229. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia 1

759. Embtel 10822 and Cirtel 2210.3 Following is letter from President to Prince Faisal for delivery by Ambassador. Ambassador should draw on appropriate portions of Cirtel 2210 in supplementary oral exposition of USG assessment of Khrushchev’s visit to UAR:

“Your Highness:

“Secretary Rusk has spoken to me of his satisfaction at his recent meeting with your Deputy Foreign Minister. He noted that your able emissary expressed your concern over various aspects and implications of Mr. Khrushchev’s recent visit to the UAR. We have now had an opportunity to assess the import of this visit, which I wish lo share with you in all candor.

“The Soviet Union has achieved a short-run propaganda advantage but I do not for a moment believe that Khrushchev’s visit has appreciably [Page 445]enhanced—or will enhance—Soviet influence in the area. On the contrary, by his own statements he has spotlighted the fundamental incompatibility between the Communist concept of class unity and the Arab doctrine of national unity. His disparaging remarks on Arab unity have not gone unnoticed by the very Arab nationalists whom he has sought to befriend. He blundered by attacking Kuwait.

“It is true that the UAR has found a temporary coincidence of interest with the Soviet Union. Since the USSR is helping to build the High Dam, the UAR could hardly deny Khrushchev a visit to the celebration. Nevertheless whatever Nasser’s own ambitions in the Arab World may be, he hardly desires to share them with Khrushchev. The UAR continues to ban Communism in Egypt and I suspect will continue to recognize the advantages of seeking to maintain good relations with other Arab stales. Nasser, still desiring good relations with the United States, has given no indication whatsoever of moving into the Soviet camp. I have asked Ambassador Hart to give you a more detailed account of our assessment of the Soviet threat in the Near East.

“While you and I may not entirely agree on the best way to deal with certain other forces in the area, we stand firmly together in a mutual desire to combat Communism and Soviet penetration, and to live in freedom. As you know, we are dealing with the Soviet problem constantly, intimately and on a worldwide basis; it is currently our primary concern.

“We are resolved as ever to stand solidly and steadfastly beside our valued friends in the area, including Saudi Arabia. I have the highest regard for Your Highness’ firm and enlightened leadership and have been impressed by the course of reform you are charting for Saudi Arabia. This is the true road to national unit)’ and strength. As you proceed on this course, you may be assured of full United States support. Progress for the benefit of all the people is the best insurance against the spread of extremist doctrines in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the Arab world.

“With regard to events occurring in South Arabia, I am both disturbed and encouraged. I am disturbed at the pressures being placed on the British position in Aden to which we attach considerable importance. Yet I cannot refrain from pointing out that you and we, by a policy rather different from the British, greatly reduced the immediate threat to Saudi Arabia from the same source. I am encouraged at signs that the Yemeni republican leaders are now seeking actively to widen their popular support and are continuing to express a desire for peaceful relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. I would urge your Government to take special note of these developments.

“We stand by our commitment to obtain the disengagement of foreign forces from Yemen. We shall continue our efforts. The process has been slow but I remain confident of ultimate success. Meanwhile, [Page 446]I know I can count on your characteristic patience, forbearance and magnanimity.

“I wish you success and send you my warm personal regards. May God keep you and the Saudi people and grant you peace.”

FYI: Re possible discussion of USG confrontation with SovBloc in key world trouble spots (suggested reftel), you might wish draw Faisal’s attention to fact that Dept gave Saqqaf two-hour briefing this subject and latter may wish give Faisal report. If you wish have further material. Department happy to provide. End FYI.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 7 USSR. Secret. Drafted by Seelye; cleared by Davies, Curtis F. Jones, and Komer; and approved by Jernegan.
  2. Dated May 22. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated May 27. (Ibid.)