278. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Ethiopia1

592. Embtel 666.2 In lieu formal message at this time desire you seek audience HIM Jan. 23 or earliest possible moment. Primary occasion [Page 489] might be presentation autographed photo of HIM with President pouched Addis January 18. Inscription reads “I hope for the benefit of your counsel and for the continued cooperation of our two countries.” You should indicate President desires convey his concern to HIM over situation in East Africa (specifically current Tanganyika and Zanzibar situations) which poses threat to stability of regimes elsewhere on continent view apparently successful use violence to achieve political ends. Should state President would greatly value HIM’s views and desires exchange information with HIM because of their common interest in orderly development independent, moderate, and politically stable African states. In context of this expression President’s interest, desire you obtain HIM’s advice and counsel re most recent African developments, particularly Zanzibar coup, Tanganyika situation and chances peaceful settlement Algerian-Moroccan dispute as result upcoming meeting Bamako Commission.

During this tour d’horizon desire you also present orally points in supplemental aide-memoire contained separate message (incorporating points contained Deptel 557)3 assuring HIM (a) US keenly aware problems IEG faces in Ogaden; (b) in initial aide-memoire4 on subject military assistance US sought, in spirit frankness, outline certain problems requiring further action and study. We did not intend convey negative impression and are providing Fonoff supplemental aide-memoire; (c) we working intensively to develop possible answers to problem for IEG consideration; and (d) that IEG and HIM should have no doubt regarding value US attaches to Ethiopia and President’s personal interest in Ethiopia as evidenced by your request for audience. FYI—Elaboration point (c) above will be contained in separate message to Embassy hopefully within 24 hours.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 32–1 ETH–SOM. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Blake and Newsom on January 20; cleared by George L. Warren of G/PM, AFI Politico-Military Adviser Eric E. Oulashin, Muller, Colonel Heffner in DOD/ISA, Harriman, and Brubeck; and approved by Williams. Repeated to Mogadiscio and POLAD CINCSTRIKE/CINCMEAFSA, and to Asmara.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 276.
  3. Telegram 557 to Addis Ababa, January 10, instructed the Ambassador to express the U.S. conviction that a massive military build-up was not the solution to Ethiopia’s problems and to suggest talks on the military level to review how Ethiopian resources might be more effectively mobilized. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 19 US–ETH)
  4. Not printed.