen to seek opportunities in Iraq and we shall as appropriate encourage the Iraqis to do business with them. We are keeping an eye on the Shatt al-Arab situation and shall speak to the Iraqis if need be.

In general, we shall wish to avoid advising Iraq on the conduct of its Arab policy (we should avoid any reference to the Fertile Crescent and should not push Iraq as an alternative to Nasser) but we shall encourage a constructive Iraqi role in the Yemen problem. We shall watch closely Iraqi policy toward Kuwait. With regard to Turkey and Iran, we shall try to foster good relations between them and Iraq.

In the world arena, we shall take pains to explain our views to the GOI and encourage as positive approach as possible on cold war issues. In the UN it would be appropriate to support selected Iraqi candidacies.


As yet there have been no clear indications of Iraqi policy in this field. The new Iraqi Government has a large number of issues to square away, but oil will no doubt be high on its priority list. While awaiting signs of Iraqi intentions we are seeking a UK assessment of the situation and an indication of its thinking for the future. Next week we plan to discuss with the American shareholders the question of what the IPC approach might best be, but there would appear to be merit in letting the Iraqi Government take the initiative. We think the company should proceed cautiously in formulating its proposals.

A fundamental underlying all the foregoing is that while the new regime appears to be a vast improvement over Qasim, we cannot consider that it will be pro-American or that it will be free from internal pressures of an extremist nature. It remains to be seen how cohesive it remains, and how responsibly it acts./2/

/2/On February 15, the Department of State sent the White House a paper entitled "Implications of the Second Iraqi Revolution." (Memorandum from Brubeck to Bundy; ibid., POL 26 IRAQ; for text, see the Supplement, the compilation on Iraq)

E.S. Little/3/

/3/Printed from a copy that indicates Little signed the original above Brubeck's typed signature.


158. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia/1/

Washington, February 15, 1963, 7:37 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 YEMEN. Secret; Roger Channel. Drafted by Seelye; cleared by Strong, Talbot, and Ramsey; and approved by Hilsman. Repeated to Dhahran.

490. From McGhee to Duce./2/ Embtel 654./3/ Much appreciative your efforts our behalf which have been very useful. Before departing Saudi Arabia, would appreciate your seeing Faysal again and making final plea for SAG disengagement from Yemen. You might use revolution in Iraq as point of departure and make following points as appropriate:

/2/Terry Duce, former Vice President of Aramco, visited Saudi Arabia in late January and early February 1963 with the encouragement of Secretary Rusk and McGhee to supplement Hart's efforts to obtain Saudi agreement to a disengagement in Yemen. (Telegram 624 from Jidda, February 3; ibid.) Telegraphic reports from Duce, sent through Roger Channel, are ibid.

/3/Telegram 654 from Jidda, February 11, contained a report on a 2-hour conversation between Duce and Faysal on February 8. (Ibid.)

1. Although quite obviously no immediate prospect revolutionary upheaval in Saudi Arabia, success of coups d'etat in Yemen and Iraq cannot help but give psychological fillip to nationalist elements in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, revolutionary regimes now flanking Saudi Arabia in southwest and northeast are in position, if they so choose, abet these elements and thus contribute to strains on internal stability Saudi Arabia. Your view that only way alleviate these strains and minimize possibility outside revolutionary interference in Saudi internal affairs is a) Saudi disengagement from foreign adventure in Yemen (which you understand is unpopular with large segment Saudi intelligentsia and military) and b) devotion undivided attention to strengthening internal fabric of government and society. In this fashion--and in this fashion only--can Saud regime win full support progressive forces in Saudi Arabia and greatly reduce or even eliminate prospect of chain reaction effect on Kingdom of revolutionary successes in neighboring countries of Yemen and Iraq.

2. Your understanding that USG believes that progressive regime with Saudi family at helm is best hope for Saudi Arabia. USG measures in face attacks by UAR on Saudi soil indicate clearly USG determination protect Saudi integrity. However, if Saud regime dissipates its resources and energies in Yemen and fails move rapidly carry out reforms it has charted, you can foresee situation possibly arising where USG might start questioning whether its efforts on behalf Saudi Arabia can be effective and how far should be pursued. USG is SAG's best friend and staunchest supporter. It would be in interests of neither party if this relationship were jeopardized.

3. Accordingly, Faysal should seize earliest opportunity seek practical yet honorable way out of Yemen involvement. Prospective appointment UN emissary seems to offer such an opportunity and you would urge Faysal cooperate fully with his efforts. If both UN and USG feel USG formula for disengagement is only effective solution, if both believe Saudi and Yemeni interests best served by this formula, if both are determined assure UAR forces leave Yemen under this formula and since USG has given SAG strongest commitment of support you have ever seen in writing and at highest level (President Kennedy's letter)--commitment which risks being tempered if SAG continues on its present course, there appears no reason for Faysal's doing otherwise than cooperating fully with UN effort.

Before you return, please report fully to Ambassador Hart. Will leave to you and Hart whether you should concert before your parting audience with Faysal.

Many thanks and warmest personal regards.



159. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, February 20, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Iraq, 1963. Secret.

Here is an interim response to your 18 February query on "what are we planning to do re Iraq?"/2/

/2/On February 18, President Kennedy had sent Secretary of State Rusk a memorandum that reads: "What are we planning to do re Iraq? If the Russians cut off their aid, are we planning to make any offers to them?" (Ibid.)

We are going to (1) name an Ambassador shortly, since the new regime reversed Kassem's policy of expelling ambassadors from those countries recognizing Kuwait; (2) offer technical help if needed; (3) encourage sending more Iraqi students to US military schools (we've had about 100 here since 1958 revolution).

But we think it might create the wrong impression on the new regime if we embraced them more fulsomely just now; it's better to let them come to us. If Iraq needs money, we think IPC will make an advance; over the longer run it has plenty of oil revenue.

Most experts here (and Embassy Moscow) doubt the USSR, despite its obvious unhappiness on the crackdown on Iraqi Communists, will cut its aid, and thus thrust Iraq back toward us. Rather the Soviets will try to salvage as much of their position as they can. We'd also have trouble with MAP for a neutralist Iraq, because of the precedent it would set for other Arab countries and the annoyance to Israel. But we'll look at military sales if occasion offers.

R. W. Komer/3/

/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.


160. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, February 21, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, President's Office Files, Staff Memoranda, Robert W. Komer, Vol. I. Secret. An attached note from Komer to President Kennedy reads: "When Joe Alsop sees you today he may blast off on Yemen. Attached is a rundown on our current efforts. I'd add that the YAR/UAR seems to be winning again, the new Iraqi team apparently offered troops to help (SENSITIVE), and that now is no time to choose up sides in an inter-Arab quarrel."

There's more smoke than fire in Joe Alsop's reputed line that Nasser is going to invade Saudi Arabia and that the Pentagon is raring to use the Sixth Fleet but the softheads in the State Department are opposed.

We've already done a lot to deter the UAR from escalating. We've had destroyers visit Saudi port, bombers flying in, now a Special Forces team is there. We've warned Nasser again not to step on our toes. As to Pentagon eagerness, however, when State tried to get them to agree to station a fighter unit in Saudi Arabia if the Saudis would agree to lay off in Yemen, Taylor, the JCS, and Nitze were opposed (and still are). A quick check indicates no identifiable warhawks in the Pentagon.

True, Nasser may still try greater pressure on Saudis, but Faysal is asking for it. We've consistently estimated (dead right so far) that Nasser would escalate rather than quit in Yemen. He's already resumed bombings, and we discovered UAR parachute drop of supplies to presumed partisans in Hejaz. Some in CIA think UAR may try to promote a revolution in the Hejaz or a raid on Saudi supply dumps.

We're warning Nasser again, and trying to get fighter offer to Faysal agreed to by DOD. But to commit ourselves to take on Nasser in defense of Faysal's right to intervene covertly in Yemen seems folly: (1) it would be unpopular with most Arabs except Faysal and Hussein--it would outrage Iraqis and Algerians; (2) it would thrust Nasser back on the Soviets--and he can cause a lot more trouble if he's against us than if we have an "in" with him; (3) it would only confirm Faysal in his idea that we'll bail him out if his scheme to bleed Nasser in Yemen leads to retaliation.

Painful and uncertain as it is, I see no alternative to our present effort to damp down the Yemen affair, by working on Faysal as well as warning off Nasser. We must make any commitments to Faysal dependent on his willingness to play ball. Instead of fiddling around in Yemen Faysal needs to shore himself up domestically as the chief means of protecting himself against Nasser virus. In the long run we won't save our oil just by giving Faysal a blank check on us. Nor will we necessarily lose it if we let Faysal get bloodied a bit.

Bob Komer


161. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, February 22, 1963.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 - 2 IRAQ - US. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. The memorandum was sent to the White House on February 22, under cover of a memorandum from Brubeck to Bundy (ibid.), indicating that Rusk's memorandum was in response to President Kennedy's memorandum of February 18 (see footnote 1, Document 159). Komer forwarded Rusk's memorandum to President Kennedy on February 23 under cover of a memorandum that reads: "Here is State's response to your query on Iraq. It adds up to being as friendly as we can be but not rushing in to embrace the new regime, lest it recoil. Better to have it come to us. We don't think Moscow will cut off aid, but if it does we could make sales offers then (Iraq's 1962 oil earnings were $266 million)."

United States Posture Toward Iraq

1. General Posture

We seek quiet friendship with Iraq, avoiding efforts to press favors on the new regime but standing ready to be helpful where we can without materially increasing the current aid level ($600,000 - $800,000 for training of experts in the United States and for eight American professors for Baghdad University).

We have privately assured the new regime that we won't interfere in its internal affairs.

2. A Dialogue

We have told our Charge to enter a dialogue with senior officials (a) assuring them of our friendship and of considerable identity of United States-Iraqi views on domestic matters, (b) explaining our impartiality in area matters and that Nasser is not our chosen instrument, and (c) explaining our global, cold war concerns and policies (nuclear testing, disarmament, Cuba, Sino-Soviet split, Sino-Indian conflict, etc).

3. Arms Policy

At the moment we think that if Iraq seeks to buy arms from the United States we should limit the categories and quantities. To do more than we are willing to do for, say, Syria, would lead to complications with other Arab states and would make Israel complain.

