200. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts1

209138. 1. Chief of Mission should approach FonOff soonest and state he under high level instruction make following points:

USG regrets fact host government has chosen break diplomatic relations with US.
History will record fact that basis for breaking relations is utterly false allegation that USG participated as belligerent in hostilities on [Page 357] side of Israel. We wish make it of record that USG did not initiate break. We wish also to record our readiness to see relations fully restored when host government and we agree that a basis exists for normalizing relations.
We need to know in some detail what host government has in mind about arrangements now to be contemplated. These might range from a limitation to a mutual recall of ambassadors all the way to a complete withdrawal of all official personnel on both sides.
In this connection Ambassador may wish to point out that discussion of post-break diplomatic representation is going on between Washington and Cairo in dignified and responsible manner and on basis reciprocity. Egyptians have accepted the maintenance of a number of diplomatic officers and supporting administrative personnel as part of embassy of mutually agreed third power. Egyptians have also agreed re maintenance of our consulates in Alexandria and Port Said. From expressions received from Egyptian FonOff officials, it is clear UAR wishes to avoid total rupture of all means of official communication between our two governments. Despite current status US–UAR relations, there is mutual interest in both governments in retaining contact on basis dignity and reciprocity.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 US–ARAB. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Bergus and Rusk, cleared by Palmer and Davies, and approved by Rusk. Sent to Algiers, Baghdad, Damascus, Khartoum, Nouakchott, and Beirut and repeated to Bujumbura, Conakry, Bamako, Rabat, Mogadiscio, Dar es Salaam, and Tripoli.