NEA Files: Lot 55–D36

Statement by the United States and the United Kingdom Groups

top secret

The Problem

Political and economic questions relating to Yemen.


Mention was made of the advanced age of the present Imam of Yemen, which raised the possibility of a succession problem. The British and American groups stated that their governments had no particular ideas on this subject.
The British group said that there was friction between Yemen and the Aden Protectorate over the frontier areas between them. The British Government wished to restrain Yemen and prevent further trouble; they hoped that the United States Government would take a similar view.
The American group outlined the circumstances leading up to the recent establishment of American diplomatic relations with Yemen,1 and gave an account of certain efforts which had been made by Prince Abdullah to obtain economic assistance in the United States,2 including particularly a plan for the development of a small [Page 602] port to be financed by an American loan. There had been insufficient information to reach a decision on this project, as yet, but it seemed that a small port which could be constructed without an excessive outlay might have some merit. It was emphasized that generally speaking the United States had no special interest in Yemen aside from its general desire to promote the economic and social welfare of the peoples of all the Arab countries and to strengthen friendly relations with the countries of the Middle East. The British perceived no objection to this scheme, and shared the opinion of the American group that there should be close cooperation between the British and American Governments with respect to the economic development of Yemen.


The British Government desires that the Yemeni Government should be discouraged from causing further difficulty about the frontier between the Yemen and the Aden Protectorate, and hopes that the United States Government will exert a restraining influence on the Yemeni Government.
There should be close cooperation between the British and American Governments with respect to the economic development of Yemen and no British objection is perceived to the possible development of a small port, financed by an American loan.
  1. For documentation on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vii, pp. 924 ff.
  2. For information on this subject, see editorial note, p. 1344.