79. Telegram From the Embassy in Senegal to the Department of State 0

260. Reference: Rabat’s 651 and Paris 1438 to Department.1 While conclusion UNGA debate on Mauritania before November 28 would obviously be best solution, we concur Paris recommendation USG should not delay decision regarding attendance Nouakchott ceremonies and recognition Mauritanian independence.

From this vantage point, seems unlikely Morocco will receive much support for its position on Mauritania even from Afro-Asians. Indeed, in French-speaking parts black Africa, US failure promptly recognize independence Mauritania would in all likelihood have unfavorable effect.

Department will recall that ceremonies in Nouakchott at time independence is declared will be purely symbolic sincerity, which now consists of some fifty buildings, has no hotel and visitors cannot remain overnight except at small inn with very limited accommodations. Mauritanian Government plans full scale celebration on November 28, 1961.

Department may wish consider advisability of accrediting Ambassador Villard to Mauritania and having him represent US Government at ceremonies next November.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751T.02/10–1360. Confidential. Repeated to Paris, Rabat, and London.
  2. Both telegrams concerned the question of recognition of Mauritania, at issue because Morocco claimed Mauritanian territory and opposed its independence. Morocco proposed U.N. discussion of the subject on August 20 (U.N. doc. A/4445) and Moroccan Ambassador El-Mehdi Ben Aboud set forth the Moroccan position to Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Raymond A. Hare on August 30. (Memorandum of conversation by John F. Root, Deputy Director of the Office of North African Affairs; Department of State, Central Files, 751T.00/8–3060) Telegram 651 from Rabat, October 7, counseled delaying a decision on U.S. recognition until after the U.N. discussion. (Ibid., 751T.02/10–760) Telegram 1438 from Paris, October 10, recommended accepting the invitation to the independence ceremonies on November 28 if more African states did so. (Ibid., 771.022/10–1060)
  3. A message dated October 26 from President Eisenhower to Mauritanian Prime Minister Mocktar Ould Daddah, accepting the invitation to send a delegation to the independence ceremonies, was sent to Dakar in telegram 322, October 26, for delivery to the Prime Minister. (Ibid., 751T.02/10–2660)