23. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Algeria0

821. Please deliver following message soonest to President Ben Bella:

“Mr. President:

I have watched with deep concern the growing split between Morocco and Algeria. I am pleased to learn of your decision to meet with King Hassan in Bamako.

I am expressing to the principals at the meeting my hope that agreement can be reached on an honorable basis for ending the fighting and on [Page 29] some means of resolving the issue involved. I am particularly concerned that what started as a frontier dispute not become on either side a far graver conflict between philosophies or systems. Should this happen, it would be most difficult to prevent outside powers from becoming far more heavily involved on both sides. I cannot believe this could serve either your interests or those of Morocco in the long run.

I would hope, therefore, that you would agree, Mr. President, that, given the grave threats posed by continued fighting to peace in the area, the failure to explore every reasonable means to find a common basis for a solution would be tragic.

John F. Kennedy.”1

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 ALG-MOR. Secret; Immediate; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Newsom; cleared by McGeorge Bundy, Tasca, and Getsinger; and approved by Ball.
  2. On October 28, Porter delivered the President’s letter to Ben Bella, who asked him to request President Kennedy not to judge Algeria “on this or that development,” and to express his profound appreciation for the President’s interest in the problem. (Telegram 903 from Algiers, October 28; ibid.)