28. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Diplomatic Posts0

826. Whatever may be success Algerian-Moroccan cease-fire Dept remains seriously concerned over possibility continued military [Page 35] build-up both sides.1 Request Ambassadors addressee posts therefore seek earliest opportunity elicit views FonOffs on Algerian-Moroccan problem and concept OAU role suggesting where possible they consider sending messages to both Algeria and Morocco urging observance of cease-fire and avoidance any further significant arms build-up from other countries. Suggest point be made strongly that continued outside military aid to either country would seriously threaten nullify agreement reached at Bamako and chances any ultimate solution dispute within African (OAU) framework.

During such discussion you may summarize US position as follows:

Strictly impartial.
Welcome Bamako and favor solution within African framework.
Most important obtain and maintain cease-fire along lines Bamako agreement.
Against further significant arms build-up either side as most serious threat to success of Bamako agreement. Have so informed both Algeria and Morocco and we refraining from contribution any such build-up.
Believe Bamako demonstrated that firm and persistent presentation African concern over detrimental impact on African interests of fruitless conflict and outside intervention can have telling effect on both Algerian and Moroccan governments.
Consider it crucial in terms longer range effectiveness of OAU in promoting all principles its charter that OAU discussion and mediation begin soon and emphasize objective solution rather than politically charged point of attempting fix responsibility for outbreak hostilities which probably shared by both parties dispute.

Telegraphic reports conversations requested.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 ALG-MOR. Secret. Drafted by Hooper, cleared by Newsom, and approved by Tasca. Sent to Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Tripoli, Tunis, Mogadiscio, Kampala, Dar-es-Salaam, Cotonou, Accra, Conakry, Abidjan, Monrovia, Bamako, Usumbura, Yaounde, Bangui, Fort Lamy, Brazzaville, Leopoldville, Libreville, Nouakchott, Niamey, Lagos, Dakar, Freetown, Lome, Ouagadougou, Tananarive, and Kigali. Repeated to Paris, Madrid, Cairo, Rabat, and Algiers.
  2. On November 1, the Department of State instructed Porter to express strong U.S. support for the cease-fire and successful completion of the negotiating course established at Bamako in conversations with Ben Bella and his Foreign Minister. The Ambassador was also asked to express concern over Cuban arms shipments to Algeria and the conviction that any continuation of an extensive arms build-up on either side would thwart the encouraging progress made at Bamako toward a peaceful resolution of the dispute. (Telegram 911 to Algiers; ibid.) Ferguson received similar instructions for his conversations with the King and his Ministers. (Telegram 1100 to Rabat, November 1; ibid.)