20. Telegram Secto 36/581 From Secretary of State Rogers in Morocco to the Department of State1 2

This message summarizes high points of meeting held 9 Feb 1700 hours in Rabat between the Secretary and Algerian Ambassador to Morocco, Amb Osman. The meeting was held at residence of the Moroccan Director of the Royal Cabinet.
Secretary told Ambassador USG is willing to continue working toward improving relations and asked for suggestions Amb might have. Amb replied that when his President came to Rabat, he discussed with King question of his country’s relations with the United States. Earlier today King had said United States attaches no condition to renewal of relations. Amb said he verified this by calling his Foreign Minister. He recalled that in his meeting with the Secy in New York, the Foreign Minister had explained his country had broken off relations for two main reasons: the Middle East and the Far East. On the first score his country would like to see an encouraging initiative on part of U.S. He said GOA believed U.S. should no longer extend unconditional support to Israel. U.S. has interests in the Arab world, it has reasons to lean towards Israel but it must be able to strike a balance. Citing what he thought to be discrepancies between Rogers’ Dec 9 statement and President Nixon’s later message to Jewish leaders, the Amb asked if there were new element.
Secy responded USG would like renew diplomatic relations not in context of East-West relations or our relations to Israel but because we deem it desirable to have relations and feel that Maghreb countries [Page 2] could contribute significantly to this region. But there was no hurry. Steps we had taken so far had been desirable steps to take and we were pleased with them and we were ready to move whenever his country was ready. Secretary pointed out that one could have diplomatic relations with a country without necessarily having to agree with that country on every point. It was important in fact to have diplomatic relations with a country with which one differed. We were hesitant here at the thought that relations would be broken off if there was another disagreement between us.
Concerning the Middle East our sole concern was to bring peace. We had many friends both Arab and Israeli and we were in the uncomfortable position of always being castigated by one or the other. Our policy was contained in the Dec 9 speech. It could not be considered a pro-Israel statement. President Nixon press conference clearly stated Dec 9 speech represented the administration’s policy. Secretary emphasized we opposed Israel’s expansionism and will continue do so. We also opposed to idea Israel may be destroyed and will continue oppose this. Within this framework we want to do everything we can for peace. We doubt the Soviet Union is so inclined itself. The Soviets are doing very well at the moment. They thrive on turmoil and usually gain their objectives in that fashion.
Secy then asked if Vietnam continued to be a problem. The Amb said this no longer the case. They were pleased with Vietnamization program and troop withdrawal and were content that Vietnamese should be left to settle their problems among themselves. He concluded by stressing his country’s desire to cooperate with the United States. His country had many industrial development projects and did not wish to exclude the United States from participation in them. Secy pointed out that USG participation was not easy absence of diplomatic relations but we would help where we could facilitate private enterprise. He asked Amb to transmit his personal regards to the Foreign Minister and express the desire to keep dialogue open.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, ORG 7 S. Secret; Exdis. It was repeated to Rabat.
  2. The telegram summarized the substance of Rogers’ meeting in Rabat with the Algerian Ambassador to Morocco at which Rogers articulated the desire of the U.S. Government to renew diplomatic relations with Algeria and emphasized the U.S. opposition to Israel’s expansionism.