4. Gestures

a) We had hoped to arrange early EximBank financing for two Boeings for Iraqi Air Lines, but we just learned that for financial reasons the new Government doesn't want to buy them.

b) We are moving rapidly to restore a normal pattern of cultural relations.

c) We are quietly encouraging the American shareholders of the Iraq Petroleum Company to take a forthcoming attitude toward Iraqi approaches on outstanding issues.

d) Since dates are Iraq's only real export to the United States apart from oil, we are trying to get a year's delay in application of stricter tolerances by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, buying time to get the new regime to adopt better handling methods that will meet the stricter tolerance.

e) We are advising Turkey and Iran to keep hands off Iraq and shall promote friendly relations in these quarters.

5. Economics--Soviets

a) We think both Iraq and the Soviets will want to continue the present Soviet aid relationship and Soviet arms supplies.

b) Iraq has plenty of hard currency, provided there is proper management. In 1962 Iraq received oil revenues of $266 million, and this should start going up soon if Iraq is reasonable with IPC.

c) If Qasim left a financial mess, Iraq's credit with IPC and commercial sources is good. We would encourage loans from these sources.

d) We will stress to Iraq the value of doing business with American private enterprise and encourage American firms to look for business in Iraq.

e) If Iraq wants Western technicians, we'll help find them.

f) We are planning to respond favorably to a recent Embassy request for $200,000 which would permit the designation of about twenty officials of the new regime to come to the United States for training.

6. Ambassador

We want to send a new Ambassador as soon as possible, one with an intimate knowledge of the area.

7. How We Look at the Regime

In the short term the new regime looks a lot better than Qasim, and it sets up a new power pole in the Arab world in fact competing with Nasser.

In the longer term we see problems: (a) Iraqi bias against monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Jordan), (b) Iraqi hostility toward Israel, and (c) Iraqi pan-Arabism including a demand for Arab control over Arab resources (oil).

Dean Rusk/2/

/2/Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.


162. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia/1/

Washington, February 22, 1963, 5:57 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 YEMEN. Secret; Niact; Roger Channel. Drafted by Seelye, cleared by Talbot and Strong, and approved by Scott. A copy was sent to Komer at the White House.

509. View your belief Faysal will not accept our latest proposal for inducing him disengage from Yemen and that Faysal more adamant than ever in refusing make first disengagement move, we considering whether something like following course of action would be effective if feasible for USG undertake and would appreciate your comments.

1. Revise package offer upward to include, in addition to stationing squadron aircraft in Hejaz for use in deterring and, if necessary, defending against intrusions over Saudi soil, establishment of modern Saudi air defenses along Red Sea coast. SAG would bear material and construction costs which would be substantial. Initially US military would participate in manning until accelerated MTM training enabled Saudis to take over. In return for foregoing Faysal would agree suspend SAG assistance to Yemeni royalists.

2. Above understanding would involve a third ingredient if Egyptians could be persuaded to agree: Faysal's undertaking to suspend assistance to Yemeni royalists would be matched by initial UAR withdrawal of military unit, with remainder phased out by stages. Thus there would be an element of simultaneity. This formula midway between those advocated by the SAG and UAR respectively and would offer face saving all around. It would require presence of neutral observers to verify suspension of support and initial UAR withdrawal, as well as later dismantling of Najran supply and training base, pullback of Saudi forces, and phaseout of UAR troops. We exploring this in Cairo and informing Ralph Bunche who seems likely be mediator.

3. Transmission via Embassy of a message from President to Faysal as follows:

"Since my letter to you of October 25,/2/ I have followed with close interest developments in Saudi Arabia. I have been most pleased to note plans for modernization and reform which you have charted for Saudi Arabia and shall watch for rapid movement in these directions. As you know, over last few months I have authorized adoption of certain US military measures on behalf of Saudi Arabia as earnest of US support for Saudi Arabia's integrity and need for relative tranquility in which to implement your program.

/2/See Document 88.

"At same time I am deeply concerned at course conflict over Yemen is taking and fear that unless the process of disengagement commences shortly, there could be more serious trouble which would benefit no one. My principal concern is with eventual effect on Saudi Arabia of forces and trends now running in area unless conflict in Yemen can be terminated, stresses reduced, and full energy and resources devoted to primary task. These forces and trends cannot be combatted externally with any real success. Answer lies in strengthening the fabric of government and society in Saudi Arabia. In doing this you will meet evolutionary requirements and avert danger of revolution. I cannot escape conclusion that continued Saudi involvement in support Yemen faction will in time not only undermine your internal situation but will invite rather than repel outside intervention in Saudi Arabia's internal affairs.

"You will recall that in my letter of November 16,/3/ I proposed a formula for resolution of Yemeni conflict which I believed offered a practicable first step toward disengagement. This step was achieved last December and was capped by United States recognition of the Yemen Arab Republic. Since then there has been no progress toward withdrawal of the United Arab Republic's military forces from Yemen as it has publicly undertaken to do, because of continued external assistance to the Yemeni royalists. We have therefore proposed that the United Nations Secretary General take lead in seeking way out of present impasse. It is my understanding that Secretary General is about to appoint UN mediator and I am hopeful he will be visiting you shortly. I would urge you to seize opportunity offered to disengage from Yemen. It is my fervent hope that this mediator will succeed in devising a formula which will enable you to preserve your honor while at the same time promptly suspending your Government's assistance to Yemeni royalists. Your action would lead to phased departure of UAR troops. To this we are committed. I would urge you to accept such a formula, even if it may not meet the conditions for disengagement which you have earlier announced. Both parties will have to compromise, if conflict with its dangers for the entire Arabian Peninsula is to cease.

/3/See Document 100.

"We both would like to see a situation in which Yemenis decide future of Yemen. It is only in how this is to be brought about that we appear to disagree. I believe sincerely that method you propose will not achieve this objective and thus risks allowing conflict to continue unchecked with serious adverse repercussions on your country. What I have set forth I consider both achievable and in our mutual long-run interests. I must ask you in all seriousness to reconsider matter carefully and to find way to cooperate fully with UN mediator.

"In conclusion, I want to re-emphasize that basic to our approach to the Yemeni problem is our concern for integrity of Saudi Arabia. My personal interest in Saudi Arabia remains undiminished. In writing you I am seeking best route to protect Saudi Arabia.

"I send you my warmest personal regards. May God keep you and the Saudi people and grant you peace."

John F. Kennedy"

Re your specific proposals (reftel), have following comments:

A. We understand UN SYG has designated Bunche as mediator and now seeking approval of parties. If parties approve, Bunche would conceivably reach area within week. He is assured of fullest US backing and has flexible mandate.

B. Weakness this proposal is evident inadequacy of US role if UAR persists attacking border area. Our failure use squadron protect Saudi soil along Yemen border in face continued UAR attacks would encourage Nasser flout us further and even more seriously impair USG - SAG relations.

C. Your recommendation re stand-by role for special forces group under advisement.

Finally would appreciate your estimate what alternatives available to Faysal in event he refuses revised package. For example, could hire mercenaries and take case to Security Council.

Use Roger Channel for reply. Hope receive it prior high level review of problem Monday./4/

/4/February 25. Hart commented on this telegram in telegram 695 from Jidda, February 24. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 YEMEN) For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on Yemen.



163. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, February 24, 1963.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 YEMEN. Secret. Drafted by Strong and cleared by Talbot. A handwritten note on the source text in an unidentified hand indicates that the memorandum was approved by NSAM No. 227 (Document 165), and that the letter signed by President Kennedy was given to Ambassador Bunker to hand-carry to Faysal on March 1.

Review of Policy Toward the Yemen Conflict

Enclosed in outline form is a "Policy Review of the Yemen Conflict" which the President may wish to take a few minutes to read before the meeting on this subject Monday/2/ in order to avoid an oral presentation of some length.

/2/February 25. See Document 164.

Those from the Department attending the meeting have copies of the outline. We ask that prior to the meeting the White House make any further distribution desired to the others who will be present.

I also enclose a letter to the President from Crown Prince Faysal received February 23,/3/ and a draft reply./4/ We recommend that the reply to Prince Faysal be carried to Saudi Arabia by Ellsworth Bunker or such other person as the President may designate, that he discuss with Prince Faysal the problems involved in the Yemen conflict including a formula for disengagement.

/3/Ambassador al-Khayyal delivered Faysal's letter to Secretary Rusk on February 23. (Memorandum of conversation, February 23; Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 YEMEN) In it, Faysal maintained that recent U.S. demands that Saudi Arabia cease supplying the Yemeni Royalists and stop allowing foreign airplanes flying for the Yemeni Royalists to use its territory contradicted Kennedy's assurances of October 1962 of unconditional U.S. willingness to assist Saudi Arabia in maintaining its security, stability, and progress. Faysal noted that the U.S. position had come as a violent shock to him, and he vowed that Saudi Arabia would continue to take measures to assure its safety and security. (Telegram 512 to Jidda, February 25; ibid., POL 27 YEMEN)

/4/Attached to the source text is a revised version of the letter that is printed as Document 172. A copy of the original draft of the letter is in Department of State, NEA/NE Files: Lot 66 D 5, White House Memoranda.

William H. Brubeck/5/

/5/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature. A handwritten note on the source text indicates that the memorandum was signed by the Operations Center and forwarded to the White House.



/6/Secret. Drafted by Strong and Seelye.


