247. Telegram From the Embassy in Libya to the Department of State 1

288. Ref: State 213238.2

During audience with King June 21, I expressed deep regret that false charges against US and UK of collusion with Israel were threatening significant relationships of mutual value.3 I mentioned particularly oil and our desire see flow commence. He said stopping production particularly regrettable. He had told government so, but government had said in present situation it best stop production as temporary measure for appearances sake. He said he regretted if government had not consulted first with Ambassadors of countries concerned.
King made it plain this is matter he has left to government and, although vital interests involved, he is not, for moment, likely step in.
Meanwhile there are reports cabinet, which met June 20, is trying to prepare public for positive decision on oil in near future. Libyan radio has been laying groundwork in broadcast June 20 which stressed degree of Libya’s sacrifice in comparison with other oil producing states.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, PET 17–1 LIBYA. Confidential; Immediate. Repeated to London and Paris for OECD. Passed to the White House, DOD, CIA, USIA, NSA, COMAC, CINCSTRIKE, and USUN.
  2. In telegram 213238 to Tripoli, June 20, the Department noted that the Ambassador should specifically mention oil during his meeting with the King: “In your audience with the King, be sure impress upon him our concern at failure to resume oil production and export. We appreciate Libyan statement that they wish avoid singling out US and UK, but it is clearly in interest of Libya resume at least to Western Europe. Of course we would like all exports resume soonest.” (Ibid.)
  3. A similar message was passed to the Esso representative for transmission to Libya: “With regard to the charges of aggression levied against the US, the USG has categorically denied the charges and wishes to assure Libya of their complete falseness. Furthermore, the USG has invited an impartial UN investigation of these charges. This invitation has not been taken up, not even by the state that originated the charges.” (Telegram 212867 to Tripoli, June 20; ibid., POL ARAB–US)