780.022/7–3154: Telegram

No. 1570
The Ambassador in Saudi Arabia (Wadsworth) to the Department of State1


45. Buraimi arbitration agreement signed yesterday by British Ambassador Pelham and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal.2 British [Page 2615] Political Resident Burrows, who will be responsible for implementing various details of agreement, flew here from Bahrain to attend signature ceremony. After dining with King he and Pelham came to see me last evening. My general impression is that while each side feels it must continue support, it yielded more than other. Both are pleased long negotiations finally terminated in atmosphere mutual professions reaffirmed friendship.

Young and Rentz tell me Burrows also brought letter from Shaikh of Bahrain to King Saud proposing new basis (line cutting through Abu Saafah Reef) for settlement water boundary between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

  1. Repeated to London and Dhahran.
  2. Despatch 521 from London, Aug. 20, not printed, transmitted a copy of the July 30 “Arbitration Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom (acting on behalf of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and His Highness Sultan Said bin Taimur) and the Government of Saudi Arabia.” The Arbitration Tribunal was asked to locate a common frontier between Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi within a line claimed by Saudi Arabia in 1949 and one claimed by Abu Dhabi in 1952; and to decide on the sovereignty in an area within a circle, the center of which would be in the village of Buraimi, and whose circumference passed through the point of junction of latitude 24°25’ North and longitude 55°36’ East. Attached to the treaty was an exchange of notes between Ambassador Pelham and Foreign Minister Faisal, dated July 30. The British note stated that there would be no oil operations in the Buraimi zone during the period of arbitration; but an area outside the Buraimi zone was indicated in which the British oil companies would be allowed to conduct operations, and another area was labeled where Aramco would be allowed to do the same. Faisal’s answer stated that he considered that letter and his answer to constitute a binding agreement between the two parties. (780.022/8–2054)