17. Memorandum From President Nixon to his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

I received the New German Ambassador2 and he seems to be personally friendly as we might expect, but beyond that you might check his background and see if he might be a pretty good one to keep in contact with here in Washington. I knew him when he was the second man in the Embassy from 1956 to 1960, and I considered him to be reliable at that time.

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I also received the Ambassador from Singapore. He is an M.D.—Lee Kuan Yew’s personal doctor. He had met me and Mrs. Nixon when we were in Singapore in 1953 and had been greatly impressed by the way Mrs. Nixon had visited hospitals and other charitable institutions, and the way that we both went out to meet people in the slum areas.

What is more important is that he has been Ambassador to Cambodia for four years and a close and intimate friend of Sihanouk. He said that Sihanouk had a very “warm feeling” toward RN based on the two times he had met him in 1953; once when he visited me as Vice President, and again when I made a state visit to Cambodia. He said that Sihanouk based a great number of his policies on purely personal attitudes. I asked him to convey to Sihanouk the next time he wrote him (which I can imagine would be almost immediately!) my warm regards and the hope that at some time in the future we would be able to communicate again.

I give you this background having in mind the fact that this might be the opportunity for me to write a note to Sihanouk. The State Department country desk man was there at the meeting. Check it out and give me a recommendation—preferably a personal letter to Sihanouk—if that does not cross wires with something else.

In the same connection, the Saudi Arabian, Jordanian, Moroccan, Libyan, Tunisian, and other Mid-East Ambassadors were exceedingly cordial at the Diplomatic Reception. It is quite obvious that we start with a lot of good will in this group. We should exploit it to the full at this time.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 341, HAK/Presidential Memorandums, 1969–1970. No classification marking. The memorandum is unsigned.
  2. The President met with German Ambassador Rolf Friedmann Pauls to accept his credentials on January 31 from 3:46 to 5:53 p.m. Just prior to this brief meeting, Nixon accepted the credentials of the Singaporean Ambassador Ernest Steven Montiero. They met from 3:38 to 3:45 p.m. (President’s Daily Diary; ibid., White House Central Files)