A conference on boundary problems between Saudi Arabia and the Shaikhdoms of Qatar and Abu Dhabi, represented by the British, opened at Damman on January 28, 1952. Prince Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was the head of the Saudi Arabian delegation; which also included Yusuf Yassin, Deputy Foreign Minister; Shaikh Hafiz Wahba, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United Kingdom; and Amir Saud ibn Jiluwi, Governor of Al-Hasa. Sir Rupert Hay, Political Resident in the Persian Gulf, was the head of the British delegation. which also included Major C. J. Pelly, British Political Agent at Kuwait; W. V. R. Evans, Assistant Legal Adviser in the Foreign Office; and Mr. Michael Weir. Shaikh Ali ibn Abdullah Al Thani of Qatar and Shaikh Shakhbut ibn Sultan of Abu Dhabi were present, but took little part in the conference, letting the British present their case. Because of the death of the British King, the conference adjourned on February 7 for a week. and when it reconvened on February 14 it was adjourned again for one month at the request of the British delegation. (Despatch 74 from Dhahran, February 20; 780.022/2–2052)
In telegram 431 from Jidda, February 14, Ambassador Hare reported King Ibn Saud had sent him a message expressing concern over the boundary negotiations. The King asked if, as an act of friendship, the Ambassador would meet Prince Faisal for a firsthand account of the negotiations, and then stop at Riyadh to see the King. (780.022/2–1452) Telegram 444 from Jidda, February 24, transmitted a summary of the conversations the Ambassador had with the King, Faisal, and Yassin concerning the boundary discussions with the British. They asked the Ambassador to request United States intervention with the British. Ambassador Hare advised the Department he believed the Saudi Arabian position was stronger than the British, as the British had been insufficiently prepared and for that reason had adjourned the conference. He suggested the matter be discussed fully with the British, and reported he believed the British should proceed more astutely in the future unless they were prepared to see the issue transformed into another “crisis” in their growing list of difficulties in the area. (780.022/2–2452) Despatch 294 from Jidda, March 31, transmitted a [Page 2459] translation of the official Saudi Arabian account of the conversations with the British at Damman. (780.022/3–3152)
Previous negotiations on this topic had taken place in London in August 1951. Regarding the London Conference, see the memorandum of conversation of September 25, 1951, Foreign Relations, 1951, volume v, page 330.