104. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Afghanistan1

387. Text of reply to King Zahir’s November 22 [27] message2 as approved by President December 12th follows:

“Dear King Zahir: I am most grateful for Your Majesty’s friendly and helpful response to my recent letter. Because of the concern of the United States Government over the differences between our friends Afghanistan and Pakistan, it was heartening to me to receive your expression of willingness to negotiate differences with your neighbor.

In my own experience I have found that much can often be gained from personal contact with leaders of other countries. Feelings [Page 205] of mutual respect and understanding established in such meetings can, I believe, create an atmosphere conducive to helpful discussion of real differences at issue. Accordingly, I am hopeful that it will prove possible for a meeting to be arranged between Your Majesty and the Governor General of Pakistan where a general exchange of views could take place. I am asking the Secretary of State to lend appropriate informal encouragement to constructive efforts to this end.

The United States Government is sincerely hopeful that the kind of high statesmanship demonstrated by both sides in settling the recent flag dispute will succeed in removing the remaining differences between Afghanistan and Pakistan, so that all energies may be devoted to achievement of social and economic progress within the family of free nations. Sincerely, Dwight D. Eisenhower.”

Embassy authorized seek earliest opportunity deliver above message personally to King and if it deems advisable to give text to Naim in advance. Embassy should make clear to GOA considerations Deptel 2933 still cause us prefer entire President-King correspondence remain confidential.

Suggestions desired soonest from Embassies Kabul and Karachi re appropriate steps as follow-up President’s letter to bring about Pakistan-Afghanistan meeting.

Embassy Karachi authorized in its discretion convey substance President’s letter (not actual text) to appropriate Pak officials.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 689.90D/12–1255. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Howison and approved by Rountree. Repeated to Karachi, New Delhi, Tehran, Ankara, London, Lahore, and Dacca.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 101.
  3. In telegram 293, November 19, the Department of State informed the Embassy that it had concluded that any publicity regarding the exchange of letters between the President and the King “would seriously hamper if not make impossible efforts of US to render effective assistance in GOA-GOP dispute.” (Department of State, Central Files, 689.90D/11–955)