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


  • Appointment for Ambassador Palmer

Secretary Rogers has recommended that you see our Ambassador to Libya, Joseph Palmer, who is here until Friday on consultation. [Memo at Tab A] The Secretary has also transmitted a memorandum for you on recent Soviet arms deliveries to Libya. [Tab B] That issue along with the problems currently facing our oil companies there and the Libyan role in the Mid-East situation are the subjects which Palmer is here to discuss.

As has been mentioned to you previously:

  • - The Libyans may be aiming at establishing a government-owned petroleum production complex. They have already approached several production-related American companies with joint venture schemes giving Libya 51% control.
  • - The Soviets have been shipping arms to Libya (continuing into this week). Revolutionary Command Council head Qadhafi has stated that this represents Libya’s interest in avoiding dependence on any one supplier.
  • - Qadhafi has informally assumed the role of trying to harmonize Arab disunity. Following the meeting he convened of Arab foreign and defense ministers last week, he issued a statement which, in essence, supported everyone, including Nasser and the armed Palestine struggle.

Ambassador Palmer has been thoroughly debriefed in Washington and my staff has talked at length with him. I do not believe that a meeting with you is necessary. The essence of Secretary Rogers’ memo on the Soviet arms shipments was covered in last week’s brief.

Recommendation: That I extend your regrets to Ambassador Palmer.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 739, Country Files, Africa, Libya, Vol. II. Secret. Sent for action. No action indicated, but a note on the covering memorandum indicated that Saunders contacted the Ambassador to express regrets. Tab A is not printed. Tab B is printed as Document 64.
  2. Kissinger recommended that the President reject Secretary of State Rogers’ suggestion for a meeting with Ambassador Joseph Palmer.