229. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Conversation with Aramco Representative

Aramco’s Washington representative, John Pendleton, called me this afternoon to read a telegram which he had received from Aramco’s Vice President Brougham, who is currently visiting Beirut.

Brougham reports a conversation with Saudi Arabian Petroleum Minister Yamani at Beirut airport on 23 May. Yamani is convinced there will be war between the Arabs and Israel. Syria is pushing Nasser toward war and Russia must not resist the Syrians too sharply because Moscow fears Syria is leaning toward Peiping.

Yamani recommends that the US keep hands off this crisis, work through the UN and not try to be a policeman. He disagrees flatly with our position on the Gulf of Aqaba and says that if the US directly supports Israel, Aramco can anticipate being nationalized “if not today, then tomorrow.” If the US does not stay out of this conflict, the US is finished in the Middle East.

[Page 420]

When Brougham asked Yamani why Saudi Arabia would object to our standing up to Nasser, Yamani replied, “We are all Arabs. Your government would be foolish if it does not keep out.”

Harold H. Saunders 2
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, PET 6 SAUD. Secret; Exdis. A note attached to the source text on White House letterhead reads, “May 24, 1967 To: S/S, Mr. Ben Read From: Bromley Smith FYI.” A note on the source text by Harold Saunders reads, “President From—.”
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.