179. Editorial Note

According to the provisions of the July 30, 1954, Arbitration Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom, acting on behalf of Shaikh Shakhbut ibn Sultan of Abu Dhabi and His Highness Sultan Said ibn Taimur of Muscat and Oman, and the Government of Saudi Arabia, an Arbitration Tribunal was established. The Tribunal was to determine 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 determine the sovereignty in an area within a circle, the center of which would be in the village of Buraimi and the circumference of which would pass through the point of junction of latitude 24°25’ N. and longitude 55°36’ E. (The text of the Agreement is in British and Foreign State Papers, 1954, volume 161, pages 187–198.)

The members of the Tribunal, Dr. Charles DeVisscher of Belgium, President; Dr. Ernesto Dihigo of Cuba; Dr. Mahmud Hasan of Pakistan; Sir Reader Bullard of Great Britain; and Shaikh Yusuf Yasin of Saudi Arabia, opened proceedings in Geneva on September 11, 1955. By September 15, the hearings had concluded and the Tribunal had withdrawn to consider its decision. On September 17, Bullard announced his resignation from the Tribunal. (Memorandum of conversation by Newsom, October 10; Department of State, Central Files, 780.022/10–1055) According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office on October 4, Bullard’s resignation was based on [Page 275] evidence that Saudi Arabia had violated the Arbitration Agreement, attempted a coup d’état in Abu Dhabi, directed a campaign of bribery against the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, and that Yasin had conducted the proceedings of the Tribunal “on behalf of [the] Saudi Government.” (Telegram 1364 from London, October 5; ibid., 780.022/10–555)