345. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1

8369. Subject: UARG reaction to USG reaction.

UAR PermRep El Kony called on Amb Wiggins Dec 9 to convey message from FonMin Riad. El-Erian, Mohammed Riad and Amb Buffum present.
Translating from statement drafted in third person, El Kony read four points:
FonMin surprised at USG reaction of disappointment to his memo2 replying to seven points Secretary raised with him.
FonMin regrets he cannot agree with US that UAR memo will not help Jarring because latter has informed Egyptians to contrary.
USG reaction will not be helpful to US-UAR dialogue.
It has been hoped this dialogue would promote understanding but now it seems it might create misunderstanding.
El Kony added his own hope that after further study of memo US would have different reaction from our initial one. Wiggins said if memo helps Jarring, that is good. Certainly early sections of memo (which El Kony called historical expose) look backward rather than forward. Perhaps we were expecting too much in a tragic situation which moves so painfully slow. If memo does prove to be helpful element, we will gladly admit our reaction to it was wrong.
Buffum inquired whether UAR memo envisages no settlement without Syria being part of it. Mohammed Riad declared principle of withdrawal underlies everything. While issues of Canal and Tiran Strait can be separated out as UAR-Israel bilateral problems, principle of withdrawal is common problem for UAR, Jordan and Syria. Wiggins pointed out that this brings situation back to basic impasse. Buffum suggested Riad’s explanation seems something like adding apples and pears because Syria has not accepted Res 242. El Kony expressed view that if principle of withdrawal is recognized fully, other issues would fall in place.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 1 UAR-US. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Amman, Tel Aviv, and Cairo.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 337.