88. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia0

213. Deptel 198 not repeated to all addressees.1 During his forthcoming call on Crown Prince Faysal in connection exposition necessity US recognize YAR (subject separate cable to follow in few days) Ambassador requested deliver following Presidential letter, indicating President wishes make it public soon under appropriate circumstances discussed in cable referred to above. Should Faysal care to prepare a reply, we would propose simultaneous publication Presidential letter and Faysal reply.

“Your Highness:

“As Your Highness assumes new and important responsibilities upon returning to Saudi Arabia, I wish to recall your visit to the White House on October 5. I then stated, and would like to repeat, that Saudi Arabia can depend upon the friendship and the cooperation of the United States in dealing with the many tasks which lie before it in the days ahead. The United States has a deep and abiding interest in the stability and progress of Saudi Arabia. Under your firm and wise leadership I am confident Saudi Arabia will move ahead successfully on the [Page 199]path of modernization and reform which you so clearly desire. In pursuing this course you may be assured of full United States support for the maintenance of Saudi Arabia’s integrity.

“I am fully aware that in order to accomplish your goals you must have the requisite tranquillity—an atmosphere reasonably devoid of recriminations and instigations from within or without. I share your concern at the tensions which prevail in the area and which hamper your design to strengthen the fabric of government and society in Saudi Arabia. As I indicated to you in Washington, the United States desires to be helpful in finding means of reducing these tensions.

“I foresee for our two countries not merely the continuance of the cordial relationship which began so auspiciously during the reign of your illustrious father, His Majesty Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud; rather I foresee the opening of a chapter in Saudi-United States relations in which the common bond of enlightened self-interest is firmly riveted by a common dedication to the inalienable rights of man for self-fulfillment, progress and freedom.

“I wish you success and send you my warmest personal regards. May God keep you and the Saudi people and grant you peace.

“Sincerely, John F. Kennedy

FYI. We plan withhold recognition YAR until able publicize correspondence and in any case until have completed talks in Cairo and have determined what other supporting measures we can provide SAG. End FYI.

For Cairo: Embassy Cairo will note that in deference Embassy Jidda’s strong recommendation and view precariousness situation in Saudi Arabia, we have chosen not delete sentence per your telegram 683 to Dept.2

  1. Source: Department of State. Central Files, 786A.11/10-2562. Confidential. Drafted by Seelye on November 1; cleared by Strong, Kaysen, and Little; and approved by Talbot. Repeated to Cairo, London, and Amman.
  2. Telegram 198 to Jidda, October 25, transmitted the text of a proposed letter from Kennedy to Faysal (same as printed here), indicating that the text would be made public when the United States recognized Yemen. The telegram noted that the letter served the following purposes: "(1) reassure Faysal of US support; (2) make his path of modernization and reform matter of record; and (3) serve nonprovocative notice to Cairo of our SAG commitment.” (Ibid.) These three reasons are also cited in a memorandum from Brubeck to Bundy, November 1, recommending that the letter be sent. (Ibid., 786A.11/11–162)
  3. In telegram 683 from Cairo, October 26, Badeau expressed concern over plans to publish Kennedy’s letter to Faysal and predicted that the UAR Government would almost certainly interpret the first sentence of the second paragraph as a direct accusation, which might stimulate Nasser to react publicly in a manner detrimental to U.S. interests. Badeau urged the sentence be removed. (Ibid., 786A.11/10-2662) In telegram 316 from Jidda, October 28, Hart disagreed with Badeau’s proposal and recommended that the text be delivered without change. (Ibid., 786A.11/10-2862)