689.90D/4–2950: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Afghanistan 1


105. London’s 3 to Kabul Apr 19.2 Re multilateral approach to AfGovt proposed by UK Dept informed Brit Emb Apr 26 of its willingness instruct Emb Kabul approach AfGovt along lines proposed by UK with certain exceptions. Dept stated wld ask Emb Kabul to: a) inform AfGovt that USGovt is concerned over provocative, and dangerous anti-Pak agitiation; b) warn AfGovt that continuance, agitation may react against Afghan; c) state it is our understanding Pak willing discuss with Afghan questions of common interest, such as coop in maintaining peace on Frontier and econ and cultural matters, and that we urge Afghan take fullest advantage Pak willingness enter bilateral discussions. (FYI Dept believes Emb Kabul can avoid appearance of too close collaboration with UK by re fact that US has made similar representations in past and wishes reiterate these views.)

Dept informed Brit Emb it believed UK in better position than US to stress view that Durand Line is internatl Frontier, and that Afghan shld accept Pak as successor to rights of UK and former GOI. Dept also indicated it believes wld be most helpful if GOI support Brit proposal, and that UK in best position seek GOI support.

Dept believes there is some risk in action contemplated by Brit as this approach cld annoy Afghan and possibly retard settlement. On other hand in Dept’s opinion and judging from tel from Brit Emb Kabul relayed Br it Emb Wash Apr 28, there appears to be softening Afghan attitude, and Brit proposal, if carried out, cld prove helpful to any moderates in AfGovt who might be urging settlement.

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Since it wld be desirable for you to make representations to AfGovt before Liaquat Ali Khan arrives US Dept hopes you can see FonMin not later than May 3. FonOff London had no objections ur making approach prior BritEmb Kabul, but you shld consult BritEmb in order avoid making calls too close together.

While Dept does not desire you attempt hide fact Brit have approached us, you shld stress in talk with FonMin fact that our current approach is continuation of representations we have made in past, and in line with views we have held consistently since June 1947.

Dept aware current multilateral approach may not produce rapprochement. Nevertheless you are requested not for time being initiate further action on Deptel 85 Apr 7 re possible UN procedures.3

  1. Repeated to Karachi as 311, New Delhi as 430, London as 1985, Moscow as 363.
  2. Printed as telegram 2129, supra.
  3. In telegram 122 from Kabul, May 2, not printed, Dreyfus said he would present the Department’s views as instructed in telegram 105, though he believed such action would appear to the Afghans as U.S.–U.K. collaboration and result in lowering U.S. prestige and pushing Afghanistan into submitting the case to the UNGA or SC, which the Department was hoping to avoid (689.90D/5–250). On May 3, Dreyfus reported in telegram 124, not printed, that when he communicated the three points of telegram 105 to the Foreign Minister, Ali Moh’d, on May 2, the latter insisted that discussion of Pushtoonistan must be a part of any Afghan-Pakistan meeting (689.90D/5–350).