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

304. Following is oral message from President to be delivered to Faisal by Ambassador Hart following his return to Saudi Arabia December 28.

“Your Majesty:

“Ambassador Hart’s return to Saudi Arabia after a series of fruitful discussions here in Washington concerning your country gives me the opportunity again to express, through him, my personal good wishes and respect. Since assuming office over one year ago, it has been my constant aim to further the harmonious relations that continue to exist between our two countries and to strengthen our personal understanding. I consider the historical and current friendship between our countries and ourselves to be a basic foundation on which our policies in the Near East rest. The frank and friendly messages we have exchanged in the past year have amply sustained our relationship. It has thus been with particular pleasure that I learned of the orderly processes by which you ascended to the throne, with the promise that this brings of a continuation of your wise leadership. The many signs of devotion and loyalty that this move elicited amply attest to the high respect accorded you by your people—a respect which I also share.

“Your reaffirmation of policy at the time of assuming the kingship showed that we both feel a strong concern for preserving a peaceful world in which free peoples may follow their own national destinies. It is clear that we share the objective of halting the spread of Communism by providing individuals throughout the world with clearly superior and freely chosen alternatives. This calls for a continued vigilance in the face of threats to our interests and a measured and responsible use of the powerful implements placed in our hands to meet such threats. With the spread of weapons of mass destruction, I shall need your help and that of all the leaders of the Free World to prevent the outbreak of nuclear war while defending our freedom.

“It is of great importance for the whole world that we also strive to halt strife and bloodshed in specific countries so as to preclude dislocation in these areas from becoming the means by which world Communism extends its area of influence. It was thus with great gratification [Page 459]that I heard of your agreement with President Nasser to mediate between the conflicting groups in Yemen to put an end to the struggle there. I realize, as you do, that a final solution to the Yemen problem must depend on the Yemenis themselves and that with such conflicting interests among them there may arise a series of problems before the end is reached. The great advance in the situation, however, in which your statesmanship has played so great a part, is that a solution now is to be sought by the road of peace, internationally as well as nationally.

“Of equal importance are our efforts to bring the tangible benefits of our national well-being to our individual peoples. Thus it is with great interest that we in this country have been following the progress in your program of economic development and social reform for Saudi Arabia. The efforts to broaden educational opportunities for your people and better enable women to contribute to the general productiveness of the country are ones of which I am especially aware. These problems also occupy much of my time in America. Your success in preserving the fundamental guiding religious principles, while at the same time modernizing social relationships, draws our respect and admiration.

“I have welcomed, Your Majesty, this opportunity again to exchange views with you. I hope you agree that these exchanges are valuable.

“May God keep you and your people and grant you prosperity and peace,

Lyndon B. Johnson

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 15-1 SAUD. Secret. Drafted by Moore; cleared by Davies, Komer, Hart, and Harriman; and approved by Jernegan.