342. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1

384. Asst Secy Cleveland briefed Al-Ainy today on SYG’s talks with Dept on Yemen problem (Deptel 785 to Cairo),2 stressing that SYG prepared to set up UN presence in Yemen to succeed UNYOM if YARG wants it. US believes small UN presence could help (1) improve SAG-UAR relations, (2) find solutions YAR-UK-South Arabian Federation problems, and (3) find formula for reconciliation within Yemen. This would be in interests of YARG and peace of area generally.

In reply Al-Ainy’s questions, Cleveland said mission would be small, with somebody like Spinelli in charge and with only such assistants and communications staff as required. He explained such presence would be in traditional pattern for which there now many precedents. Might be funded either out of regular UN budget or by YARG. (Al-Ainy said YARG earlier had refused to pay for observers, but Cleveland noted new mission would be much less expensive.) In order to establish UN mission there no need for SC approval or big debate on Yemen question.

Al-Ainy noted this fine occasion for UN to help, but referred to need for overall solution. “We optimistic” for solution of UAR-SAG problem at Sept Arab summit meeting, he said. As for problem with UK, he recalled he told SYG and Asst Secy Talbot YARG would accept UN observers “and even demarcation of border according to 1934 treaty” if UK will recognize YARG and assure self-determination for people of South Arabia. (Deptel 55 to USUN, 10 to Taiz)3 He represented this position as important concession by Yemen.

He continued however that SYG had told him UK will not recognize YARG unless latter recognizes SAF. He observed: “How can we recognize SAF? It isn’t state. UK doesn’t recognize it.”

[Page 649]

Cleveland said purpose of UN is to provide lubrication for solution and establishing UN presence should not be considered as part of substance of problem. As far as UN concerned, there no problem of recognition. As for second YARG condition—self-determination for South Arabia—YARG must negotiate this with UK. He then inquired about YARG-UK talks in NY. Al-Ainy said UK talked about observers, but YARG would only accept observers as part of overall solution. He added: since UK won’t recognize YARG without our recognition of SAF, “I have no instructions to continue talks.”

Cleveland said USG would not urge SYG to send observers if YARG doesn’t want them, but concluded problem won’t be settled by silence and this showed need for UN presence to help bring all sides together.

Al-Ainy said he would refer to YARG and also discuss with SYG.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 27-14 YEMEN/UN. Confidential. Drafted by Campbell, cleared in draft by Moore and Buffum, and approved by Cleveland. Also sent to Taiz and repeated to Cairo, Jidda, and London.
  2. Telegram 785 to Cairo, August 10, reported that U Thant informed the Department on August 6 that Nasser told him during the Organization of African Unity (OAU) meeting that UNYOM’s dissolution might make Saudi Arabia unhappy, but not the United Arab Republic. Nasser also said unequivocally that UAR troops would remain in Yemen; they could not pull out in face of the evidence of continued Saudi aid to the Royalists. The Secretary-General stated that he could envisage establishment of a UN presence to take UNYOM’s place if the Yemeni Government requested it. (Ibid.) The meeting of the OAU Heads of State was held at Cairo, July 17-21, 1964.
  3. Document 341.