112. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to All Posts1

205691. There follows draft declaration of maritime nations sent you either for action in accordance septel or for info:

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The Governments of maritime nations subscribing to this Declaration express their grave concern at recent developments in the Middle East which are currently under consideration in the United Nations Security Council. Our countries, as Members of the United Nations committed to the Purposes and Principles set forth in the Charter, are convinced that scrupulous respect for the principles of international law regarding freedom of navigation on international waterways is indispensable.

In regard to shipping through the waterways that serve ports on the Gulf of Aqaba, our Governments reaffirm the view that the Gulf is an international waterway into and through which the vessels of all nations have a right of passage. Our Governments will assert this right on behalf of all shipping sailing under their flags, and our Governments are prepared to cooperate among themselves and to join with others in seeking general recognition of this right.

The views we express in this Declaration formed the basis on which a settlement of the Near East conflict was achieved in early 1957-a settlement that has governed the actions of nations for more than ten years.

These views will guide our policies and action in seeking to assure peace and security in the Near East.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL ARAB–ISR. Secret; Priority; Limdis. Drafted by Legal Adviser Leonard C. Meeker and Hinton; cleared by Battle, Eugene Rostow, and Walt Rostow; and approved by Rusk. Walsh initialed for Rusk. Also sent to Dhahran, Jerusalem, U.S. Mission Geneva, Hong Kong, Paris, USRO Paris, CINCSTRIKE for POLAD, MAC for POLAD, and CINCEUR for POLAD.