711.56386A/4–3051: Telegram

The Ambassador in Saudi Arabia (Hare) to the Department of State


638. Fol are comments on Deptel 362, Apr 27:1

1. History Palestine question is such that 150 million grant aid Israel, or even sizable portion that amount; cld only serve substantiate basic Arab apprehension re special position Israel in US policy and cast new doubt our profession of good will toward Arab States just when our long efforts at reassurance beginning have effect. Result wld be not only to cloud our relations with countries this area at time when their cooperation badly needed, but also to reduce prospect improving relations between Israel and Arab States which we have been endeavoring foster as essential element NE security.

[Page 1051]

Re DAF negotiations, impact such action could be extremely harmful and difficult see what convincing words cld be found explain what Saudis wld surely regard as biased act belying our assurances impartiality between Arab States and Israel.

Fact is that, prejudiced as Arabs may be re Israel, their basic reaction is fear of having stand alone to face Israel backed by unlimited Western economic and political support. Feeding these fears will do harm not only ourselves but Israel and Arab States as well.

2. Re prospect grant military assistance SA, this type “action rather than words” which King has long sought, which shld give Saudis feeling of greater confidence and reassurance re their security … and which wld also be very substantial quid pro quo in negotiating for DAF. If we cld have made such offer in Dec we wld surely have had long term agreement concluded by now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3. Re inclusion SA in proposed regional econ aid program, believe important points are that all countries in area shld be eligible and that publicity specific country allocations, from which invidious comparisons cld be drawn, shld be avoided if possible. However, misgivings Saudis might have in this regard wld doubtless be more than overcome by being made unique regional recipient of grant military aid.…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  1. Not printed; it asked Hare to comment on the possible effect on the Dhahran Airfield negotiations of a $150 million program of grant aid to Israel and a smaller program of grant aid to Saudi Arabia. It reported: “thought was that grant aid one year basis might jeopardize US efforts obtain long term DAF agreement by tending reduce period to that of grant and that grant only partially covering MDAP program might result in SAG insistence on all grant.” (711.56386A/4–2751)