224. Message From Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
[Omitted here is information unrelated to oil policy.] Prince Fahd’s oral message follows.2
2. “As I see the situation at this moment, the United States and Saudi Arabia share four clear-cut objectives:
- Stop the fighting as soon as possible;
- Achieve through negotiation a just long-term solution that will bring permanent peace to the area;
- Accomplish the above in a manner whereby the Soviet Union achieves the absolute minimum of advantage;
- Create conditions in which Arab confidence in the United States is restored sufficiently to enable a prompt return of its oil production and removal of the embargo on oil for the United States.
“In the period following the end of hostilities, when the political phase begins, Saudi Arabia will enjoy very considerable influence within the Arab community because of its position of primacy where oil is concerned, and because of the widely recognized importance to the industrialized nations of a prompt return to normal patterns of production and distribution. Saudi Arabia is more than anxious to use this influence in positive and helpful ways to help bring about an immediate ceasefire by all combatants, first of all, and then in the construction of a viable post-war settlement. However, I feel that I can tell you very frankly and in confidence, in the spirit of friendship which we share, that my Government is going to be most hesitant and even reluctant to use its influence until and unless we are convinced that the intentions of the United States and the Soviet Union in their joint initiative3 is truly to implement Security Council Resolution 242 “in all its parts.” We know that the Israelis have their own interpretation of Security Council Resolution 242 that would be far from acceptance to ourselves and to the other Arabs. Can you advise me of exactly how [Page 627] the United States and the Soviet Union have presently agreed to interpret the phrase “in all its parts?” Until we can be confident that the United States and the Soviet Union truly intend jointly to uphold the inadmissability of the acquisition of territory by force, we lack the means by which to persuade our friends that acceptance and immediate implementation of the present resolution is in the Arab interests.
“Again as a friend, I feel it is important that the United States realize two additional very important things about Saudi Arabia’s position:
- The embargo on oil for the United States will continue in force as long as Israel occupies Arab territory beyond its borders as they existed before the June 1967 war.4
- King Faysal will be very hard to please on the question of Jerusalem. His inclination to help actively in the present situation will depend in large measure on the attitude of the United States regarding Jerusalem. It would be helpful to receive clear reaffirmation as soon as possible of the historic position of the United States on this issue.”
[3 lines not declassified]
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 139, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Nov–Dec 1973. Secret; Sensitive.↩
- Prince Fahd’s message was without the approval or specific knowledge of King Faisal. Telegram 4672 from Jidda, October 23, related a conversation between the President of ARAMCO and Yamani and contains similar information. (Ibid., Box 630, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Vol. IV)↩
- Reference is to the joint U.S.-Soviet proposal for a cease-fire that was the basis for UN Security Council Resolution 338.↩
- On October 20 in Amman, Saudi Arabia announced that it would stop all oil exports to the United States, following Libya’s October 19 announcement that it would cut off exports of all crude oil and petroleum products to the United States.↩