102. Telegram Secto 25/738 From Secretary of State Rogers in Morocco to the Department of State1 2

Following highlights private meeting between King Hassan and Secy preceding luncheon at guest palace Mon, Feb 9.

King recalled his long acquaintance with Pres. Nixon saying they first met when both had served as, in effect, VP’s of their respective countries. King hoped relationship would continue now that they were both chiefs of state. Secy extended invitation to King to visit Washington saying that while the Secy visit to Rabat was useful there no substitute for direct meetings between chiefs of state.
In discussing Middle East and Mediterranean, King said US Sixth Fleet had always been in Mediterranean but Israeli-Arab war furnished Russians with the alibi they needed to put in their own ships. Hassan said if there were no war Russian presence could be removed. In further comments on Palestinian problem, King characterized Arab chiefs of state as having acted like “bookmakers” each playing Palestinian “horses”. Now Palestinians have said Israel-Palestinian issue for Palestinians to resolve, not Nasser, Hussein or Syria. Palestinians say this is not war of 100 million Arabs against 2 1/2 million Jews but 1 1/2 million Palestinians who want return to their country and enjoy equal rights with Palestinians of Jewish faith. Yasser Arafat had said at Arab summit there 1 1/2 million Moslem Palestinians and 2 1/2 [Page 2] million Jewish Palestinians and he willing follow democratic rules but Israel must abandon form of apartheid which it calls Zionism. Hassan said he had many Jewish friends who returned from Israel disgusted with that country’s extreme Zionist attitude. King said no Arab state could conclude any treaty as long as fate of 1 1/2 million Palestinians not resolved. King pointed out negotiations characterizing great international problems as in US-ChiCom talks, FRG talks re Poland, US–USSR SALT talks, etc.,and said same should be possible in Middle East. He said economy of Israel non existent. Country lives on gifts from US-Jewish communities.
King said he did not expect those who made war to make peace. He placed hopes on young generation Israelis and was ready to meet with some Israelis his age for whom this not a war of religion. King had no faith in implementation UN resolution Nov 1967 and felt US and Sovs in present spirit rapproachment should try eliminate this one focus possible conflict.
Turning to North Africa King said he viewed with deep concern events in Libya knowing that upon Idris death monarchy would end there. He admitted error in timing but said result was anticipated. He said event controlled by Nasser and two ideologies at play—Nasser and Baath Party’s. King said if he were gangster like Nasser he would bypass Tunisia. This like holding up a small town bank but rather he would prefer grab Algeria and spread into Tunisia and Morocco. King told Secy Boumediene a very wise leader and aware this possible tactic. King said it painful to think that Nasser now using Libyan resources to finance his future subversions.
At summit meeting, Algeria said quote we will stop arming ourselves, we are ready to give half our weapons to Egypt as we no longer have problems with Morocco. What differences are left we can settle amicably. Unquote. Morocco had said the same. King warned that one should not equate Algerian spirit of resistance where national cohesiveness achieved by students and unions with Libya where there were no trade unions, no political parties, no students, no sense of national unity and only 1 1/2 million population. Secy assurred Hassan we aware Nasser’s and Sovs intentions in Libya and would continue watch situation most carefully.
King concluded comments on Algeria by saying basicially he [Page 3] thought Algeria wanted two things: (1) resumption oil talks and (2) review of aid policies.
Secy said we would continue support Spanish Sahara and King expressed his appreciation for USG support under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. In response to question King said he thought Spanish situation in Africa might improve as Spanish FonMin more amenable than his predecessor.
Tunis 0735 reports brief discussion King Hassan on US aid.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, ORG 7 S. Secret; Priority; Exdis. It was repeated to Rabat. Rogers was in Morocco February 7–9.
  2. This telegram transmitted an account of Rogers’ February 9 meeting with Prime Minister Laraki in Rabat. At this meeting, participants focused their discussion on the Spanish Sahara, Algeria, and, especially, peace in the Middle East.