I. Rationale for US Policy

A. Right or wrong, Egyptians are in Yemen in force.

1) Committed to success of regime--probably have military means to victory

2) Likely to escalate if balked

3) Must not be removed by US force--political formula needed

B. Our interests involved.

1) Aden--security of Persian Gulf

2) Saudi Arabia--oil--avoid chaos

3) Faysal is on a course of self-destruction

C. Russians standing by to pick up advantages.

1) Soviet military, technical assistance, economic presence in Yemen through the UAR and bilaterally

D. Return Yemen to Yemenis.

1) But don't want to be committed to restoration of Imamate

2) Even Yemeni republicans want UAR forces out when no longer needed

E. Offered good offices--as friend of parties--situation likely to have become even worse if we stayed out.

1) We caught squarely in middle

2) Must remain friend of both UAR and Saudi Arabia

F. Face-Saving Device--UN Mediator.

1) Faysal--disengage with honor--US has supported militarily

2) UAR--disengage with YAR secure

II. Costly Delays Since Outbreak of Revolution

A. First, to avoid explosion by Saud and get Faysal in place.

B. Then in deference to UK.

C. Lately, problems over UN mediator.

III. Present Situation

A. Faysal determined continue support to Yemen royalists so long as UAR forces remain in Yemen.

1) Believes Nasser will use Yemen as base against Saudi monarchy

2) Thinks prolongation Yemen conflict can bleed Nasser white

3) His prestige and honor committed in eyes of Arabs

4) Saudi resources adequate to support royalists indefinitely

5) Appears to want US side with him against Nasser

B. Nasser is committed to the survival of the YAR.

1) Believes we can force Faysal to disengage if we want to

2) Wants to rid Near East of reactionary monarchies blocking spread of "Arab Socialism"

3) After Syrian failure, Nasser must have "victory" in Yemen

4) YAR wants UAR troops stay until regime secure

5) UAR forces beginning clean-up campaign--cost no deterrent

C. Effects of continuance of conflict.

1) UAR may repeat air attacks--step up subversion--cross Saudi border with ground forces to wipe out Najran supply base, possibly occupy Jizan

2) Faysal's reform and development efforts suffer from lack of attention

3) Faysal seeks increased US military support. In absence disengagement this holds dangers for Saudi Arabia, as well as for US, by exposing Faysal to charges of dependence on US

4) Positions have hardened

5) Increasing risk Yemenis will stir things up in Aden and Saudi Arabia

6) Foregoing may strengthen opposition elements in Saudi Arabia and weaken Saud regime

D. New Factors.

1) Iraqi revolt new source of pressure on Saudi monarchy

2) Stepped-up bombings and parachute drops indicate UAR readiness to accept substantial risks of escalation

3) Signs of fear and unrest in Saudi Arabia

4) US oil companies fear we throwing Faysal and companies to the dogs

E. Alternatives Open to Faysal.

1) Mercenaries--would create problems

2) Security Council--unlikely to help

F. Larger Implications for Future.

1) We must consider where we want to end up. Yemen only one part of bigger picture involving relations with such states as UAR, Iraq, Algeria, etc.

2) If we openly take sides with the monarchy in Saudi Arabia while it continues to support royalist factions, we may end up with serious deterioration in relations these states without gaining much in terms strengthening Saudi regime

3) If we fail to support Faysal, we risk collapse of the monarchy, chaos in and fragmentation of the country

IV. Key Considerations

A. Make clear to Faysal:

1) We continue deeply interested in integrity of Saudi Arabia

a) Demonstrated by our military measures to date

2) Formula can be found protecting his honor

3) Risks to him involved in relying on US military support

4) Augmented US military support must be conditioned on Saudi disengagement from Yemen

5) We committed to departure of UAR troops from Yemen as soon as it can be accomplished

6) Urgency of reforms and development as providing real defense of regime

B. Make clear to Nasser and Sallal:

1) Necessity to avoid further attacks on Saudi territory

2) Our opposition to subversive efforts in Saudi Arabia and Aden

3) Need to implement pledge to remove troops--by agreeing to start troop withdrawals simultaneous with Saudi suspension subject to verification on both sides, they will permit Faysal to disengage with honor

C. Press UK to:

1) Exert caution in dealing with Yemen border problems

2) Recognize YAR

D. Support UN Emissary.

E. Assure that Jordan stays out.

V. Recommendations.

A. High-level emissary to Faysal with Presidential letter--no publicity--inform U Thant in confidence.

1) Deal with points in IV.A. above

2) Offer military support as follows:

a) Assuming that agreement by Faysal to suspend aid to the Yemeni royalists will remove the motive for UAR bombings of Saudi territory adjacent to the Saudi-Yemeni border and related UAR air activities, station a US fighter-intercepter squadron together with portable early warning acquisition, GCI, etc., radar equipment and operating personnel in Western Saudi Arabia with the mission (i) of demonstrating to the Government and people of Saudi Arabia and to the UAR continued US interest in and support for Saudi Arabia; (ii) of providing by its presence a deterrent to overt UAR air operations against Saudi Arabia; and (iii) in event of continued UAR intrusions into Saudi airspace, of attempting to intercept intruding aircraft, making positive identifications, attempting to establish communications, instructing the intruder to leave Saudi airspace, in event of failure to comply endeavoring to force intruder to land, and if intruder initiates offensive action shooting it down.

b) Concurrently offer to expedite the training of Saudi air forces and air defense personnel and, subject to Saudi concurrence to an expanded air defense training program, provide air and ground training personnel, technicians, and necessary equipment (at Saudi expense) in sufficient numbers to initiate an augmented training and construction program designed initially to have a beneficial psychological effect and in the long term to improve Western Saudi Arabian air defense capabilities.

c) As and when Saudi operational capabilities improve through the implementation of an intensified training program, make available to the Saudis for purchase air defense equipment in sufficient quantities and consistent with improving operational capabilities to meet legitimate Saudi requirements in the field of air defense.

(FYI. Military Implications for US: US - UAR military clash must be avoided, if at all possible; (2) US military presence in Saudi Arabia without Saudi disengagement would be dangerous to both US and Saudi interests; and (3) US deterrent force in Saudi Arabia after Saudi disengagement would present minimal risk. End FYI.)

B. Continue to press Nasser through Ambassador Badeau.

1) Points in IV.B. above

C. Instructions to US Charge in Yemen to encourage Sallal to:

1) Moderation in public utterances

2) Eschew subversion outside Yemen

3) Cooperate in any formula permitting mutual UAR-Saudi disengagement

D. Continue dialogue with UK and Jordan.

E. Encourage SYG to continue and to expedite UN role.


164. Memorandum for the Record/1/

Washington, February 25, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Yemen. Secret. Drafted by Komer on February 26.

Presidential Meeting on Yemen 25 February 1963

The President, Mr. George C. McGhee, Mr. Phillips Talbot, Mr. Paul Nitze, Mr. Frank Sloan, Lt. Gen. E. G. Wheeler, Rear Admiral W.F.A. Wendt, Mr. R. W. Komer

Mr. Talbot gave the gist of the next steps State proposed in our effort to close down the conflict in Yemen. The President indicated that he had been following Yemen closely. Referring to Joe Alsop's article on 25 February, he said he had heard that Kim Roosevelt was the source, and that the oil companies were very unhappy with our policy. Mr. Komer mentioned Roosevelt's denial./2/ The President queried why the oil companies were mad. Mr. McGhee responded that they couldn't abide seeing Nasser win; they were violently anti-Nasser in their policy. The President asked if we had talked with the companies; Mr. McGhee indicated that we had done so and would again this week./3/

/2/See Document 145.

/3/See footnote 2, Document 145. On February 28, McGhee and other Department of State officials met with representatives from Aramco, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil (New Jersey), Texaco, Mobil, and Gulf Oil. The memorandum of conversation and a briefing paper prepared by Strong for Talbot on February 26 are in Department of State, Central Files, POL US - YEMEN and POL 27 YEMEN, respectively.

Mr. Talbot explained how Faysal was hurting because of the attacks on him. He was also unhappy about the Iraqi coup. Meanwhile, the Egyptians were running a major offensive and claimed they would win in three weeks (he described the attack on a map). While they had resumed bombings and made a paradrop, we saw no evidence that they actually would invade Saudi Arabia. But they had the capability to do so.

In response to the President's query as to why Faysal seemed so determined to fight on in Yemen, Mr. Talbot said Faysal took the position of the Royalists as part of the defense of Saudi Arabia and said we couldn't ask him to turn it off. The President asked if it were essential to Saudi's security that Faysal win in Yemen. Mr. Talbot replied that we did not think it vital since the Yemen was far from the center of power in Saudi Arabia and would probably be fully occupied with its own internal affairs. Mr. Talbot then described the State Department's proposals (as outlined in the Brubeck to Bundy memo on "Review of Policy on the Yemen Conflict" of 24 February 1963)./4/

/4/Document 163.

We proposed that Bunker go out Wednesday/5/ with a letter from the President as part of his effort to convince Faysal that we would support him. We would offer the politico-military reassurance of a "plate glass fighter squadron" in the Jidda area if Faysal would agree to suspend aid to the Royalists.

/5/February 27. Following this meeting on the evening of February 25, the Department of State informed the Embassy in Jidda in telegram 515 that the President had decided to send Bunker as his special emissary to deliver a letter and talk with Faysal and that Bunker was scheduled to arrive on February 28. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 YEMEN) The following day, the Department informed USUN in telegram 2214 that Bunker would be in Saudi Arabia March 6 - 9. (Ibid., POL 7 US/BUNKER)

Mr. Nitze explained the Defense Department concerns over such a proposal. "Let's not start down the toboggan until we know where we might land." He feared that we would lose the whole of the Middle East if we attacked the UAR. This would be highly unpopular with most Arab states, including the new Iraqi regime. Yet the only militarily effective course would be to attack at the source, i.e. to counter against the airfields in the UAR from which UAR bombers were flying. The President indicated that we couldn't do that. In this case the problem, in Mr. Nitze's view, was how we could do anything short of attacks at the source which would be militarily effective. Air defense of an area as large as Saudi Arabia was exceedingly difficult. The smallest even semi-effective program would cost about $60 million in capital outlays, largely for the necessary radar and ground environment. Gen. Wheeler interjected that it would be almost impossible to locate intruding aircraft without some kind of a radar net.

Mr. McGhee commented that we were not faced with a "military" threat. We don't think Nasser would attack but we want a plate glass window to insure that this is the case. The President also didn't think that Nasser would attack. He asked why we needed aircraft. Couldn't we warn Nasser off? Mr. Talbot and Mr. Komer pointed out that we had already given Nasser certain warnings; the need was to make them credible. If Faysal suspended aid to the royalists, further UAR aircraft incursions would be highly unlikely. Mr. Talbot then briefly described the second step in our proposals which would be to assist Saudis to develop a better air defense capability of their own.

At this point, Mr. Nitze indicated that DOD might be willing to go in if it were sure Faysal would suspend aid in return. He wanted to be mighty sure that the proposal turned out the way we saw it. He commented on the difficulty of policing whether Faysal did in fact cease aid. Mr. Talbot indicated our hope that we could get Nasser simultaneously to withdraw a contingent from Yemen as part of a reciprocal disengagement process.

The President wanted Bunker to say to Faysal that we were trying to help him but felt that he must suspend aid to the royalists and let the disengagement process go forward if we were to give such help. He then asked whether we could get Faysal to stop. Mr. McGhee thought so.

