208. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iraq0
331. Embtel 611.1 Department increasingly concerned by dangerous potentialities of failure GOI-Kurdish negotiations and resumption hostilities. United States policy remains unchanged; we consider problem strictly one between GOI and Kurds. However, consequences breakdown [Page 452] current negotiations such that effort to persuade both sides of advantages equitable settlement through mutual compromise warranted. You may, therefore, pass word to Talabani that Mulla Mustafa’s message transmitted USG, which fully endorses positions taken by Embassy officer. You may also indicate that Embassy authorized to inform each side informally of its hope for equitable solution to problem and its belief that there are many advantages to Kurds in reasonable compromise with GOI in current negotiations. We wish avoid discussion of details of compromise.
In its contacts with Kurds, Embassy may draw on following points as appropriate:
- Resumed conflict could vitiate gains achieved so far.
- There are many advantages to Kurds in forming integral part Iraqi state.
- USG understanding of and sympathy for legitimate Kurdish aspirations within Iraqi state will in no circumstances be allowed adversely to affect cordial USG relations with new Iraqi regime.
- Kurdish willingness to accept less than total Kurdish aspirations, which in US view are unrealistic, would create greater degree of confidence necessary to calm and reasonable negotiation of remaining differences.
Concurrently, Embassy should inform GOI of USG representations to Kurds and urge GOI be forthcoming in meeting Kurdish aspirations to reasonable degree. Presentation should stress that USG policy has not changed and continues regard Kurdish dispute as internal GOI matter in which we have not and will not interfere directly or indirectly. We taking present initiative because of our strong interest in seeing GOI consolidate its internal position. While we would not wish deal with question in detail we believe equitable compromise solution to Kurdish problem can and must be found. In our view, mutual suspicions existing between GOI and Kurds constitute greater danger to successful negotiations than substantive differences between two sides. Reassuring GOI gestures could therefore be very important. (FYI. We have in mind release of prisoners and end of economic blockade. End FYI.) We urge GOI negotiate with patience and determination to achieve non-violent settlement.
For London. Inform UK of foregoing and express USG hope that UK Ambassador Baghdad will be similarly instructed.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 IRAQ. Confidential. Drafted by Killgore and Davies on April 4, cleared by Strong and Judd, and approved by Talbot. Repeated to London, Ankara, and Tehran.↩
- In telegram 611, April 1, the Embassy in Baghdad conveyed the content of a message from Kurdish leader Mulla Mustafa delivered by Jalal Talabani, the head of the Kurdish delegation in Baghdad for negotiations with the Iraqi Government. In the message, Mustafa offered friendship to the United States, requested assistance for the Kurdish revolt, and asked to meet with a U.S. representative. In response, an Embassy officer said that the United States considered the Iraqi revolt an internal matter and would not help the Kurds, and that a U.S. official could not meet with Mustafa. (Ibid.)↩