611.86A/11–2652: Telegram

No. 1446
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia1

top secret

339. Limited distribution. No distribution outside Dept of State. During past year Emb and Dept have made attempts soften SAG attitude discrimination toward Amer Jews. Dept believes these efforts instrumental issuance decree Apr 4 limiting discriminatory trade restrictions on Amer (and other) firms (Embtel 629 Apr 302). However there is evidence hardening rather than softening SAG attitude other instances.

Dept had hoped persuade SAG its attitude doing SA far more harm than good before it became public knowledge in US that SAG discriminating between Amer citizens. Dept seriously concerned this whole matter may break in US press soon with serious harm SA reputation and deterioration US–SA relations. Incidents involving SAG discrimination toward US citizens increasing. Although Dept well aware sensitivity SAG these matters situation has reached point where wld seem less harmful US–SA relations for US sound warning to SAG than sit by and watch chance constructive action disappear.

Therefore Dept suggests you approach SAG (possibly Crown Prince) along fol lines:

Religious discrimination between US citizens particularly abhorrent Americans.
Many Amer citizens who are Jewish are not only not Zionists, some vigorously anti-Zionist. Some are topflight people within USG or private life who are working to ease feelings between Arabs and [Page 2429] Jews. SAG attitude cannot but undermine this work and arouse deep resentment. . . .
Inevitably, continuance SAG attitude will undermine friendly relations US. Impossible for USG indefinitely to regard its own officials as belonging to two classes, one of which is regarded by SA as “undesirable” in total disregard ideology or feelings toward Arabs and based on false assumption religious affiliation in itself creates attitude of enmity toward Arabs or Islam.
Dept is not in position explain or defend SAG intransigence these matters to US public or even to other USG agencies. Accordingly Dept feels SAG shld be given advance opportunity carefully weigh its course.

As of possible usefulness to you fol are recent examples discrimination which cld still result in most unfavorable publicity.

Case Deptel 273.
Nov 20 NY travel agency requested aid Dept in obtaining SAG permission once granted then denied for chartered plane carrying 55 to fly over SA territory from Tel Aviv to Bahrein enroute India for social welfare conference in which Dept had strong interest. Because difficulties encountered case Deptel 273, Dept felt it useless intercede.
Early last week prominent official Fed Security Agency denied visa for direct transit Dhahran same conference India. Dept in no position intercede for same reasons. As result Dept, which paying cost official’s transportation, having reroute him at great added expense.

If you consider it appropriate and more effective, ur approach cld be coordinated with Dept approach SA Amb.

  1. Drafted by Sturgill and cleared by NEA.
  2. Not printed. (486A.1112/4–3052)