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

5704. Subj: King Faisal’s Letter to the President. Ref: A) Jidda 5663; B) State 236510.2

Omar Saqqaf gave me this morning a letter from the King to the President. It follows by immediate cable.3 He said he had drafted it and he pointed out several points he considered significant.
He said the tone was warm and friendly and he hoped the President would understand how much the King appreciated the actions taken by you and the President.
Saqqaf said the last paragraph’s reference to the “storm clouds” lifting early next year meant that the boycott would be lifted and September production levels restored, as early as January, when the Arabs can see that progress toward peace is being made. He said this would be when disengagement begins or even is announced.
Finally he asked me to remind you that he had given his word to work toward a lifting of the boycott on the basis of what you are trying to accomplish. He said he was in no way disappointed in what you have done already and he, on his side, was still working toward the same goal. But, he said, the King was difficult. At times he thought the King wanted to lift the boycott immediately; at other times he seemed morose, disspirited and hostile. In any case, he said that Sadat had told you not to expect any action on the oil front yet (reftel) and therefore neither you nor I could be disappointed by his failure to move the Arabs to lift the boycott now.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1298, Saunders Files, Saudi Arabia, 9/1–12/31/73. Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Cherokee.
  2. For telegram 5663, see footnote 1, Document 258. Telegram 236510 has not been found.
  3. Faisal’s letter to Nixon, December 25, is in telegram 5705 from Jidda, December 26. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 139, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Dec 73–Feb 74)