179. Telegram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State1

2980. Subj: SAG/YAR Campaign Against PRSY. Ref: Sanaa 91.2

[less than 1 line not declassified] during recent SAGYAR talks SAG expressed interest in supporting efforts to overthrow PRSY regime so long as flosy not involved in these efforts. Further informed that YAR delegation suggested weakening PRSY on economic front by gradually diverting all North Yemeni imports from Aden to Saudi ports and that SAG sufficiently interested in this proposal to offer Saudi subsidy to offset added transportation costs resulting from use of Saudi ports for this purpose.
Our information on activities former SAL Sultans and extent of Saudi support for them at moment sketchy. As addressees aware, SAG until early 1969 was actively supporting dissident activities centering on ex-Sultans and tribes loyal to them against PRSY regime. Since these undertakings aborted, our impression is that Saudis have been “keeping” [Page 556] some ex-Sultans but not giving them sufficient support to permit their playing active dissident political role. Situation could well have changed in last few days. Will seek to gather harder information.
Comment: SAG/PRSY hostility matter of public record and Saudis would no doubt welcome any opportunity to undermine present South Yemen regime. We agree, however, with U.S. Interests Section, Sanaa, that YAR would do well to tend to internal problems at this moment and further feel that SAG would be well advised to concentrate on more pressing and promising matters such as solidifying newly established relations with YAR.3 PRSY regime most likely to fall from own weight, or lack of it, and Saudi-North Yemeni activities against it could well prolong its survival and boomerang to harm SAG and YAR.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL SAUD–YEMEN. Secret. It was repeated to Sanaa.
  2. Telegram 91 from Sanaa, July 31, passed on the rumors that Saudi Arabia was financing a new FLOSY operation, noting “Ironic indeed that FLOSY, once Nasser’s weapon against UK in Aden, might serve Saudis against NLF.” (Ibid., POL 33 SYEMEN)
  3. Saudi Arabia recognized the Yemen Arab Republic on July 23.