343. Editorial Note

The Departments of State and Defense and the International Cooperation Administration notified the Embassy in Tripoli on April 27 that, in accord with NSC Action No. 1550, a determination had been made to commit up to $15 million a year to the Libyan Government for a maximum of 5 years, beginning with fiscal year 1960. Ambassador Jones was authorized to begin negotiations on the use of bases in Libya. In light of this “extraordinary multiyear commitment,” however, the United States would not explicitly acknowledge the payments were in return for use of the bases. The U.S. Government also hoped Libya would accept less than $15 million a year; Jones was to start the negotiations at $8 million and to offer no more than $12 million a year without previous authorization from Washington. (Telegram 973 to Tripoli; Department of State, Central Files, 773.5–MSP/2–2560. Regarding NSC Action No. 1550, see footnote 4, Document 340.

On May 9, Ambassador Jones informed Prime Minister Kubar that he had received instructions allowing him to resume negotiations. These discussions, which Jones hoped would be with the Prime Minister himself, would pertain to the September 9, 1954, U.S.-Libyan financial and economic agreement, not the base agreement itself. They would hopefully end with an exchange of notes and an exchange of letters reaffirming U.S. and Libyan satisfaction with the base agreement. [2 lines of text not declassified] This, Jones reported to the Department of State, did “not augur well for easy negotiations.” (Telegram 844 from Tripoli, May 11; Department of State, Central Files, 773.56311/5–1160)

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The negotiations began May 16; documentation on the discussions is ibid., 611.737, 773.5–MSP, and 773.56311. At 7:30 p.m. on June 30, Jones and Kubar signed letters amending the economic assistance agreement and a memorandum of understanding relating to problems arising from U.S. military operations in Libya. (Telegram 1006 from Tripoli; ibid., 611.737/6–3060) For texts of the letters, in which the United States agreed to give Libya $10 million a year in economic assistance from 1960 through 1964, and $1 million a year from 1965 through 1971, see 11 UST 2148. The text of the memorandum of understanding, which established a joint U.S.-Libyan Committee for settling problems arising from the presence of the bases, is in 11 UST 2627.