162. Backchannel Message From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to Secretary of State Kissinger1

6. Ref: WH 2537.2

Message delivered in full detail to Kamal Adham noon Sunday.3
Adham responded immediately that U.S.G. attitude was greatly appreciated and that he concurred fully in the Secretary’s definition of the parallel interests which Saudi Arabia and the U.S. share in this matter. He stressed, in addition, that Saudi Arabia has its own strategic reasons for opposing a Soviet puppet regime in Africa that might even go beyond those of the United States, and that it was these factors that would determine how far Saudi Arabia would finally go to support our Angolan friends.
Adham has been advised by President Sadat that a group of Egyptian officers has been sent or is being sent to Angola to assess the military situation on the ground, and to formulate recommendations as to the nature and level of assistance required by the non-Communists. Iran and Saudi Arabia will be advised of the results of this mission.
Saudi Arabia will determine, in concert with Egypt and Iran, how much aid they will send to Angola and how it will be delivered. Adham sent a message to the Shah yesterday or today suggesting that the Shah channel Iranian aid through South Africa, with which the Shah maintains good relations but with which neither Saudi Arabia nor Egypt has any contact.
Adham reiterated his impression, [1½ lines not declassified] that the Zaire regime has a poor record for dependability in the delivery of assistance to the Angolans. His implication was that General Mobutu retains for himself the best of the military equipment and a substantial percentage of financial subsidies. We offered no comment to that appraisial.
Adham promised to keep us informed of Saudi Arabian actions in support of Angola. He acknowledged our willingness to discuss how funds might be channelled most effectively through Zaire, but indicated definitively that he would rather deal with the problem in direct coordination with Sadat and the Shah.4
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 103, Geopolitical File, Angola Chronological File. Secret; Sensitive.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 159.
  3. December 21.
  4. A backchannel message from Kissinger to the Embassy in Jidda, December 21, expressed appreciation for Saudi support and a desire to maintain close coordination among all interested parties to “maximize” their efforts. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Scowcroft Daily Work Files, Box 12, Scowcroft Chronological File (A))