President Truman to King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia1

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Your Majesty: I am sending you this letter by Mr. George C. McGhee, Assistant Secretary of State in charge of Near Eastern Affairs, who is making a visit to your country as a representative of this Government.

You will recall that I wrote you on May 23, 19492 with regard to the negotiations which were then taking place with respect to the renewal of the Dhahran Air Base Agreement, and that shortly thereafter agreement was reached providing for renewal of the previous agreement for a period of one year. Subsequently, Brigadier General O’Keefe of the United States Air Force, at your invitation, visited your country for the purpose of studying the military requirements of Saudi Arabia. I understand that he has already discussed his recommendations with you.

General O’Keefe’s report is being studied by competent agencies of the United States Government. It is expected that this study, which is an essential prerequisite to a decision as to future courses of action, will be completed shortly. I am sure you will understand the necessity [Page 1128] for the most careful consideration by the United States Government of such an important matter.

I have followed with great interest the remarkable development of Saudi Arabia under your enlightened leadership. Your country stands as a bulwark to peace in the Near Eastern world. It is gratifying that your leadership extends not only throughout Saudi Arabia, but also generally through the Near East.

The United States has always attached the greatest importance to the strong ties of friendship and understanding which bind us with Saudi Arabia. I assure you it is our hope and belief that these ties will always continue.

I avail myself of this opportunity to wish you much continued success and good health.

Faithfully yours,

[Harry S. Truman]
  1. The source text was the draft of a letter, attached to a memorandum from the Secretary of State to the President, dated February 21, not printed. The Secretary recommended that the President sign the letter and have Assistant Secretary of State McGhee hand it to the King during his visit to Saudi Arabia. (786A.563/2–2150)

    McGhee was in Saudi Arabia from March 18 to March 25, and met with the King on March 22 and March 23. He delivered a letter from the President during his March 22 visit with the King, presumably this letter, but the editors have not found a copy signed by the President. For a record of McGhee’s visits with the King, see the memorandum of conversations, dated March 23, p. 1146.

  2. Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vi, p. 1599.