The prospective mission of Ralph Bunche as UNSYG representative was discussed. Mr. Talbot pointed out the importance of dovetailing our effort with that of the UN and of not getting U Thant's back up.

The President told Mr. Nitze that he wanted to be sure that Defense was latched on to an air defense proposal of the sort discussed. Nitze again opposed unless Faysal clearly disengaged, and queried how we could make sure he was doing so.

The President directed that if Faysal accepted our package proposal we should tell Nasser we were sending the squadron as a gambit to get Faysal to withdraw support from the Royalists. This would look better to Nasser. The President also directed that we not have the squadron look as if it were in Saudi Arabia on a "permanent" engagement. We should tell the Saudis it would be there for only two months or so, though we would be prepared to keep it there longer if necessary. On Mr. Komer's suggestion, the President agreed we should also tell Faysal we would withdraw the squadron if he resumed gun-running.

There was a brief discussion of the importance of our interests in Middle East oil, McGhee pointing out that we didn't use much but that Western Europe was heavily dependent on it.

Concluding the discussion, the President said that he did not think Faysal would accept our offer. He felt we should make the proposal tentative and take every precaution to be sure that we did not end up defending Saudi mercenaries intervening in Yemen. He also said that we could not expect Nasser to withdraw from Yemen under present circumstances (i.e. short of Saudi disengagement).

R. W. Komer/6/

/6/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.


165. National Security Action Memorandum No. 227/1/

Washington, February 27, 1963.

/1/Source: Department of State, S/S - NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM 227. Secret. An earlier draft of this NSAM is ibid., NEA/NE Files: Lot 66 D 116, POL Saudi Arabia - United States.


The Secretary of State

The Secretary of Defense

Decisions Taken at President's Meeting on Yemen Crisis, 25 February 1963

After hearing a presentation by the State Department of proposed new steps to damp down the Yemen crisis, the President approved the following actions:

1. We will send a special emissary to Faysal as soon as possible with a letter from the President to Faysal.

2. His mission will be to: (a) reassure Faysal of US interest in Saudi Arabia; (b) convince him of the importance of his disengaging from Yemen; (c) explain to him how we think this can be done without loss of face.

3. To this end, our emissary is authorized to tell Faysal that the US will consider temporary stationing of a token air defense squadron with associated ground environment in western Saudi Arabia to deter UAR air operations./2/

/2/In a February 27 memorandum, Nitze informed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the President's decision and requested JCS views and recommendations on the air deployment. (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 67 A 4564, Saudi Arabia 000.1 - 334 1963) The Joint Chiefs responded in a March 2 memorandum to the Secretary of Defense (JCSM - 174 - 63) that delineated certain technical requirements relating to the deployment and their views concerning the rules of engagement. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, 1963, 9180/3100 (27 Feb 63) Sec 1a)

4. This offer will be subject to the following expressed conditions: (a) it will be wholly contingent on a firm Saudi undertaking to suspend aid simultaneously to the Yemeni royalists and not to use Saudi soil for air operations against the YAR/UAR; (b) it will be a tentative offer so that the US will have a chance to consider it further before final agreement; (c) the offer will be for a brief period of two months or so, but with the understanding that we will be prepared to keep the squadron there longer if the situation required; (d) the squadron will be withdrawn if Saudi Arabia resumes aid to the royalists without US concurrence.

5. Our emissary should also offer US assistance in expediting the buildup of Saudi Arabia's own air defense capabilities at Saudi expense.

6. Our emissary should try to convince Faysal to use the visit of a UN mediator as a means of promoting simultaneous UAR and Saudi disengagement with honor.

7. If the Saudis accept our offer, we will inform Nasser of the planned US deployment and present it to him as an essential gesture to get Faysal to disengage. We will press Nasser to withdraw an initial contingent from Yemen simultaneously with Saudi suspension of aid, as an earnest of UAR good faith, and to restate UAR determination to withdraw.

McGeorge Bundy


166. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan/1/

Washington, February 27, 1963, 4:28 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 3 PAL/UN. Confidential; Limit Distribution; Verbatim Text. Drafted by Crawford; cleared by Wallner, Strong, Ludlow, and Sisco; and approved by Talbot. Also sent to Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, and Tel Aviv and repeated to Baghdad, Jidda, London and Paris (by pouch), Ankara, Jerusalem, and USUN.

402. Depcirtel 1449./2/ Israel Embassy informed Department February 22 GOI gratified USG willingness hold first round coming refugee talks in Jerusalem, welcomes designation Ambassador Barbour as USG spokesman and approves approximate timing. Specific appointment with Ben-Gurion to be arranged by Ambassador with Arad. This should be sought for March 10 if possible; otherwise March 11.

/2/In circular telegram 1449, the Department of State reported on a February 18 conversation between Talbot and Harman, during which Harman agreed to inquire whether a March 6 date would be convenient for Ben Gurion to begin conversations on the refugee question with Barbour. (Ibid.)

Accordingly, Ambassadors Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus should seek appointments with heads of states for about same period. We wish first talk to be at this level but subsequent discussion may be with FonMin. Lest Arab host country representatives in New York (who have urged New York as most useful locus for talk--which it may be in long run) consider themselves by-passed, we have instructed USUN inform them of our intention speak to heads of state, in first instance, as indication importance USG attaches this resumed initiative.

Arab leaders should be informed we planning hold similar talks with Israel and vice-versa.

We do not wish publicity given these talks but in handling inquiries should news become public, addressees should respond that UNGA Res 1856/3/ directed PCC continue its endeavors seek solution refugee problem and as PCC member/4/ we seek initial exchange views with governments concerned re useful next steps in examination this problem. We feel much of value has already been accomplished in work of Commission and Special Representative Johnson over past year and half, but have no predetermined view as to nature continued diplomatic exploration. It is our hope, however, that all parties, cognizant of importance international community attaches to progress that will benefit refugees (as indicated 100 - 0 vote for Res 1856) will in this next phase examine problem with greatest possible imagination, dispassion and good-will.

/3/Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 20, 1962; for text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, pp. 765 - 766.

/4/The United States had sought to continue these discussions under the mandate of he Palestine Conciliation Commission, of which it was a member. The French Government, which was also a PCC member, objected to any continuation of the refugee discussions within the PCC context. Consequently, the United States continued its involvement in the discussions as a member of the PCC but not on behalf of the PCC. Documentation is in telegram 3784 to Paris, February 7; telegram 3191 from Paris, February 9; circular telegram 1485, February 26; and circular telegram 1507, March 1. (All in Department of State, Central Files, POL 3 PAL/UN)

For Ambassadors Macomber, Meyer, Knight and Badeau:/5/ Foregoing also useful opening for your presentations to heads of state, which should take following general line:

/5/Responses from posts accredited to Arab countries are ibid., REF PAL.

1. At behest of parties and with their assurance readiness resume substantive examination following GA, USG did not press for consideration of substance of problem in that forum. As PCC member we now wish resume substantive discussion initially through quiet and we hope unpublicized bilateral talks. These could continue at same level or subsequently be devolved to Foreign Minister or delegation in New York as desired.

2. With considerable statesmanship and foresight Arab host states did not reject ideas formulated by Johnson although they were not then ready acquiesce in specific operation he proposed. Stated reason for this was lack assurance Israel would cooperate and in principle accept Para 11 Res 194 (III). This Arab emphasis on prior public move by Israel had its counterpart on Israeli side in concern (a) for its security should there be incitement induce greater proportion refugees choose repatriation than might otherwise be case and (b) re cooperation Arab host states in definitively resettling refugees who so opted. These concerns, like the Arab, were manifested in desire for prior assurances and agreement on specifics.

It appears to USG that type prior declaration each side seeks from other is virtually ruled out by realities of situation on each side. In such situations probably most a proposal for solution can realistically encompass is operation in which true interests each party reasonably safeguarded and which can be halted by either at any time if cooperation of other not forthcoming in practice. Nevertheless, seems to us that underlying Arab fear was scepticism re Israel's permitting a serious degree of repatriation pursuant Para 11. What, we wonder, would Arab attitude be if there were reasonable unpublicized assurance on this cardinal point or on others of concern perhaps through third party?

3. In these discussions, USG not in any way seeking limit range of suggestions and we earnestly seek candid views of governments as to "if not Johnson's plan per se, with which parties did not go along, what then?" For it is clear that "no progress" on a dilemma that has robbed hundreds of thousands of persons of opportunity lead useful lives and which yearly denies this to thousands more newly born cannot be allowed. We are and will be doing what is within our capacity encourage more efficient use of funds in educating these persons for productive life, but even with the best efforts of all concerned such measures as can be taken by UNRWA will not satisfactorily reach ever-expanding human core of problem, nor will they satisfy a world community and its members who must face increasing domestic pressure devote limited resources to other world problems of great urgency less encumbered by rigid postures on part of those directly concerned.

For Ambassador Barbour: You should emphasize at outset that publicity re these talks will not advance their purpose.

The Israelis have requested your talk with Ben-Gurion begin with brief restatement US views. While our purpose is hear Israel's long-promised ideas for progress, following is brief statement recapitulating points made to Israelis in previous bilateral exchanges:

"Refugee problem becoming more acute, not less so. Progress is in best interests GOI and USG, and exploration possibilities separated out from general problem Arab-Israel peace is worthwhile.

"Realistically, progress dependent upon solution containing concurrent elements of repatriation, resettlement with compensation in Arab states, and resettlement with compensation elsewhere. Since `legislative' framework within which this initiative undertaken is Res 194, true wishes individual refugee when confronted with real choice without external pressures should be ascertained.

"GOI apparently not willing meet Arab request that it recognize in advance alleged `right' in principle under Paragraph 11 of every refugee who so opts to be repatriated; Arabs are not prepared meet Israel request that they recognize in advance that only solution lies in resettlement of most refugees. Therefore, a negotiated settlement does not appear feasible. This, to us, is point of cardinal importance.

"While under any means of settling problem some repatriation must occur, only fair and practical solution lies in resettlement of most refugees.

"Process by which refugee preferences are obtained should have effective safeguards and controls.

"Recognition of sovereign rights of parties is essential.

"There should be due concern for security interests of each party.

"There should be due concern for economic and financial burdens which progress will entail.

