12. Memorandum From Harold Horan of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1 2

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SUBJECT:

  • Visit to Sahel by Mrs. Nixon

Four of our six posts have responded to our query about the advisability of Mrs. Nixon’s trip and copies are attached.

Embassy Ndjamena3 (Chad) advises strongly against a visit at this time because of Chad’s determination to align itself with the Arab cause.

Embassy Bamako (Mali) says if war ends soon without ignominious defeat for the Arabs, Mali would welcome a visit, but announcement should be postponed until after fighting stops.

Embassy Niamey (Niger) is of a view similar to Bamako, but thinks President Diori would go through with a visit anyway if it is desired. The Embassy foresees security problems.

Embassy Dakar (Senegal) endorses the trip despite Middle East situation.

The reservations of the majority underscores our apprehensions about the trip at this time, and particularly about going public on it.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 747, Country Files, Africa, General, March 1970-. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. Scowcroft wrote: “Thanks.” The attachments: Embassy telegrams 1738 from Ndjamena, 4581 from Dakar, 3186 from Bamako, and 3157 from Niamey, all dated October 13, are not published.
  2. Horan noted that four of the six posts proposed for Mrs. Nixon’s trip to Africa had responded to a query about the advisability of her visit. Three of the four expressed reservations.
  3. Used to be Fort (unclear) name changed recently.