221. Telegram 130677 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Sudan1 2


  • Sentencing of Khartoum Terrorists


  • (A) Khartoum 1276;
  • (B) Cairo 4094;
  • (C) Khartoum 1420

1. Department has carefully reviewed Ambassador’s recommendation (reftel a) that he be instructed to deliver a letter from President Nixon to Nimeiri subsequent to judicial decision in terrorist trial. We are concerned that presentation of letter from U.S. President at that juncture likely to become public knowledge and would be widely interpreted in Arab world, perhaps in Sudan itself, as undue pressure. If letter itself should become public, it would become that much more difficult for Nimeiri not to lighten sentences substantially as demonstrated his independence. His concern about this seems evident from interview with Michelmore (reftel B).

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2. As alternative, assuming guilty verdict, we prefer that Ambassador make oral demarche to Nimeiri on instructions of USG along line para 3, reftel A. Ambassador should use his discretion in timing demarche so as to extent possible to avoid obvious temporal connection between trial verdict and Ambassador’s request to see Nimeiri. In event meeting gets press attention, discussion of other subjects (e.g., U.S. assistance) may provide basis for describing meeting as concerned with U.S.-Sudanese relations generally.

3. We realize that course of events thus far has indicated that not guilty verdict is unlikely. If, however, verdict is not guilty, Ambassador should plan to return to U.S. for consultations. In such event our press statement will indicate that Ambassador has been recalled.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 745, Country Files, Africa, Sudan, Vol. 1. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Brussels. Drafted by Smith, cleared in AF/E, L/AF, S/CCT, AF, and approved by Acting Secretary Sisco.
  2. The Department responded to Khartoum 1276 (Document 220) by instructing Ambassador Brewer to make an oral demarche to President Nimeiri.