159. Memorandum from the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2


  • Heroin Suppression: Excellent French Cooperation

Following your exchange of letters with French President Pompidou in November, French cooperation with us on the heroin problem has been outstanding. In mid-December the first meeting of a US-French Task Force on Narcotics was held in Paris. The joint Task Force plans to meet every three months alternating between Paris and Washington. However, the next meeting is advanced to February-at French suggestion-so that gains could be recorded prior to President Pompidou’s visit. At the Paris meeting the French agreed:

  • --to increase their narcotics suppression staff in Marseilles and to double it in three months;
  • --to join in joint scientific efforts to detect laboratories;
  • --to have a joint training seminar this spring;
  • --to establish a permanent office of the French police in New York City to deal with narcotics distribution.

An additional important result of the Paris meeting was French agreement to join with us in efforts to reduce the opium problem in Turkey. In the last few days the French Government has instructed the French Ambassador in Ankara to tell the Turks about their deep concern over the illegal flow of narcotics from Turkey into France, and to advise the Turkish Government that the French support US efforts to help Turkey eliminate the poppy cultivation. To ensure better cooperation and liaison, the French Director of Central Police will visit Turkey in early January. Finally, the French Ambassador has been told to harmonize all French actions in Turkey concerning narcotics with the American Ambassador.

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In short, the fact of your personal interest in this problem, as well as the general improvement in Franco-American relations, has worked to our great advantage. President Pompidou is clearly building a record of excellent cooperation with us on this problem.

I understand that Pat Moynihan is planning to give a selected press backgrounder to emphasize that your Administration is the first to have made narcotic suppression a factor of foreign policy. The timing would seem propitious: as a follow-on to your narcotics conference with the Governors, and as a partial preview to the Pompidou visit in February.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. Confidential. Sent for information.
  2. Kissinger characterized French cooperation on the heroin trafficking problem as “outstanding” following the Nixon-Pompidou exchange of messages and provided examples of improved cooperation.