The Ambassador in Egypt (Caffery) to the Secretary of State
102. Foreign Office informed Embassy by aide-mémoire this morning that because of certain pretensions (Velléités) manifested by Israel authorities recently toward Tiran and Senafir Islands in Red Sea at the entrance of Gulf of Akaba, the Egyptian Government, in perfect accord with SAG, had occupied the islands.
Aide-mémoire states that while action was taken as prevention against any eventual attacks or violations it was also based on Egyptian rights as well as those of Saudi Arabia since islands are less than three miles from Egyptian coast of Sinai and about four miles from that of SAG. Aide-mémoire also states that action was not taken to prevent innocent travel between islands and Egyptian coast of Sinai. The passage, which is the only practicable one, will remain free, as in past, in conformity with international practices and principles.
Sent Department 102; repeated Jidda 4, pouched Arab capitals. Department pass Tel Aviv 17.