Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the President 1


Subject: Recognition of Imam Ahmed of Yemen

The United States recognized the Kingdom of Yemen on March 4, 19462 and concluded an Agreement of Commerce and Friendship with that country on May 43 of the same year. You will recall your talk with Prince Abdullah, the fifth son of the late Imam Yahya, on July 16, 1947,4 when he visited this country.

The late Imam Yahya, who had ruled Yemen since 1904, was assassinated on February 17, 1948.5 After a short period of civil war his oldest son, Prince Ahmed, who had been designated as Crown Prince by the Imam, was elected as his successor.

On April 21, 19486 you addressed a message to Imam Ahmed offering United States recognition upon receiving his assurances that his Government would respect the international obligations assumed by his father, Imam Yahya, including the United States-Yemeni Agreement of Commerce and Friendship. Imam Ahmed failed to reply. He felt such assurances unnecessary because he considered his succession to all Yemen’s obligations was automatic when he ascended the throne. Our recognition has, therefore, been delayed. On December 22 the Yemeni Deputy Foreign Minister and Chief Delegate to the United Nations, Qadi Mohamed Ibn Abdullah al-Amri, called at the Department of State and gave the necessary assurances orally and officially on behalf of his Government.7 There is now no obstacle to United States recognition of Yemen. Accordingly, if you perceive no objection, I propose to send Imam Ahmed the attached message.

[Page 1359]

Proposed Message To Be Delivered to the Imam Ahmed of Yemen by the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Minister to Yemen (Childs)8

I wish to express the satisfaction of the United States Government for the oral assurances regarding Yemen’s observance of its international obligations extended on the authority of the Government of Imam Ahmed of Yemen and expressed by His Excellency Qadi Mohamed Ibn Abdulla al-Amri to the Department of State on December 22. I am accordingly authorized by President Truman to advise His Majesty that United States recognition of the Government of Yemen is now accomplished. This occasion affords great satisfaction to the United States Government as a step promoting friendship and increasingly close relations between Yemen and the United States.

  1. A handwritten note on the memorandum read: “Approved 1/14/50 Harry Truman.”
  2. Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vii, p. 924.
  3. For the text of the treaty, see Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) No. 1535; United Nations Treaty Series, vol. iv, p. 165; or 60 Stat. 1782.
  4. Documentation on Prince Abdullah’s visit is in Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. v, p. 1344.
  5. A memorandum of conversation by Richard Sanger, Assistant Chief, Division of Near Eastern Affairs, dated May 10, 1949, not printed, contains a report of the assassination of the Imam Yahya, and the civil war following it (McGhee files, lot 53D468).
  6. An unnumbered telegram, April 17, 1948, from Washington, not printed, instructed the Legation in Jidda to transmit a message from President Truman to Imam Ahmed of Yemen. The message read, in part, “I would be grateful for assurances that Yemen will carry out international obligations assumed by your father including the US-Yemeni Agreement of Commerce and Friendship signed at Sana on May 4, 1946. On receipt of such assurances the recognition of Your Majesty, which I so earnestly desire, will have been accomplished.” (786H.02/1–1450)
  7. Memorandum of conversation, supra.
  8. Telegram 21, January 19, to Jidda, not printed, instructed the Embassy to transmit the message to the Foreign Minister of Yemen (786H.02/1–1950).

    Telegram 14, February 8, from Aden, not printed, reported a first-person note from J. Rives Childs had been delivered on February 7 to the representative of Yemen in Aden, since the Foreign Minister was absent from Yemen at the time (786H.02/2–850). A copy of telegram 21 was then enclosed in a letter from Burton Y. Berry, Director of the Office of African and Near Eastern Affairs, to Al-Amri on February 9 (786H.02/2–950).