10. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts1
Washington, December 7, 1967, 0122Z.
80712. Deliver to Ambassadors at opening of business. Subj: UN Representative Jarring Mission.
- Timing of departure from NY to UN Rep Jarring following consultations there with SYG and Staff, parties and others, including USUN, not yet definite due to complications related to projected Arab Summit. However, he will probably proceed to area within next week or two. His headquarters will be in Cyprus.
- Jarring faces formidable difficulties. Issues themselves are so numerous and complex that even with generally cooperative spirit from parties, it is not to be expected that agreement will come quickly on any problem. In addition, of course, there is danger that either or both sides will be so intransigent as to bring negotiations to stalemate.
- In light these difficult circumstances, we have considered what activity on our part might be useful in improving chances Jarring’s success and have concluded that US approaches to parties concerning general US attitude would be useful. Prospect of new Arab Foreign Minister [Page 21] and Summit meetings provide additional reason for us to urge moderation and flexibility on Arabs at this time, since stand meetings take will probably have important influence on progress of Jarring Mission. Action posts should therefore unless they see serious objections seek opportunity to discuss our current views with appropriate host govt official. Posts should make it clear we are making similar approach to Israelis.2
- In making any approaches it is very important that posts avoid giving any impression that we are directly involved in Jarring’s mission or seeking to impress our views on him concerning either his methods of operation or substance of his discussions. It will be for Jarring to carry on substantive negotiations with parties. Our purpose at present should be to urge that all parties extend fullest cooperation to achievement of a peaceful solution.FYI. At later stage, depending on developments, we will have to consider whether and how we should support specific proposals. There may well be a time, as when issues have crystallized into clear bargaining situation, when diplomatic support of US and others may be necessary to bring parties to agreement. In such cases we will be prepared to act in accordance with Amb Goldberg’s Nov. 22 pledge in SC.3 End FYI.
- Approach should draw on following:
- SC res,4 which is best possible in circumstances, provides opportunity to set in motion a peace-making process with which both sides can in good conscience cooperate. Res is balanced and nonprejudicial to positions of any of parties. Its adoption culminated most difficult period during which it often appeared that effort to find means of progress toward a settlement would end in complete stalemate. Opportunity provided by Jarring’s mission may well be one-time chance, therefore, since it would appear most unlikely that same or similar conditions as those which made possible agreement on SC Res could be recreated at any future time. That opportunities, once lost, do not return has, as Arabs know too well, been one of lessons of past twenty years; it could well be so again if present opportunity missed.
- We consider SC Res entirely consistent with policy of USG as set forth by President Johnson in June 19 statement5 and by Ambassador [Page 22] Goldberg in statements in UN since then. We are prepared, therefore, to support the UN’s efforts fully. As Ambassador Goldberg said in SC Nov. 22: “The Special Representative will need all the help and support he can get—both from parties and from international community. I have already given my Government’s pledge on this score—and I wish to reiterate it again today—a pledge to this Council and to parties concerned that the diplomatic and political influence of USG will be exerted in support of efforts of UN Rep to achieve fair and equitable and dignified solution so that all in the area can live in peace, security and tranquility.”
- Res itself only provides framework of principles for peace-making efforts. Success in that effort will depend ultimately on parties themselves—spirit in which they receive and work with UN Rep, willingness to reach accommodation, and respect for others’ vital interests and legitimate grievances. Need for good will on both sides extends beyond negotiations themselves to general posture and actions of parties. Policies and actions leading to mistrust and tension in area can be just as detrimental to chances for success as positions taken in negotiations themselves. Posture assumed and policies embraced by govts at Arab Summit very important in this regard.
- Res will not bring instant peace. We do not expect any early or easy success. There is no question of expecting immediate acquiescence by any of the parties. But we do urge all of them to avoid talking intransigent positions, either in private or public, which could close doors to settlement that may now hopefully be opening.
- US has no blueprint for settlement. We continue to believe that, in final analysis, secure, just and lasting peace must rest upon agreements between the parties, whatever form they make take or whatever modalities are used to reach them (i.e. direct negotiations or some form of intermediary). It is only the parties in the last analysis who can determine whether just and lasting peace can be achieved through a settlement which will endure.
- In view of Arab moderate leaders’ helpful role in period leading up to adoption SC res, posts should as appropriate show appreciation for assistance rendered by host govts; Embassies in Arab countries not directly involved should encourage moderate leaders to work toward objective that UN Mission receive fullest possible cooperation from states directly involved.
- FYI. When Jarring comes to area, posts should leave to him initiative in contacts. If he should seek help, they should provide all appropriate assistance in furtherance his mission, referring to Dept for guidance any requests about which they may have some question. He will probably not initiate formal contacts, although we would not expect [Page 23] him to avoid casual contact with American or other officials whom he might meet at social affairs.6
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Deputy Director of the Office of United Nations Political Affairs Arthur R. Day, cleared by Sisco and Brown in UNP, and approved by Battle. Sent to Amman, Beirut, Jidda, Kuwait, Tripoli, Tunis, Rabat, Cairo, Algiers, Khartoum, and Aden, and repeated to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and USUN.↩
- The Embassy in Tel Aviv was instructed on December 9 to urge the Israeli Government to be as forthcoming as possible in dealing with the Jarring Mission. (Telegram 82248 to Tel Aviv; ibid.)↩
- In his November 22 statement before the UN Security Council, Goldberg pledged U.S. support for the Special Representative and urged other nations to make a similar pledge. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1967, pp. 617–618.↩
- Reference is to Security Council Resolution 242.↩
- In a speech before the Department of State Foreign Policy Conference for Educators on June 19, President Johnson outlined five principles for peace in the Middle East which the United States would support. See Department of State Bulletin, July 10, 1967, pp. 31–34.↩
- There is extensive reporting from Cairo, Tel Aviv, Amman, and Beirut on Jarring’s initial efforts to promote a settlement in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Jarring’s efforts through December are summarized in Document 30. Jarring’s initial efforts are also summarized in the report Secretary-General Thant made to the UN Security Council on the Jarring Mission on January 5, 1971. See Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations, Vol. VIII, U Thant, 1968–1971.↩