"There should be a realistic definition of simultaneity as applied to process of repatriation and resettlement.

"Israel recognizes obligation pay compensation to resettled refugees.

"In accord with their sovereign rights determine admissibility individuals, governments should be assured provision for their appropriate screening in any process for movement of refugees."

1. Following your presentation foregoing statement, we expect hear PriMin's statement of Israeli views and hopefully proposals.

2. To extent these incorporate at least some of known Israeli preconditions (such as: inapplicability Para 11 and Johnson's work, essentiality explicit prior Arab agreement, consideration in any settlement of only those refugees who actually left what is now Israeli territory) which would preclude Arab cooperation, USG reservations re such stipulations should be reiterated.

3. Following full discussion Israeli views, you should ask PriMin consider problem in following light; i.e., what are Israel's fundamental apprehensions in regard refugee solution?

4. After hearing these, you should seek explicit statement of what Israel would be willing to do (in terms of repatriation and compensation) if ways could be found reasonably (i.e., by something less than explicit point by point prior Arab-Israel agreement) meet these basic concerns. If PriMin objects to stating this, even though for USG info only, and insists Arab contribution be first identified, you should press him, pointing out that during previous phase this initiative a plan was carefully drawn seeking to meet (and believing we had met) Israel's concerns at each step, only to have it rejected by Israel after it had been put to parties; USG unwilling again begin laborious construction elaborate plan without more explicit understanding as to Israel's contribution.

All Action Addressees should cable reports. Department will be glad furnish further guidance at any time.

For Tel Aviv: Crawford will arrive shortly before and participate in first talk returning Department thereafter. Travel data by separate tel.



167. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, February 28, 1963, 2:32 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL NR EAST - US. Secret. Drafted by Killgore on February 27; cleared by Strong, McGhee, Bracken, and Slater; and approved by Talbot. Sent to Amman, Ankara, Athens, Baghdad, Beirut, Belgrade, Bonn, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, London, Moscow, Nicosia, Paris, Rome, Taiz, Tehran, Tel Aviv, and Warsaw.

1493. Deptel 269 to Baghdad; Deptel 2399 to Amman; Deptel 637 to Beirut; Deptel 342 to Damascus; Deptel 507 to Jidda; Deptel to London by Pouch; Deptel to Moscow by Pouch; Deptel 495 to Taiz; Deptel 580 to Tel Aviv; Deptel 1515 to Cairo./2/ For use in dialogue with Foreign Minister and others, following are USG policies towards Near East states; (excluding GTI countries: Airgram being pouched)

/2/In this telegram, 269 to Baghdad, February 21, also sent to the other posts listed here, the Department of State instructed the Embassy to increase its contacts with Iraqi Government officials to convince them of U.S. friendship and interest in the success of their revolution. (Ibid., POL IRAQ - US)

1. Policy towards Individual Countries of Area. US will continue seek mutually beneficial bilateral relations with each country of area and avoid involvement in inter-Arab quarrels to greatest possible extent. Our role in Yemen conflict is rare exception to policy and stems from lack of other suitable means of preventing escalation and possible chaos, not to mention opportunities for exploitation by Soviets. US aid programs, which conducted without political strings, are aimed at promoting stability and assisting peoples in developing human and material resources, thus contributing toward modernization their societies and realization their aspirations. We convinced this policy in best interests USG and consistent with true interests all peoples of area. It enables people of each country enjoy free choice for political future.

2. Attitude towards Intra-Area Rivalries. Consistent with (1.) above USG will maintain posture of strict impartiality towards intra-area rivalries. No country in area is authorized act on behalf of USG in any way. We have no chosen instrument in area and we confident GOI will give no credence to any reports to contrary. As between Arab states and Israel, USG follows course of impartiality and is equally interested in integrity and well-being all states of area.

3. Policy towards Arab Unity. USG has noted GOI statements supporting concept Arab unity. We wish GOI know we neither favor nor oppose this concept. Problem of unity one for Arabs settle themselves. If unity accomplished without use of force, is not directed at other states, and is approved freely by majority peoples concerned, USG will not object.

4. Attitude towards Neutrality. With respect announced GOI policy follow neutral course in Cold War, USG has no quarrel. We seek world of free, strong, truly independent states and eschew domination one country by another. Unlike Communism which ineluctably tries dominate all it touches, American system happily lends itself to aspirations for human freedom and desire of countries for true independence.

5. Iraqi Relations with Turkey and Iran. Insofar as we are able, we would like to encourage relations based on friendship, mutual confidence and respect between Iraq and Turkey and Iran. While US has special defense arrangements with these latter states, they are based on recognition common danger; Turkey and Iran are not satellites of US but fully independent and sovereign states with full freedom of action. We believe good relations these states will enhance stability in and progress of area.

FYI. Forthcoming Airgram contains interim US policy guidelines for each country and problem of area, as affected by new Iraqi regime. During initial "get acquainted" contacts with GOI, however, we believe in US interests avoid initiating exchanges which suggest future areas of conflict or divergent interests between USG and GOI in latter's external relations. Contrary USG position might complicate GOI attempts attain reasonable solutions serious internal problems, in which both Governments have stake. We believe proper time discuss possible conflicting area interests will be when (1) official Embassy - GOI relationships have ripened to mutual confidence, (2) GOI has solved most serious internal problems, or (3) potential conflicts begin manifest themselves. End FYI.



168. Memorandum for the Record/1/

Washington, February 28, 1963.

/1/Source: Department of State, Special Group, Counterinsurgency Files: Lot 68 D 451, Minutes of Meetings. Secret.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Special Group (CI)

2 p.m., Thursday, February 28, 1963

Mr. Johnson, Mr. Gilpatric, Mr. Bell, General Taylor, Mr. McCone, Mr. Murrow, Mr. Forrestal

Mr. Bundy was present for Mr. Gilpatric during Item 1.

Gov. Williams and Mr. Komer were also present for Item 1.

Mr. Bowling was present for Item 2.

[Here follows item 1 on Africa.]

2. Progress Report on the Internal Defense Plan for Iran/2/

/2/A memorandum prepared for the Special Group prior to this meeting, entitled "Progress Report, Internal Defense Plan--Iran," is ibid., DEF 6 IRAN. A memorandum by McCone, written after the February 28 meeting, indicated that he "took reservation on certain aspects of the paper which involved covert action and political action, indicating that he wished the right to call such matters up before the 5412 Committee." McCone recorded the following action: "If CIA considers this necessary, then more explicit views should be developed in a paper for presentation to the 5412 Group. I believe, however, that from reading the paper, the need to do this is very marginal, and suggest we not raise the question with 5412 unless there is a definite necessity and obvious conflict." (Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80 D 01285A, DCI (McCone) Files, Memoranda for the Record) No additional information on any 5412 Committee consideration of this subject has been found.

Mr. Bowling discussed with the members the current progress report, noting that earlier threats to internal security have been greatly diminished through recent actions of the Shah relating to land reform. As a result there are no insurgency focal points at this time. Mr. Bowling observed, however, that the success of land reform will in itself inspire additional problems which if not resolved may serve to produce new threats. He stressed the value of the police riot control program and the necessity of maintaining high police and military morale and efficiency. He also noted that the U.S. Government may be called upon to provide increased economic assistance in order to fill the gap created by lower agricultural production which probably will follow the land reform in the short term.

In the meantime the Embassy is encouraging the Iranian Government to pay increasingly greater attention to good relations with the Kurdish minority group. In its foreign relations we are encouraging Iran to maintain a friendly attitude toward the new government in Baghdad.

In noting the progress report the members agreed that Mr. Bundy will review the status of the September 29 request from the country team for five additional warrant officers skilled in riot control, to augment the current advisory personnel working with the MAP supported gendarmerie. Mr. Bell noted that decision on the request for an advisor on mounted police riot control techniques is pending resolution of a difference of opinion as to the value of mounted forces for this task.

The Chairman informed the members that as police support programs for Iran were of particular interest to the President last spring, he will have a memorandum prepared to inform the President of the progress made in this field during the past year./3/

/3/Reference is to a March 7 memorandum from U. Alexis Johnson to President Kennedy, entitled "U.S. Assistance to the Iranian National Police." (Department of State, Central Files, AID(US) 8 IRAN)

[Here follow the remaining items.]

James W. Dingeman/4/

/4/Dingeman signed above the typed signature of Executive Secretary Thomas W. Davis, Jr.


169. Memorandum of Discussion by Director of Central Intelligence McCone/1/

Washington, February 28, 1963.

/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80 D 01285A, DCI (McCone) Files, Memoranda for the Record. Secret. Prepared by McCone on March 1.


(In Mr. Bundy's Office, following Special Group meeting)

[Here follows discussion of other matters.]

I then brought up the question of the Middle East stating that I felt that because of our preoccupation with Cuba, Latin America, Southeast Asia, etc., we were overlooking a highly explosive situation. I noted that the Iraq coup had gone practically unnoticed and while it appeared to be favorable to our side and a blow to the Communists it was possible that the final chapter had not been written in our act. Also the difficulties between Nasir and the rebels in Yemen, with Hassan and the Royalists, had not been resolved and could become both dangerous and difficult to handle from the standpoint of United States policy. [3-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] If we helped, then our problems with Nasir would be intensified. I went on to point out that an intensification of the Yemen-Saudi Arabian-UAR problem could spread into Jordan and Iraq, Syria and possibly Iran. And hence, in my opinion, the entire situation was explosive.

Bundy stated that the matter had been discussed recently between State and Defense with no CIA representation (which was probably in order) and as a result Ambassador Bunker was going to the Middle East for a talk with Nasir and Faisal. He will leave next week. In addition, he will talk to Terry Duce and Gary Owen of ARAMCO, who are now in Arabia, and will soon return. They had been thoroughly briefed by State prior to leaving (this I knew). In Bundy's thought from all of this we would clarify our views on the situation. From comments on the McCloy trip which Bundy knew about--but he did not know his exact itinerary--I left with the impression that Bundy felt that there were some problems in the Middle East but they were not particularly serious at the moment.


170. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, February 28, 1963.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US/BUNKER. Secret. Drafted by Davies and Strong and cleared by Talbot. Komer forwarded this memorandum and its attachment to President Kennedy on February 28 together with the revised draft letter from Kennedy to Faysal (Document 172) and the record of action for the February 25 meeting on Yemen (see Document 164).


Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker's Call on the President, 9:30 AM, Friday, March 1

/2/In his covering memorandum, Komer advised: "I suggest you give Bunker some general words of reassurance for Faysal, but impress on him that we are not prepared to defend Faysal if he continues to intervene in Yemen." (Kennedy Library, President's Office Files, Countries, Saudi Arabia) No record of Kennedy's meeting with Bunker on March 1 has been found.

There are enclosed the proposed terms of reference for Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker's mission to Crown Prince Faysal. National Security Action Memorandum No. 227,/3/ the terms of reference, and the "Review of Policy toward the Yemen Conflict" prepared for the President's meeting on this subject on February 25,/4/ constitute the essential documentation for Ambassador Bunker along with a more precise concept for improvement in Saudi Arabia's western air defenses being worked out by State and Defense.

/3/Document 165.

/4/Document 163.

Main points for discussion:

a) Ambassador Hart can be very helpful in advising on Saudi mentality and on Faysal's particular characteristics.

b) The President continues to be deeply concerned for the integrity and security of Saudi Arabia.

c) Faysal's honor. Faysal has personalized the conflict into a struggle against Nasser. He feels if he terminates assistance before complete withdrawal of troops by the UAR he will be charged with abandoning a commitment to the royalists and will be vulnerable to UAR propaganda citing his "defeat" and bad faith. In presenting our formula, it must be made clear that the Secretary General's mediatory effort, the UAR public commitment to withdraw, and our determination to bring pressure to bear on the UAR directly and through the UN to carry out this undertaking provides the opportunity for Faysal to disengage with honor.

d) Military support. It must be made clear that augmented US military support must be conditioned on suspension of Saudi support of royalist forces.

e) UN Mediatory effort. If Faysal has not agreed to receive Dr. Bunche, he should be urged to do so without interposing conditions.

f) Publicity. We are trying to minimize the possibility of leaks. U Thant and Bunche have been informed that Ambassador Bunker's primary mission is to deal with bilateral relations and should not in any way interfere with or complicate Bunche's mediatory mission but could well be helpful. U Thant interposed no objection but it is obvious that publicity would complicate our relations with the SYG.

What we hope Ambassador Bunker will achieve:

a) Faysal's agreement to suspend support to royalists (thus placing the UAR in the position of either implementing or violating its pledge to remove its forces from Yemen).

b) Faysal's agreement to cooperate with Dr. Bunche to reach accord through him with the UAR on modalities of Saudi disengagement and withdrawal of UAR forces.

c) Reaffirmation to Faysal of US interest in Saudi Arabia and in the strengthening and development of the Kingdom under his leadership.

J. T. Rogers/5/

/5/Rogers signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.



/6/Secret. Drafted by Strong and Davies.


Presidential Emissary to Prince Faysal

A. United States to make clear to Faysal

1) Strong continued US interest in security and stability of Saudi Arabia.

2) We agree on objectives; have differed on means.

3) Only feasible means we see of bringing about UAR troop withdrawal from Yemen is suspension of Saudi support of royalist forces.

4) UAR probably has military capability to consolidate YAR control and is clearly able to strike telling blows at supply points or other centers of Saudi support.

5) Saudi policy has led to increased UAR and Soviet presence in Yemen, not to departure.

6) US cannot be put into position of providing a protected haven from which Faysal carries on operation which risks escalation and which is directed against government we recognize.

7) Augmented US military support must be conditioned on Saudi disengagement from Yemen.

8) US committed to departure UAR troops upon Saudi suspension.

9) Formula can be found consistent with his honor.

10) Need for full concentration on internal development and reform.

11) US is best friend Saudis can have--we have demonstrated this.

B. What we want from Faysal

1) Agreement to suspend support to royalists.

2) Agreement to stationing of neutral observers in Nejran - Jizan area to certify support activities suspended, on condition that others would be posted to Hodeidah and YAR airports to certify outward movement UAR forces.

3) Willingness to cooperate with the SYG's representative to reach agreement on modalities through him with the UAR and YAR.

4) Willingness to prevent efforts by Imam's adherents to continue support from Saudi territory.

C. What we can offer Faysal

1) Formula by which he can disengage with honor; pressure in Cairo and Sana'a to accept.

2) Implementation of UAR pledge to remove troops. If Faysal agrees to suspend, we will press Nasser to withdraw, with an initial unit to be withdrawn immediately.

3) Military support to deter attacks, development of air defense system, and expedited training of Saudi air forces and air defense personnel.

4) Encouragement of moderation and concentration on domestic affairs by YAR.

5) Continued support for Faysal's program for modernization and reform.

D. Procedure

1) Avoid all publicity.

2) Confer with Ambassador Hart prior to meeting with Faysal.

3) Ambassador to decide whether he should accompany emissary.

4) PAO 'Isa Sabbagh to translate.

5) Need for secrecy to be stressed.

6) If Faysal willing to explore further the proposals conveyed in the President's letter and by emissary, this to be done with Ambassador Hart and with SYG's representative.


171. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/

Washington, February 28, 1963, 7:46 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 YEMEN. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Seelye and Russell, cleared by Strong, and approved by Talbot. Also sent to Aden and repeated by pouch to Taiz, Jidda, Cairo, and Dhahran.

4592. Embtel 3293./2/

/2/Telegram 3293 from London reported on a conversation between an Embassy official and Kenneth Trevaskis, British Deputy High Commission for Aden. (Ibid., POL 27 YEMEN)

(1) Whether or not Yemeni revolution UAR-inspired, Yemenis executed it, Yemen was ripe for revolution, there had been at least two serious attempts previously, and it would have come sooner or later with or without outside inspiration. Aden viewpoint unrealistic.

(2) UAR forces unlikely withdraw from Yemen and republicans unlikely request their withdrawal so long as YAR threatened by royalist forces whose effectiveness depends on external support. In face continued external pressures Egyptians tempted escalate military effort within Yemen and will be tempted take stronger action against Saudi Arabia. Increasing frequency air strikes against Najran February 13, 17, 21, 22, 23, parachute drop arms north of Jidda and air strike at Khamis Mushayt February 28 confirm this intent.

(3) Despite Egyptian capability increase military effort, Yemen adventure costly and Nasser anxious find excuse for graceful withdrawal. We are convinced UAR will withdraw bulk of forces when YAR stabilized. YAR also anxious be rid frictions arising from Egyptian presence. Yemenis dislike being occupied by Egyptians and as outside pressures against YAR relieved, republicans and royalists alike will work toward objective of scaling down UAR pressure. Best way to avert Yemen's serving as base from which UAR subvert Aden is for Aden realistically cultivate best possible relations with YAR in order minimize both YAR need for UAR protection and YAR incentive undertake subversion. Antagonizing and using force against YAR maximizes both foregoing.

(4) UK recognition of YAR would mute YAR opposition to Aden Federation and reduce likelihood aggressive YAR policy toward Aden. We recall YAR promise December 10 that when UK Minister presented credentials to Sallal, latter would make categorical public statement undertaking to observe 1934 Sana'a Treaty. Current YAR propaganda offensive against Aden, together with incidents along Beihan border, appear to us as direct outgrowth of UK failure recognize UAR. For several weeks before YAR recognize-or-leave ultimatum to UK, YAR was exercising restraint in its relations with Aden in anticipation UK recognition.

(5) UK cannot expect YAR to recognize South Arabian Federation when HMG fails recognize republican regime and flexes muscles along Yemen border. Rather than using opinions of Federation rulers to justify present policy, HMG might employ its influence to impress them with importance living at peace with their neighbors while at same time guarantee them UK support (note USG policy vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia). Federation rulers, after all, completely dependent on UK for protection and finances and have nowhere to go.

(6) If Yemeni war allowed to go on indefinitely in Yemen, aside from risk of escalation, danger exists of increased Soviet bloc penetration Yemen and thus greater threat to Western interests in Persian Gulf, Arabian Peninsula and East Africa. We cannot discount possibility YAR turn to Soviets if UAR unable secure Yemen for YAR. Better to have YAR regime influenced by residual presence UAR military mission and technicians than substantial Soviet presence, including military.



172. Letter From President Kennedy to Crown Prince Faisal/1/

Washington, March 1, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Yemen, Bunker/Bunche Missions. No classification marking. Attached to the source text is a note from Bundy to Brubeck dated March 1 that reads: "For your information and files. The signed copy was given to Ambassador Bunker at the White House this morning."

Your Royal Highness: Your letter of February 22 reached me at a most opportune time. I have been deeply troubled by the recent course of events and I have been distressed at the difficulties that have arisen between friends, over Yemen, since our cordial talks last October.

I think it is clear that what is involved here is a difference over means, not objectives. We agree that the Egyptian forces should get out of Yemen. We agree that Yemen should not be used as a base for hostile action against Saudi Arabia. We agree that the Yemenis must be allowed to make their own decisions on Yemeni affairs. And we agree that Saudi Arabia's integrity and stability must be defended against external intrusions. The problem is to agree on how to achieve these things.

The best way between friends to reach an understanding is through personal consultations. For this reason I have sought your permission to send Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker to you. He has a long record of distinguished service to his country, he has my complete confidence, and he is authorized to speak frankly on my behalf. I commend him to you with the hope that you will talk with him on the same basis as you would with me.

Ambassador Bunker will be able to reassure you of the steadfastness of our policy toward Saudi Arabia. Like you, we are not a fickle people who change their policies and loyalties overnight. The United States, and I personally, have a great and undiminished concern for the security and integrity of Saudi Arabia.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. I send my warmest personal regards. May God keep you and the Saudi people and grant you peace.


/2/Printed from an unsigned copy. Bunker delivered the letter on March 6; see Document 180.


173. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, March 1, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Saudi Arabia, 1/63 - 3/63. Secret.


Some of our spies are beginning to get quite worried about risk that Kurdish problem may flare up again to bedevil new Iraqi regime. It's hard to tell whether talks in Baghdad are going well or badly, but there are many--Turks, Iranians, Nasser, and above all Soviets--who might see a stake in egging Kurds on. We're warning Iranians especially to keep hands off, but if Shah should decide that new Iraq regime is too cozy with Nasser, he may not take our advice. I've urged CIA to raise contingency planning issue in Special Group next time and hope you will support their pitch. Preventive diplomacy is what we need most.

