365. Editorial Note

In telegram 75 from Aden, September 30, Consul William R. Crawford, Jr., reported on a discussion with the British Governor who “was not enthusiastic about the US having anything to do with Egypt in Yemen, saying that he would not like to see US contribute to increase in Egyptian influence there,” but he did agree eventually with Crawford on the need for a tactical approach through Egypt. (Department of State, Central Files, 786H.00/9–3058)

In telegram 1003 from Cairo, October 1, the Embassy in Egypt agreed that consideration should be given to US-UAR cooperation in limiting Soviet encroachment in Yemen, but warned that prospects were “rather dim in light of desultory and contemptuous way UAR handled Yemen in past and apparent failure of Nasser and his colleagues to realize consequences this policy having.” In addition, the Embassy seconded Crawford’s suggestion of having the U.S. Minister to Yemen resident in Cairo rather than Jidda on the grounds that “UAS has become a fact of life” and “the road to Yemen runs through Cairo.” (Ibid., 120.286H/10–158)

The Embassy in the United Kingdom commented in telegram 1886 from London, October 4, that it was “skeptical” about using Nasser and the UAS to contain Soviet expansion in Yemen as “past and current experience augurs ill for cooperation with him.” (Ibid., 120.286H/10–458)

In telegram 80 to Aden, October 10, the Department of State instructed Crawford to make a direct approach to Crown Prince Badr with a view to strengthening US-Yemen relations, which would include establishment of a legation at Taiz as promised by the Imam a year ago and expediting U.S. economic aid to Yemen. The Department was flexible on the question of an independent post in Yemen and realized that the Crown Prince might not be favorable to the idea. In addition, the Department informed Crawford that it had under study the idea of accrediting the Chief of Mission in Cairo as Minister to Yemen. (Ibid., 1209.286H/10–1058)

Crawford traveled to Taiz in mid-October and stayed for almost 2 weeks without receiving an audience with the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince was “indisposed,” but Crawford believed that the central government had virtually ceased to exist and a revolution was highly likely. In the present situation Crawford concluded there was little the West could do through diplomatic channels. He recommended that the idea of working through Cairo in Yemen should be held in abeyance but not discarded. (Telegram 137 from Aden, October 31; ibid., 120.286H/10–3158)