297. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

1604. Subj: Amb. Scali’s Visit to Secretary General Kurt Waldheim Concerning US Vessel Mayaguez. Ref: State 112089.2

Waldheim promised to contact Cambodian authorities immediately in line with USG request. He said he would call PRC Representative to his office immediately to relay appeal through him. A second appeal would be made via open cable to Phnom Penh, similar to that device he used successfully to seek Cambodian help for first convoy of foreign evacuees.
Waldheim appears to recognize seriousness of situation. He broke off meeting with UN Representatives forced to leave Cambodia who were reporting on what he described as “awful” conditions now existing in Phnom Penh.
Waldheim said Sihanouk is useless channel in his view because Sihanouk’s representatives are seeking information from UN officials about conditions in Cambodia.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Nodis; Immediate.
  2. Telegram 112089 to USUN, May 14, 1718Z, transmitted a letter for Waldheim requesting his assistance in the U.S. diplomatic efforts to free the Mayaguez and American citizens. The letter also informed him that the U.S. Government reserved the “right to take such measures as may be necessary to protect the lives of American citizens and property, including appropriate measures of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter.” (Ibid.)