493. Memorandum to President Johnson 1
As a result of your conversation with Bob Anderson,2 Secretary Rusk is requesting your authorization to give Anderson the following answer for Nasser if Nasser asks about restoring relations with us: We’re willing, provided (1) they take the initiative; (2) they agree in principle to compensate us for properties damaged in June; (3) they retract their false charges of our participation in the June war; and (4) they agree to respect the normal rights of legation.3
I think this is a fair position for us to take. We obviously don’t want to rush headlong into Nasser’s arms. On the other hand, we still have an interest in giving him a window to the West. We could maintain a minimal relationship by just having a Charge in Cairo for the time being.
Anderson leaves New York at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.
The President indicated to WWR that he did not, repeat not, wish Mr. Anderson to be regarded or used as an informal intermediary between the U.S. Government and the UAR.4
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Middle East Crisis, Sandstorm/Whirlwind. Confidential. A handwritten note on the memorandum indicates it was received at 3:42 p.m. The memorandum is not signed, but an October 27 memorandum from Saunders to Bundy indicates that it was from Walt Rostow. (Ibid., Saunders Files, Middle East, 9/1/67–10/31/67)↩
- The President met with Anderson on October 25 and talked to him by telephone on the morning of October 27. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary)↩
- A memorandum of October 27 from Rusk to the President with these recommendations is attached.↩
- Rostow told Rusk in a telephone call at 7:05 p.m. on October 27 that the President thought it was inappropriate to approach Cairo through a private citizen on the question of recognition. When Rusk replied that the idea was to say nothing unless Nasser raised the matter, Rostow said the President was uneasy about a “Texas businessman handling this.” (Notes of telephone conversation prepared in Rusk’s office; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Calls)↩