247. Airgram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State 1

SUBJECT

  • King Faysal Answers President Johnson’s Letter of April 24

REF

Deptel 559;2 Embtels 869;3 9114

A-332

The Embassy forwards as an enclosure to this airgram the original text of a letter from King Faysal to President Johnson dated May 11 acknowledging the President’s letter of April 24.

[Page 478]

Following is the Embassy’s informal translation of this letter:

“His Excellency President Lyndon B. Johnson

Excellency:

Ambassador Hart conveyed to me, upon his return from Washington, Your Excellency’s noble feelings towards this country and its leadership. I thank Your Excellency for your letter expressing your praise for the progress of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom and for its wise exploitation of resources in the service of economic progress which, God willing, will promote the country’s welfare and future.

There is no doubt that an exchange of viewpoints is always useful to attain our joint goal of combatting Communism in the world. The contacts and visits undertaken by responsible officials of your government aid in the attainment of this goal. I was pleased with the recent visit to my country of Mr. Talbot, Assistant Secretary of State. It confirmed to me the extent of Your Excellency’s concern and that of your government for this country which is bound to the U.S. by friendly and historic ties that become increasingly stronger.

It gives me pleasure to hear from Your Excellency that you are concerned with the security and peace of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom, that these are at the forefront of the problems which preoccupy you, and that you sincerely wish to aid the Kingdom in its defense planning and in its economic development.

We are studying with great care the recommendations and suggestions Secretary McNamara sent to Brother Sultan pertaining to the equipment which we need to protect the integrity and security of our country.

Ambassador Hart informed you of the worries which the current situation in Yemen causes us, and which apart from the direct effect on our country, provides a foothold for the growth of doctrines we are both combatting and which also block achievement of a peaceful and just solution bringing peace and security to beloved Yemen.

I am convinced that the policy which the United States of America is following towards our country is dictated by our historical friendship and by our joint desire to combat the spread of Communism in the world. There has not entered our mind for a single moment that the friendly United States of America might initiate any project harmful to our country’s interest.

We also esteem highly the assistance which the USA provides the people of the developing countries if it is spent correctly to raise living standards of peoples inside the frontiers of their countries.

Your Excellency also noted that we have been zealous since armed conflict began in the Yemen to find a solution for this problem in peaceful ways and that we used patience and self control despite the [Page 479]various types of meddling and provocation to which our country has been exposed. We have demonstrated continuously a friendly intent for everyone whose concern was the return of peace and security to Yemen. However, all of these efforts failed to give the desired effect in view of our meeting—as Your Excellency noted—an uncompromising rigidity which kept us from reaching a solution.

It is our firm hope that by continuation of our joint efforts and our continuous contacts, marked by frankness of spirit, we will be able to conquer the difficulties to which the road to a peaceful just solution has been exposed and, by so doing, to strengthen the good relations between our brothers in the region. There would be among its fruitful results the growth of economic development in an atmosphere dominated by peace and stability.

Mr. President, I am happy that this opportunity has been given me to speak with you and to exchange opinions with you in such frankness. This frankness will no doubt have the greatest effect on our joint study of our common aims: resisting Communism and strengthening the historic friendship which binds our two countries.

Wishing health and succor for Your Excellency and progress and prosperity for the people of the United States,

Sincerely,

Faysal

11 Muharram 1385h

11 May 1965”

For the Ambassador:

Richard W. Murphy
Second Secretary of Embassy
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 15-1 US/Johnson. Secret. Drafted by Political Officer Richard W. Murphy, and approved by Deputy Chief of Mission Nicholas G. Thacher. Repeated to Dhahran.
  2. See footnote 1, Document 245.
  3. Dated May 6. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 15 YEMEN)
  4. In telegram 911 from Jidda, May 15, Hart informed the Department that the Embassy was forwarding by pouch the King’s letter in response to the President’s letter of April 24, and commented that the Embassy found the message to be a courteous reaffirmation of Faisal’s basic policy. He noted that the lack of any implied disagreement with U.S. views might be taken as an indication that the King was in a much more relaxed frame of mind than a few weeks earlier when he was much concerned with the possibility of a UAR attack from the south. (Ibid., POL 15-1 US/Johnson)