432. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia1

329. Following are Department’s views regarding your visit to Yemen requested Jidda’s 211.2

Believe you should plan depart September 2. Zabarah informed you propose leave this date travelling in USAF plane with Embassy officer, Embassy consultant and plane crew of five. He has requested Imam’s urgent approval and is of opinion you should leave as scheduled even in absence of reply.

Zabarah has no information regarding specific subjects Imam wishes discuss. Judging from Jamal Hussaini’s report to you and Crawford’s conversations in Yemen following may arise regarding which you should take positions indicated.

UK-Yemen Dispute. We continue to attach highest importance to normalization of relations between UK and Yemen and restoration tranquility on border. These are matters which can be settled only by parties directly concerned. We have been encouraged by indications that Imam is favorably considering discussions aimed at implementation 1934 and 1951 agreements.3 We hope Yemen will soon make specific proposals to UK regarding level and venue of talks. Important thing is to get discussions started without attaching conditions or attempting obtain prior agreement on details. We believe UK would be receptive to immediate conversations on this basis and continue prepared urge UK agree such talks. If question Kamaran Island raised by Yemenis you should express view differences regarding its status should not be allowed impede start talks with UK.

Syria. (You should seize opportunity raise this matter.) Draw as appropriate upon previous guidance provided you, especially Deptel 326.4 You might suggest Imam may wish to consider implications [Page 767] for Yemen which may be drawn from Syrian experience. We recall that Soviet-Syrian relations commenced with purchases of arms.

Establishment of Diplomatic Mission. You may indicate US interested in establishment of resident diplomatic mission. We would be prepared to start preparations for such a mission whenever Imam thinks it desirable. In meantime we suggest more frequent visits for longer periods by officers of our Consulate at Aden.

Yemen Development Corporation. We understand Corporation has promised submit detailed plans for future action within two months and is diligently attempting locate additional financial backing. US Government has provided YDC with all appropriate assistance within its traditional commercial policy of not favoring any one particular American firm. We believe Imam will wish to await forthcoming YDC proposals before determining future course. FYI You should endeavor correct any impression that Corporation’s difficulties attributable to lack US Government backing which we understand from your 211 YDC may have given Imam. End FYI.

ICA Mission. We are glad that ICA Mission has now arrived in Yemen and hope that it will complete its work expeditiously. Mission’s report should provide solid basis for determining Yemen’s most pressing needs and what assistance toward meeting them may be rendered by US. Should Mission be encountering any special difficulties from Yemenis, you may wish to discuss with Imam.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 123–Wadsworth, George. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Burdett and approved by Rountree. Repeated to Aden, Dhahran (to be passed to the Commander, Second Air Division), and London.
  2. In telegram 211, August 25, Wadsworth reported his conversation with Jamal Husayni on the subject of Yemen. According to the Ambassador, Husayni had called on August 24 to bring him up to date on the situation in Yemen. Wadsworth also solicited the Department’s views on the subject of British-Yemeni disputes and on the possibility of establishing a diplomatic mission in Yemen. (Ibid.)
  3. The agreement of 1934 presumably is the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the United Kingdom, India, and Yemen of February 11, 1934. The full text of the accord is in British and Foreign State Papers, 1934, vol. 137, pp. 212–215. The agreement of 1951 is presumably a reference to the Exchange of Notes between the United Kingdom and Yemen regarding relations between the two countries. For text of the notes, see ibid., 1951, vol. 158, pp. 469–472.
  4. Document 281.