CIA is worried, DIA less so, over growing possibility of Nasser ground strike into Saudi Arabia. State thinks this unlikely on balance (Nasser unwilling to risk break with us), but I see Nasser as testing us. Have urged Pentagon in any case to consider preventive or subsequent military counters. Have also ginned up a proposed third JFK warning to Nasser which should be over shortly. I'm hopeful Nasser won't escalate this far but we ought to be ready for a painful decision.

Bob K


174. Circular Airgram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

CA - 9411

Washington, March 2, 1963, 1:05 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 IRAQ - US. Secret. Drafted by Strong and Killgore on February 25; cleared in draft by Knox, Bowling, Nichols (E), Gaud (AID), Morehouse (INR), Connett (S/S), Kearns-Preston (Department of Commerce), and McGhee; and approved by Talbot. Sent to Addis Ababa, Algiers, Amman, Ankara, Athens, Baghdad, Beirut, Belgrade, Bonn, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, Kabul, Karachi, Khartoum, London, Mogadiscio, Moscow, New Delhi, Nicosia, Paris, Rabat, Rome, Taipei, Taiz, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Tripoli, Tunis, Warsaw, Accra, and Kuwait.

Interim Policy Guidelines for Dealing With Iraq and With the Implications for the Middle East of the Recent Iraqi Coup

Following for guidance all addressees:


The recent Iraqi coup, described by coup spokesmen as a continuation of the Iraqi revolution of July 14, 1958, is a development of potentially fundamental importance for Iraq, the Middle East generally, and the United States. The United States can "live with" the new Iraqi regime, as presently seen.

Internally the GOI must deal with four principal problems, i.e., the Kurdish Revolt, the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), Constitutional Development and Economic Development. Failure to find a political solution to the Kurdish problem would benefit only the Soviets and the Iraqi communists. The US regards it as strictly an internal Iraqi matter. We should continue to consult with the UK on IPC matters and quietly encourage US shareholders of IPC to respond with flexibility to GOI initiatives on unsettled issues. We should express pleasure at expressed GOI initiatives on unsettled issues. We should express pleasure at expressed GOI intent to create a Constitutional situation. The GOI has enough resources, if properly managed, to promote economic development. The US should demonstrate willingness to assist Iraq in feasible ways without materially increasing the aid level. US businessmen should be encouraged to seek opportunities in Iraq, and the GOI should be encouraged to abolish Qasim's restrictive measures against foreign business.

Externally, the GOI will have a strong position in the Eastern Arab world if it consolidates power and remains cohesive. Its goals and ideology will attract particularly the Syrians, Jordanians and Yemenis, and to a lesser extent the Kuwaitis, Saudis, and Lebanese. Wishing to concentrate externally on pan-Arabism, the GOI will seek friendly relations with Turkey and Iran to secure its rear. Competition between Iraq and the UAR is likely to occur. Israel will be apprehensive of Iraq's enhanced influence.

The US should encourage friendly Iraqi relations with Turkey and Iran. The latter should be discouraged from intervening in Iraqi affairs. We should avoid use of the term "Fertile Crescent" and continue to maintain mutually beneficial bilateral relations with other Arab countries, remaining strictly impartial as between Cairo and Baghdad. The US (and UK) should encourage an Iraqi-Kuwaiti modus vivendi while continuing to support Kuwaiti independence. If Kuwait freely chooses to federate with Iraq, we should not oppose provided Kuwait retains full power of decision on oil matters. The US should continue strongly to support Jordan. Syria will be attracted to Iraq. The US should not oppose Syrian federation with Iraq, or the UAR; provided force is not used and a majority of Syrians freely approve. We should continue to respond sympathetically to Syrian requests for American assistance. We should use Saudi apprehensions about the GOI to encourage disengagement from Yemen and rapid advances in reform and modernization. We should reassure Lebanon and others, that we support their independence without reservations. We should not encourage Iraqi activities in Yemen because of the former's hostility to the UK in Aden, and to the Saudi throne. Understanding Israel's concern about implications of the Iraqi revolution, we should nevertheless continue to maintain even-handed impartiality between Israel and the Arab countries. At the same time, we should make known to the GOI and other Arab Governments our interest in Israel's security and well-being, its right to exist as a state, and the desirability of eventual permanent peace between the Arabs and Israel.

A. The Internal Situation

Assuming that it will prove able to consolidate power, the new Iraqi Government (GOI), a Ba'thi-nationalist coalition, can be expected to emphasize pan-Arabism within the context of Iraqi national interests, and will be neutralist, reformist, and socialist (Scandinavian type). Its aims will appeal to the aspirations of the bulk of the Iraqi people. Following "pacification" of the country, including a Kurdish settlement, it is likely to seek to create a democratic and constitutional base and to devise a sounder approach to economic development.

From the standpoint of internal Iraqi affairs, we expect that the United States will be able to "live with" the GOI. Whatever the Communists may hereafter be called publicly, the GOI will wish to limit their influence. The GOI is expected to move to a non-aligned position which will in effect reduce the Bloc position in Iraq. We are hopeful that the GOI will negotiate reasonably with IPC. However, there are some longer range implications involving Iraq's external policies which are less happy; these are dealt with in Section B.

Guidance follows on the four principal internal issues with which the GOI must deal:

1. Kurdish Revolt. Failure to find a political solution soon would benefit only the Soviets and the Iraqi communists.

US Position: The United States should continue to regard the problem as strictly an internal Iraqi matter in which there is no role for the United States either directly or indirectly. In discussion with Iraqis and others, United States officials should limit themselves to expressions of hope that the GOI and the Kurds will be able to come promptly to a mutually satisfactory agreement and the United States is pursuing a strictly hands-off policy. Our influence should be used with Iran and Turkey to assure a similar hands-off policy on their part.

2. Oil. IPC found it impossible to deal rationally with Qasim. While the new GOI will not be a "pushover", indications are that it does wish to reach agreement with IPC on outstanding issues. A qualified and "reasonable" Minister now heads up the Oil Ministry, and he has taken the initiative to reopen talks with the IPC on one of the issues. We expect this to lead into talks on other issues in which it will become clearer how the GOI may wish to implement Law 80 and what role the Iraqi National Oil Company will play.

US Position: Traditionally, the IPC has been under British management and we see no reason to seek a change. Likewise, negotiations have always been conducted by the Company without UK or US governmental intervention. This should continue, although in the event of serious difficulty, consideration should be given to quiet discussions by UK and/or US officials with the GOI. The United States should keep in touch with the UK on developments and seek a common understanding at all times. The United States should also keep in touch with the United States shareholders in IPC (Jersey and Socony), and should encourage them to maintain a degree of flexibility in dealing with the GOI.

3. Constitutional Development. Qasim often promised the creation of a Constitution, a referendum thereon, and parliamentary elections, but nothing happened. The new GOI has stated publicly that it proposes to create a constitutional situation as soon as possible after order is restored (including a settlement with the Kurds). Given the Ba'thist stress on national unity, the new GOI hopefully will carry out its program.

US Position: As in the case of the Kurdish problem, creation of an internal political system is strictly a matter for Iraqi decision. In discussions with Iraqis, and others, United States officials should limit themselves to expressions (a) of pleasure at the publicly stated intentions of the GOI and (b) of hope that conditions will soon permit implementation. We should not seek to advise the GOI on the system to be adopted, nor do we need to tell the GOI how to handle its domestic Communism.

4. Economic Development. Properly managed, considerable resources, both public and private, are available to Iraq for internal development. Apart from effective planning, the greatest need is restoration of confidence on the part of businessmen. Ba'thist doctrine calls for a "mixed" economy with private investment permitted in fields other than basic resources. Thus there is wide scope for private enterprise. During Qasim's regime, Iraq linked itself more and more closely to the Soviet Bloc in terms of development and trade. While it remains to be seen just how far Iraq will turn toward the West in these fields, precedents have been set in the UAR and Syria for continuing to rely on the Soviets for arms but turning away from the Soviets in economic matters.

US Position: Without increasing the level of aid appreciably, the United States should demonstrate willingness to be of assistance to Iraq in any feasible way. In particular US businessmen should be encouraged to seek opportunities in Iraq, and the GOI should be kept appropriately informed of the need to remove or at least to liberalize the restrictive measures imposed by the Qasim regime against foreign business. (See Deptel 251 of February 15, 1963.)/2/

/2/Not printed. (Ibid., POL IRAQ - US)

B. Iraqi External Policy

Assuming its consolidation of power, the new GOI will have a strong position in the Eastern Arab world. The goals and ideology which provide a strong popular base in Iraq will attract particularly the Syrians, Jordanians, and Yemenis, as well as to a lesser extent the Kuwaitis, Saudis, and Lebanese. Prior to the 1958 revolution, Iraq's ability to play a key role in the Arab world was hindered by its unpopular connection with the West, and after 1958 was circumscribed by the Government's alignment with the Soviet Bloc. Iraq is the second most populous and potentially powerful state in the Eastern Arab world after the UAR, and has a viable economy.

The new GOI, following Ba'thist policy, will strive for Arab unity on a federal basis, with foreign, military and Palestine affairs developed commonly; domestic policies are to be determined by each member. Differing from Nasser in his desire that one man and one state should dominate an Arab union and that the union should be made up of states modelled internally upon and compatible with the UAR, the GOI nevertheless regards Egypt as crucial to the Arab cause because of its geographic position, population and resources, and the GOI therefore will do everything possible, short of subordinating itself to the UAR, to avoid an open split. Rather, it will seek to modify Egyptian views to reflect its own.

Guidance follows on the external issues Iraq is likely to create for the United States.

1. Iraqi-UAR Competition. In seeking to consolidate the Eastern Arabs (Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Yemen), the GOI will create certain problems for the United States. (We think it will take a good many years for the consolidation to occur, but we consider that the trend is running in the Ba'thist direction.) Competition is likely to develop between Iraq and the UAR as the two principal power poles. This will face the United States with the need to walk the tightrope between the UAR and Iraq. Each will tend to interpret US assistance to its rival as an unfriendly act. In addition, the Ba'thist doctrine is highly nationalistic, and it will eventually seek to establish Arab control over Arab resources. Further, Ba'thist doctrine, in common with widespread Arab sentiment, is hostile to the continued existence of Israel, at least as a security threat to the Arabs and as a physical barrier between the two segments of the Arab world. Israel would react to placement of Iraqi forces on its frontier.

