711.5886A/7–2652: Telegram

No. 1439
The Ambassador in Saudi Arabia (Hare) to the Department of State 1


50. In course week tortuous negots at Riyadh reminiscent DAF negots last year have concluded with assistance Gen Day first phase MAG [ MAAG ] discussions. Although everyone from King down very friendly and although obvious Saudis wanted agreement, negots were haggling match from beginning to end. . . .

Discussions opened with strong Saudi bid for scrapping proposed US draft and negotiating on basis our agreement with Turkey. When resisted this move, YY shifted tactics and, as in case DAF negots, produced draft of his own based on DAF agreement, our draft and some new wrinkles of his own. On basis this document we gradually hammered out revised draft which reasonably satis except for questions juris and period.

Re juris, Saudis were unwilling concede beyond immed places of residence and duty. We maintained shld apply any areas where member MAG [ MAAG ] residing, working or traveling under orders. Maintaining our proposal wld subject SAG to strong internal and external pressure, Saudi group remained adamant but repeatedly stressed that members MAG [ MAAG ] wld come as welcome guests and that any difficulties wld be handled so as minimize complications.

Re period, YY insisted US committee straining program for duration DAF agreement and, despite our explanations as authorized by Dept., refused accept termination right exercised by other than Saudis.

When it became apparent that we had exerted as much pressure as situation wld stand at time without backfiring, Gen Day and I agreed it was tactically advisable desist and review situation with Defense and State in order have strongest possible argumentation for renewed discussions. As matters stand, believe we have prospect obtaining reasonably satis agreement, but because of . . . Saudi sensitiveness on sovereignty question, negotiating process slow and trying.

Full account negots and draft documents being pouched.2

  1. Repeated to Dhahran for General Day.
  2. Despatch 36 from Jidda, July 28, transmitted a summarized day-by-day record of the 12 discussions at Riyadh, from July 17 to July 24, on the MAAG Agreement to supplement the Dhahran Airfield and Mutual Defense Agreements of June 18, 1952. (786A.5 MSP/7–2852)

    Despatch 37 from Jidda, July 28, transmitted the drafts of the MAAG Agreement. There were three drafts: one presented by Ambassador Hare to Prince Faisal on Mar. 20; a counterdraft prepared by Deputy Foreign Minister Yusuf Yassin and Husni Bey, Egyptian Legal Adviser to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense and Aviation, presented to the American negotiators at Riyadh on July 20; and a compromise draft worked out in the course of the negotiations. (786A.5 MSP/7–2852)