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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 > Nixon-Ford Administrations > Volume E-5, Part 1 > Nigerian Civil War
Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume E-5, Documents on Africa, 1969-1972
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Department of State 016759

3 FEB 69 1511Z

ACTION: Amembassy LAGOS PRIORITY

INFO: Amembassy ADDIS ABABA   
USMission GENEVA   
Amembassy LONDON
USUN New York
Amembassy LOME   
Amembassy Yaounde

STATE

Subject: Nigeria: Ambassador lyalla Calls on Secretary

1. Nigerian Ambassador lyalla called on Secretary January 31 at latter's request, Secretary received him cordially and assured him of our continued high regard for Nigeria, emphasizing that our principal interest in present difficult situation is to see that people are fed. He said USG under severest pressures from American public to do our utmost to see that need met.

2. At Secretary's request Mr. Palmer then told the Ambassador that although we and Joint Church Aid committed to working out inspection procedures for C-97 flights, these arrangements not yet completed. They should be completed soon but in light serious relief situation, flights cannot meanwhile be delayed. lyalla appeared distressed but resigned, emphasizing once more FMG's concern that there be some control over private relief agency operations. He indicated FMG realizes it cannot participate in inspection but wishes be sure USG satisfied re relief nature of cargos.

3. During further discussion of relief problem, lyalla said FMG sending unpublicized delegation to Equatorial Guinea, While he did not specify purpose of mission he implied that it was intended to register favorable FMG attitude toward resumption ICRC flights from Santa Isabel. He noted that ICRC neglected inform FMG of agreement with Dahomey for relief flights from Cotonou until January 29. He indicated that this was typical of reason why ICRC constantly in difficulties with African governments.

4 . In response to urging by Secretary that FMG do its best to maximize quantity relief supplies getting into Biafra, Iyalla said FMG would like to see similar pressure exrted by US on Ojukwu to accept overland corridor and daylight flights; to both of which FMG has long since agreed. These observations not made with rancor but in-tone of wearied patience.

5. Under Secretary, who was present, then urged on lyalla need for FMG to be forthcoming in issuing visas promptly to needed relief experts as extensive delays would be construed as obstructionism. He noted that as reoccupied area increases in size, more and more relief people will be required. It was agreed there would be further working level discussion of visa question.

END GP-3


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