US Position: The United States posture should be one of strict impartiality as between Iraq and the UAR, and the United States should continue to conduct its relations with each Arab state on a bilateral basis in light of United States interests. We should avoid in any way furthering the "Fertile Crescent" theory, nor should the term be used in conversations or documentation. Since any United States interest in or pressure for regional development in the Eastern Arab world could only favor Iraq, we should avoid pursuing it. The GOI should be informed at an appropriate time of our criteria for Arab unity. Likewise, the GOI should be apprised of our concern for stability in Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Aden, as well as our interest in a rapid tempo of modernization and reform.

2. Turkey and Iran. Wishing to concentrate externally on pan-Arabism, the GOI seems likely to desire friendly relations with Turkey and Iran in order to have a secure rear while devoting itself to the main task.

US Position: The United States should do what it can with all three governments to ensure friendly relations. We should encourage both Turkey and Iran not to interfere in Iraqi affairs. If problems arise over the Shatt al-Arab between Iraq and Iran we should quietly seek to abate them.

3. Kuwait. We consider it likely that Iraq will not renounce its claim to Kuwait, but will seek a modus vivendi which would attract Kuwaiti resources for Iraqi investment, while tacitly recognizing Kuwaiti sovereignty. Such a settlement would be in United States interests. Kuwait and Iraq may later decide to federate.

US Position: If necessary, and in consultation with the United Kingdom, we should discreetly urge the parties to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the problem which will safeguard Kuwait's independence. We should avoid any suggestion of United States bias in favor of either side on the terms of any settlement that would be worked out. Should Kuwait freely opt to federate with Iraq, we should not oppose provided Kuwait retains full power of decision over oil matters.

4. Jordan. Although a Ba'thist-dominated Iraqi Government will exert an attraction on Jordanians, we do not believe the Ba'th Party can build from its fragmented groups in Jordan an organization capable of overthrowing King Hussein at an early date. The bulk of the Palestinians have tended to look towards Cairo and Nasser for leadership, rather than to Baghdad. The Officer Corps of the Jordan Arab Army is made up of relatively less-well-educated tribal or semi-tribal elements which are relatively immune to various ideologies, including the Socialist and pan-Arab ideologies of both Cairo and Baghdad.

US Position. We should continue strongly to support an independent Jordan with American economic, military and technical assistance. We should encourage the reformist trends of the present Jordanian Government which is working for economic development and social reform. If Jordan can be persuaded to continue in the present direction, Ba'thist capabilities for developing a strong political organization will be reduced. Our vital interests are involved in the Jordanian status quo and the situation must be watched with care. Israel would be gravely concerned at the prospect of Jordanian unity with either Iraq or the UAR, because this would make possible the stationing of a larger, more modern army on her frontier with Jordan.

5. Saudi Arabia. We believe Iraq will exert some attraction in Saudi Arabia, and will wish eventually to create a political mechanism capable of eventually overthrowing the monarchy, but we doubt that an effective Ba'thist-nationalist organization can be built in a short time. While for Saudi Arabia Iraq can be a counterpoise to UAR pressures, we do not believe Iraq would agree to play Saudi Arabia's game against the UAR in Yemen.

US Position: It would not be in our interest to attempt to create any special relationship between Riyadh and Baghdad. Since the Saudi Royal Family can only feel threatened from Iraq, we should use this fact to persuade Faysal to disengage from the Yemen and to move full speed on reform and modernization.

6. UAR. The Ba'th Party, which dominates the present Iraqi Government, has little strength in Egypt and its capabilities to subvert the UAR Government are considered nil.

US Position: We should maintain strict impartiality as between Iraq and the UAR and should continue our aid programs to the UAR provided the UAR does not seriously modify its present policies in an unfavorable way.

7. Syria. The new Iraqi regime will exert a powerful attraction for Syria, which is likely in the short-run to increase Syrian instability. We have little stake in Syria except to prevent Communist influence from dominating and to retain enough influence to be able to discourage Syrian activism against Israel.

US Position: In the probably approaching tug-of-war between Iraq and the UAR for the loyalities of Syria, the United States must studiously avoid any appearance of favoring one side or the other. We should continue to respond with sympathetic interest to Syrian requests for American assistance. We cannot oppose Syrian unity with the UAR or with Iraq, if that unity is approved freely by the majority of the Syrian people and is brought about without the use of force. The disadvantage to the United States of a Syrian union which might be considered potentially a threat to Israel would be partially counterbalanced, in the short-run at least, by probable increased stability in Syria resulting from unity. If Syro-Iraqi federation occurs and if there is a move to place Iraqi forces on Israel's frontier with Syria, we should seek actively to discourage it.

8. Lebanon. Lebanon will probably welcome the Iraqi revolution because it will tend to correct the disequilibrium which has existed in the Arab world. Anxiety will result, however, from fear, at least in the shortrun, that her always delicate relations with Syria may be adversely affected.

US Position: We should be prepared to reassure the Lebanese and others that we support an independent Lebanon which we would not be prepared to see subverted from any Arab source.

9. Israel. Israel must regard the Iraqi revolution with concern. While Baghdad might develop as a counterpoise to Cairo, the result, in any case, may be greater Arab unity, which Israel fears.

US Position: While continuing the cordial United States relationship with Israel, we should maintain our stance of even-handed impartiality between Israel and the Arab countries. We should resist any Israeli attempts to formalize or institutionalize a special American-Israeli relationship in the security field which would undermine American-Arab relations. On the other hand, we should make known to the Iraqi Government as we do to the other Arab states our interest in the security and well-being of Israel, its right to exist as a state, and the desirability eventually of finding a road to a permanent peace between the Arabs and Israel. We should encourage Iraq, as well as the other Arabs, to concentrate on development and reform rather than diverting energies and resources to the Arab-Israel conflict.

10. Yemen. The United States has no stake in Yemen per se. Our interest is in averting dominant Soviet or Communist influence in Yemen and use of Yemen as a base by elements hostile to the United Kingdom base in Aden and to the Saudi throne. Iraq is likely to offer the Yemenis an alternative to heavy reliance on either the UAR or the Sino-Soviet Bloc. It seems doubtful that Iraq can do so until UAR forces are withdrawn.

US Position: Since Iraq is likely to be hostile both to the UK in Aden and to the Saudi throne, the United States should do nothing to encourage or assist Iraq to bolster its position in Yemen which is currently based on a small Ba'thist nucleus and ties with Yemenis trained in Iraq. The United States should, at an appropriate time, make known to Iraq its view toward activities in and from Yemen directed at Aden and Saudi Arabia.



175. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic/1/

Washington, March 2, 1963, 8:35 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 YEMEN. Secret; Operational Immediate; Limit Distribution. The source text indicates the telegram was based on a White House text. Cleared by McGhee and Grant and approved by Rogers (S/S). Repeated to Jidda and London.

1652. You should seek earliest appointment with Nasser to deliver an oral message from President and to explore in depth problems threatening US - UAR relations. Do not deliver to anyone else. Text of oral statement follows:

"I have asked you to receive Ambassador Badeau because of my deep concern over recent events related to Yemen. Because of the rising level of action in and beyond Yemen, I think there is real risk that events might lead to a collision involving the interests of our two countries. The question is how to avoid such a collision. My hope is that Ambassador Badeau can seek out with you means for reducing these dangers.

As you know, I am dispatching Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker to Saudi Arabia in search for a peaceful termination of the conflict in Yemen. He will do his best to support the efforts of Dr. Bunche. If there is restraint by the parties I cannot but believe that somehow these able men will in time find the answer. Therefore, I urge you to contribute to an appropriate atmosphere by confining military action to Yemen territory. This will also contribute notably to a fruitful cooperation between the UAR and the U.S.

I sincerely hope, Mr. President, that the US and the UAR will be able to work out the means of avoiding any collision between us."

In discussion of this letter the President would like you to point out to Nasser that he has personally made a great effort for improved relations with the UAR and has taken this course in the face of much public opposition in the US. He has recognized the new Yemen republic and accepted UAR action there. He has sought to bring the UK to a similar course, and has made strenuous efforts to persuade Faysal to disengage. He has now sent Bunker as his personal emissary to Saudi Arabia for this latter purpose. In these circumstances, continued UAR attacks on Saudi Arabia are bound to produce very grave consequences in opinion in the US, and the President personally would be placed in a most difficult position.

Additional points you should make follow.

Nasser must recognize US determination that the integrity of Saudi Arabia be defended. Our restraint to date must not be considered to reflect US acquiescence in UAR attacks on Saudi Arabia. US considers that bombings of Saudi Arabia and airdrops of weapons UAR not only make Saudi disengagement more difficult but are forcing US close to point where we will have no alternative but to make good our obligations to Saudis. Moreover, Bunche and Bunker, on whom we have pinned hopes for peaceful solution, cannot work effectively in such atmosphere. It is imperative in order to give these talks a chance to succeed that military attacks of all kinds by UAR against Saudi Arabia cease. American opinion generally is becoming deeply disturbed over apparent UAR willingness use its superior military force to attack weaker neighbors. Revulsion against UAR in this country likely run very deep if UAR pursues this course. We think it urgent for UAR review its priorities and determine relative value of pursuing aggressive and violent course in Saudi Arabia, as against benefits to be found in continuation of developing relation with US and other Western countries which have already afforded great advantage to UAR and give promise of even greater benefits in future.

FYI. We wish avoid rancorous dispute with UAR if possible but unless UAR stops overt attacks on Saudi Arabia USG will be forced review its policy toward UAR. It is essential that in addition to speaking to Nasser you engage in persistent dialogue with politically important officials and make clear that a) current UAR actions are running US - UAR relations onto rocks; b) this is not what we want and we believe it is not what they want; c) there are means and time to square things away; d) and sooner adjustment undertaken the less damage will be done.

We have long shared your view that if UAR is balked in Yemen it would be tempted to lash out increasingly at Saudi Arabia. However, we obliged consider whether UAR in fact planning deliberately use Yemen as springboard for action designed overthrow Saudi regime. We have accepted Nasser's efforts in the Yemen but we cannot accept the same course against Saudi Arabia. Bear in mind growing adverse US sentiment exemplified by Alsop Washington Post article 25 February. We do not want be forced by UAR actions into choosing Saudi Arabia over the UAR. President depending on you to get these thoughts across. End FYI.


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