164. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Diplomatic Posts 0

1805. We consider Bourguiba visit highly successful and have impression Tunisians equally pleased. Two Presidents held cordial talks and found broad identity views on variety subjects.1 Tunisian Ministers accompanying Bourguiba likewise engaged in satisfactory discussions throughout U.S. Government.

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As expected, Algeria was Bourguiba’s principal preoccupation. He laid great stress on importance of doing everything possible ensure new Algeria was headed by leaders committed to moderate and constructive policies of intra-Maghreb and Franco-Maghreb cooperation. In Bourguiba’s view, French as stronger element should adopt generous line in negotiations with PAG. Such tactics, especially if coupled with release Ben Bell a and other moderates having influence with ALN elements, were essential if positive climate to be created. However, Bourguiba cautioned against undue optimism as regards speedy solution since even in best of circumstances transfer of power would involve many difficulties on internal front, e.g. reintegration guerrillas, quite apart from problems inherent in liquidation Franco-Algerian matters such as Sahara and Mers al Kebir.

Second principal topic discussion was Tunisia’s economic development planning. Tunisians made impressive presentation in broad terms. U.S. expressed hope that long-term plan on which GOT actually working could form framework for multi-year assistance assuming Congressional acceptance administration’s new aid program and concepts.

In general, talks confirmed that U.S. and Tunisia had common approach on main political and economic matters of mutual interest. Hence, visit served primarily to demonstrate reciprocal respect between Tunisia and U.S., our recognition of Tunisia’s efforts in foreign and domestic fields and our willingness do what we can to help assure success Tunisia’s own measures of self-help.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.72/5-1661. Confidential. Drafted by Chase, cleared by Brown and Manfull, and approved by Witman. Sent to Paris, Tunis, Rabat, Cairo, Ankara (Niact), and London.
  2. The conversations were recorded in two memoranda of conversation. (Ibid., 611.72/5-461 and 611.72/5-561)