71. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France1

174416. Subject: Message for Sauvagnargues.

1. Please transmit the following message to Foreign Minister Sauvagnargues:

“Dear Jean:

I understand that, as a result of the several discussions between Director of Economic Affairs Froment-Meurice and Under Secretary Robinson during the past few days,2 we appear to have resolved the remaining questions regarding resumption of the producer/consumer dialogue. I have also learned from Under Secretary Robinson that, although the Algerians continue to hold some reservations regarding the plan, they are now prepared to support our initiative on this basis.3

To avoid any possible misunderstanding we reconfirm our willingness to proceed with this dialogue—and have also obtained agreement from most of the key participants in the original Group of Ten—on the basis of the four-stage approach outlined below:

1. The Group of Ten which met in Paris in April to reconvene again in Paris on October 6 for a meeting to establish the basis for selection of an additional seventeen participants, thereby expanding the group to twenty-seven. Eight would be from the industrialized nations and nineteen from developing nations, of which eight will be members of OPEC. The industrialized and developing nations will each select their additional members on a basis assuring a properly representative expanded group.

The Group of Ten will also agree on the formation of three commissions to deal with the problems of (A) energy, (B) other commodities, and (C) development—each with not more than fifteen participants selected from the group of twenty-seven.

In addition, the Group of Ten will select the site for the meeting of the enlarged Group of Twenty-Seven, presumably Geneva or Paris, and the chairman for that meeting which could be from a [Page 248] neutral country, or a revolving arrangement acceptable to the Group of Ten.

2. The Group of Twenty-Seven will meet thirty to sixty days later at the site selected and after the additional seventeen participants have been selected and formally invited. This will be a short two-day meeting at Ministerial level. Its primary objective will be to confirm the decisions reached at the Group of Ten meeting for establishment of (A) three separate commissions, (B) brief guidelines for commission work, and (C) reporting-back procedures.

3. The three commissions will be formed on the basis previously agreed by the Group of Ten. Industrialized and developing nations will each select their representatives on these commissions approximately preserving the eight-to-nineteen relationship within the group of twenty-seven. General criteria reflecting degree of direct involvement in the subject matters of each commission will be applied in this selection process with the understanding that the results must be generally acceptable to the group of twenty-seven. Each commission will maintain a free exchange of information with the other commissions and with other international fora as considered appropriate by each commission.

Any of the three commissions may establish a sub-commission for consideration of monetary and financial matters related to its subject area.

4. The Group of Twenty-Seven will reconvene again at Ministerial level after twelve months from the launching of the commissions to receive progress reports from all three commissions. This will be a two-day meeting with the understanding that there will be no substantive debate. At this meeting consideration will be given to possible future action on the part of any or all of the commissions.

In addition, we are in agreement on the status of observers, with both OPEC and IEA invited to sit behind a single plate labeled “observers” at the Group of Ten meeting with the understanding that no observer will speak. There will be no observers at the meetings of the Group of Twenty-Seven, but both OPEC and IEA will be invited to participate in energy commission meetings with the right to speak.

You and I have worked together intimately with a mutual desire to see a resumption of the dialogue for which you served as host at the initial Prepcon in Paris last April. In this spirit and with the same desire to maintain the close cooperation between us, we would support your issuance of a letter to the members of the Group of Ten which contains the terms of the plan outlined above on which we are now agreed, and which makes clear that its acceptance by all participants is a condition for issuance of invitations to a reconvened meeting. We share your conviction that there must be a commitment to this plan in advance to [Page 249] avoid confusion which could threaten the success of this meeting. Our detailed bilateral discussions with key participants could be helpful in guiding this approach to avoid unnecessary problems. I hope that you and I will continue to maintain close and continuing contact as this important process evolves. Warmest regards. Henry A. Kissinger.”

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P850038–1826. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Drafted by Robinson; cleared by Sonnenfeldt, Enders, Hartman, and Preeg; and approved by Kissinger.
  2. The July 24 conversation between Robinson and Froment-Meurice is summarized in a July 24 memorandum from the Under Secretary to Kissinger. (Ibid., P830152–1204)
  3. Telegram 1640 from Algiers, July 21, contains an account of Robinson’s meeting with Boumediene. (Ibid., Central Foreign Policy Files P860035–0233)