711.56373/6–3053

The Under Secretary of State (Smith) to the Secretary of the Air Force (Talbott)1

secret

My Dear Mr. Secretary: At the meeting of the National Security Council on June 12 the President and the Council members agreed with the Secretary of State that our base negotiations with Libya should be resumed and concluded as soon as possible.

In preparation for the next phase of the negotiations, this Department is formulating views, in collaboration with the military Departments, on the points which the Libyan Government has recently made as necessary to safeguard its sovereignty in the final agreement.

In this connection I have directed the State Department officers to treat liberally with the points raised by the Libyan Government. I have explained that, wherever possible, the Administration wants to eliminate points of difference with the Moslem world, particularly in the case of needy and friendly countries such as Libya; that the continued existence of Libya as a state depends in large measure on the early and successful conclusion of its base negotiations with the Allied powers; that because of Egypt’s bid for a dominant role in Libya, the Administration cannot permit our relations with Libya to be taxed by a hard-bargaining attitude on our part in the coming phase of the negotiations; that the degree of our future enjoyment of base rights will be in direct proportion to the degree of satisfaction which the Libyans achieve in the negotiations; and that, with the possible exception of the issue over jurisdiction, the Libyan points can be met in a final agreement which will amply provide for our military requirements at a cost far below that exacted of us in other parts of the world.

I should greatly appreciate your bringing these views to the attention of the military staff members who are preparing for resumption of the Libyan base negotiations.

Sincerely yours,

Walter B. Smith
  1. This letter was drafted by Cyr (AF) and cleared by Jernegan (NEA).
  2. For the minutes of the June 1 NSC meeting, see volume ix .