173. Telegram From the U.S. Interests Section of the Spanish Embassy in the United Arab Republic to the Department of State1

2421. 1. In meeting today with FonMin Riad, latter, after receiving President’s May 13 to Nasser2 and oral message from Battle,3 made lengthy presentation re Jarring’s next steps and UAR ideas re “time-table.”

2. Riad picked up language in both President’s and Battle’s messages re UAR communication to Jarring of May 9.

3. Riad said he did not attach too much substance to another piece of paper added to Jarring Mission. Jarring’s own formula already subject to three interpretations: UAR’s, Israel’s and Jarring’s. He had given note to Jarring because Jarring said it would be helpful and because he wanted to show that UAR could play with words just as adroitly as could Israel. “Eban gives an interview to Le Monde, I can give an interview to Le Monde.” If present situation continued, Jarring would move to New York and game of words would continue. El Kony would merely read Jarring telegrams from Cairo and Tekoah would doubtless pass on messages from Tel Aviv.

4. Something new must be added, said Riad. GUAR felt timetable was the answer. Riad made it clear that timetable proposal had no elements of “imposition” in it. He views it as a catalyst to get meaningful discussion going. He feels that if Jarring, or big powers, or single country, or group of countries could propose timetable for implementation of resolution, then UAR and Israel would be in position comment on it, state what is acceptable, what is not and in this way finally arrive at an agreed settlement. He thinks process of negotiating out timetable would probably take months. But end result would be “accepted settlement” and peace in the Middle East which GUAR strongly desired. While this process of establishing agreed timetable was being carried out, continued Riad, it would be natural for Jarring to advise and consult with SC members and UNSYG as well as parties. Riad made it clear that process would not succeed without fullest support from USG.

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5. Riad said UAR continued maintain its position it would not negotiate in same room with Israel. “Separate rooms,” he said. Nor would it sign a piece of paper with Israel. “We have learned not to trust Israel signature.”

6. This is where ultimate role of SC or great power guarantee came in. Once timetable established by process of discussion and bargaining set forth above, either SC or great powers should guarantee the result.

7. I thanked FonMin for his lucid exposition which, I said, cleared up a number of questions in my mind. I would report thrust of his remarks as accurately as I could and I was certain USG would take considerable interest in them.

8. Comment: I find considerable movement in UAR position as set forth above. I think we should express interest in UAR ideas and seek clarification and enlargement. I believe this movement is emanating from Nasser and Riad personally. It is quite possible that neither Kony or Ghorbal are being kept fully up-to-date. For that reason, would hope that any further discussion of UAR “timetable” proposal be confined to Cairo for time being. Mohamed Riad leaving tomorrow for two weeks in Rome thence four weeks New York. He has made effective liaison arrangements for me at FonOff during period his absence. Moreover, I see no difficulty in my seeing FonMin again if Dept thinks would be useful.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Amman, Tel Aviv, and USUN.
  2. See Document 171.
  3. Not further identified.