239. Message From Saudi Minister of Petroleum Yamani to Secretary of State Kissinger1

[Omitted here is information unrelated to oil.]

“The oil picture is not as dim as I had previously indicated. I am personally hopeful that something can be done—both here in Saudi Arabia to change the attitudes of senior officials and also later with the Arab oil producing countries. I realize that it is not easy at the present time for you or any other official in the United States to give a public statement favorable to the Arabs. However, something in this line would be very helpful to our efforts. In this respect I am refering to a statement regarding implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and, specifically, withdrawal from occupied Arab territories.”

2.
Dr. Yamani stated that the message above contained the complete oral message which he wished passed to Dr. Kissinger. In a discussion which followed however, he made a number of additional comments. He stated that a meeting to which he was going shortly with the King had been called to attempt to obtain the King’s approval to take certain steps which would ease somewhat the Saudi Embargo and oil reduction. He said that a complete reversal of steps already taken was out of the question, but that it might be possible to take some steps which would modify the position. If successful in his efforts with the King, Yamani then plans to call a meeting of the organization of Arab petroleum exporting countries (OAPEC) to investigate what could be done to ease the situation.
3.
Yamani said that the major problem facing him was the fact that the King was so terribly angry at the United States that it will be difficult to get his approval to proceed. As he has done with others earlier, Yamani almost plaintively lamented that the United States had failed to get the Saudi message given repeatedly over the last six months or a year regarding Saudi actions if the U.S. did not change its pro-Israeli policies. He again said that a complete lifting of the embargo [Page 678]was impossible at this time and that the United States would have to pay the price of her support to her Israeli friends.
4.
Yamani said that “if given the green light by the King” he would depart Riyadh at 1700 hours local time this evening 11 November for Beirut. He would plan to remain in Beirut until Tuesday or Wednesday2 when he would proceed to Geneva, apparently for the OAPEC meeting if one is to be held.

[Omitted here is information unrelated to oil.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 139, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Nov–Dec 1973. Secret; Sensitive. The message was transmitted to Kissinger who was in traveling in the Far East. On November 16, Kissinger responded that he appreciated Yamani’s message and wished him and Faisal to know that “I cannot promise sudden and dramatic developments,” although he would continue to work toward a step-by-step achievement of peace. (Ibid.)
  2. November 13 and 14.