326. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia1

32413. For the Ambassador from the Secretary. Subject: Oil Boycott.

You have done all that can be done up to this point, and we will now hear out Fahmy and Saqqaf. You should take no further initiative at this point with the Saudis.
You report that Adham and Prince Saud want to see you on Sunday.2 You should say to them that obviously what has been conveyed [Page 910] to us, including the various options which Adham indicated,3 will be studied carefully and we will be in further touch with them. Therefore, you should avoid getting yourself involved in any negotiation, or further plea on the embargo, or giving weight to one option or another. You should get across to them that while various ideas they have explored with you obviously represent an attempt to be helpful, the fact is that outcome of Algiers conference raises serious questions which will require careful consideration. Your approach should be more in sorrow than in anger, reiterating gingerly results at Algeria playing into Israeli hands, and not raising or pressing them on the embargo any further.
Information addressees should not discuss any of these matters with host governments unless and until you receive guidance from us.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 631, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Vol. V. Secret; Niact; Immediate; Cherokee; Nodis. Drafted by Sisco; cleared by Eaglelburger; and approved by Atherton. Repeated to Cairo, Algiers, and Beirut to pass to Damascus for Scotes.
  2. February 17.
  3. The options discussed in the February 16 meeting were described in telegram 766 from Jidda, February 16: 1) the boycott is not lifted, the United States announces that peace efforts have ended, and makes threatening sounds toward Syria, 2) the boycott is maintained, the peace effort stops, and no announcement is made, 3) Saudi Arabia lifts the embargo unilaterally and the peace effort goes forward at a later date, 4) Saudi Arabia lifts the boycott unilaterally and the United States announces that Kissinger is leaving for the Middle East to start intensive talks on the Syrian-Israeli disengagement, and 5) Kissinger visits the Middle East secretly, and then announcements are made from Riyadh that the peace effort will continue and the boycott is lifted. The Saudis approved only of options 4 and 5. Both Kamal Adham and Prince Saud said the United States had to do something in other Arab countries, particularly Kuwait and Algeria. See footnote 5, Document 325.