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

765. Following may be drawn on with FonOff or other officials who broach subject Moroccan-Algerian conflict:

We keenly regret emergence conflict which threatens disrupt stability and development of Maghreb. Years of struggle leading to independ-ence have left nations in area in desperate need period of tranquility to build better life for its citizens. US, in sympathy aspirations area’s peoples, has contributed substantially to its economic development. These contributions significant both in Morocco and in Algeria. In latter our surplus food supplies of crucial importance in countering effects post-independence food shortages.

In view our close and friendly relations with both countries we are and intend to remain impartial in the present conflict. We have no intention of becoming involved in substance of dispute over borders never formally delimited to satisfaction of parties concerned. Instructions have been given to US military personnel present in area to avoid any action tending involve them directly or indirectly in this dispute.

US efforts will be bent toward encouraging early peaceful resolution conflict either through direct negotiations or through good offices [Page 23] other friendly countries. We welcome efforts of Haile Selassie and other African and Arab statesmen to bring an early end to hostilities and hope they will have full support other African states. We are also in consultation UNSYG who having continuing discussions with Moroccan and Algerian representatives. We believe any extension of this conflict or its polarization along lines of East-West struggle would be extremely regrettable and we will exert all our efforts to avoid this. In our view increasingly sharp invective employed by press and radio in each country against the other will hinder an early solution and is to be deplored.

Rusk
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 ALG-MOR. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Newsom and Stackhouse; cleared by Sisco, Davies, Imhof, Ortiz, Meade, and Heffner (DOD); and approved by Tasca. Sent to Nouakchott, Dakar, Accra, Conakry, Bamako, Niamey, Lagos, Dar-es-Salaam, Addis Ababa, Tunis, Tripoli, Cairo, Amman, Damascus, Baghdad, Kuwait, Jidda, Khartoum, Taiz, and USUN. Repeated to Rabat and Algiers and pouched to Madrid, Paris, and London.