5. Telegram 5325 From the Embassy in Afghanistan to the Department of State, July 20, 1973, 1310Z.1 2

SUBJ:

  • MEETING WITH DAUD’S BROTHER NAIM

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44

ACTION SS-25

INFO OCT-01 ADP-00 SSO-00 NSCE-00 /026 W

——————————- 009641

O R 201310Z JUL 73

FM AMEMBASSY KABUL

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4282

INFO AMEMBASSY ANKARA

AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY TEHRAN

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

S E C R E T KABUL 5325

EXDIS

FROM AMBASSADOR

E.O. 11652: GDS

TAGS: PFOR, PINT, AF

SUMMARY: I MET JULY 20 WITH PRINCE NAIM, BROTHER AND ALTER EGO OF DAUD. HE RECEIVED ME WARMLY, EXPRESSED STRONG PLEA FOR CONTINUED US ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SUPPORT OF AFGHANISTAN, EXPRESSED CONFIDENCE THAT NEW REGIME FIRMLY IN SADDLE,REITERATED COMMITMENT OF AFGHANISTAN TO NON-ALIGNED PRINCIPLES OF PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT AND AMICABLE RESOLUTION OF PASHTUNISTAN ISSUE. HE ALSO STRONGLY DENIED SOVIET FOREKNOWLEDGE OF COUP. END

SUMMARY.

1. I MET WITH PRINCE NAIM, 62-YEAR OLD BROTHER PRESIDENT DAUD, REGARDED AS HIS VIRTUAL ALTER EGO (FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER AND AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON),MORNING JULY 20 AT NAIM’S HOME AND AT HIS REQUEST. APPEARING IN EXCELLENT HEALTH AND SPIRITS, HE SPOKE WITH OBVIOUS AUTHORITY, AND EXPRESSED GREAT PLEASURE IN SEEING ME AND RECALLED OUR PREVIOUS MEETINGS, PARTICULARLY LAST ONE OF ABOUT YEAR AGO. HE WELCOMED SECRET

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OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH ME AND SAID HE WOULD BE AT OUR DISPOSAL ANYTIME, ADDING THAT MFA’S DR WAHED KARIM (WHO REPORTING TO HIM DAILY) SHOULD BE CHANNEL FOR ARRANGING FUTURE CONTACTS. HE SAID HE HAD NO OFFICIAL FUNCTION IN NEW GOVERNMENT AND EXPECTED TO HAVE NONE IN VIEW EYE AND EAR PROBLEMS.

2. HE SAID HE AWARE OF MY QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW GOVERNMENT’S ORGANIZATION AND COMMITMENTS, AND ASSURED ME THAT “OF COURSE” NEW REGIME WOULD HONOR ALL LEGAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT.

3. HE THEN LAUNCHED INTO BRIEF HISTORICAL DISCUSSION LEADING UP TO CURRENT SITUATION, WHICH TIED INTO OUR LAST MEETING OF YEAR AGO. HE REMINDED ME THAT IN OUR LAST CONVERSATION HE HAD TOLD ME THAT KING WAS IRRESPONSIBLE, THAT PARLIAMENT WAS A JOKE, THAT KING WAS NOT WORKING HARD AND WAS LEADING COUNTRY INTO BANKRUPTCY. HE RECALLED HOW HE HAD THEN URGED ME TO PERSUADE KING MOVE MORE RAPIDLY. WE KNOW YOU DID THAT, HE SAID, BUT YOU WERE UNABLE TO DO MORE THAN TO GET HIM TO RESPOND TO EMERGENCY SITUATION BROUGHT ON BY TWO-YEAR DROUGHT. HE SAID CONSTITUTION OF 1964 CREATED ABSOLUTE RULE OF KING. HE DID NOT DELEGATE POWER; HE RAN COUNTRY BUT YET HE DIDN’T RUN IT. THE MINISTRIES WERE DYSFUNCTIONAL AND “PLAYTHINGS” OF CAPRICIOUS KING. HE SAID KING RELIED FOR ENVERYTHING, NOT ON HIS ACHIEVEMENTS OR POPULAR FEELINGS, BUT ON MILITARY SUPPORT. THIS NOT POSSIBLE IN LONG RUN. POPULARITY, HE CONCLUDED, ESPECIALLY IN POOR COUNTRY LIKE AFGHANISTAN, CAN COME ONLY FROM VERY HARD WORK.

4. SPEAKING OF THE ROYAL FAMILY, NAIM SAID HUMAN COSTS OF GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER HAVE BEEN PAINFUL, BUT THANK GOD NO ONE SUFFERED SERIOUS HARM. IN TERMS OF PERSONAL INTER-FAMILY FEELINGS, COUNTRY COMES FIRST.

5. AFGHAN REPUBLIC, HE CONTINUED, HAS MANDATE TO CREATE POLICY FOR BENEFIT OF PEOPLE, WHICH WILL NOT BE EASY TASK. THERE IS GENERAL ACCEPTANCE OF NEW REGIME AMONG POPULATE BUT NO ACCEPTANCE FOR EXTREMISM OF EITHER LEFT OR RIGHT. THE LEFT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN. THE RIGHT IS TOO BACKWARD AND NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN SOLVING PROBLEMS. THE NEW REGIME WILL TAKE MEASURES TO PREVENT EXTREMISM, BUT THE REAL PROBLEM IS TO ERADICATE THAT WHICH FEEDS LEFTISM—POVERTY, SECRET

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IGNORANCE AND NEED. IN THIS CONNECTION, HE ADDED, WE NEEED AMERICAN

UNDERSTANDING AND HELP DESPERATELY. NOW IS THE LAST CHANCE, HE ADMONISHED, FOR US TO COME TO OUR SIDE AND GIVE SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC HELP, NOT SO THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE GREAT WEALTH BUT SOME DECENT LEVEL OF PROSPERITY. HE SAID I KNEW FROM INVALUABLE EXPERIENCE HERE HOW ECONOMIC AID CAN HELP WHEN WELL APPLIED. HE REMINDED ME THAT IT BETTER IN ANY COUNTRY TO APPLY ECONOMIC HELP SOONER THAN TO HAVE TO HELP LATER WITH MASSIVE MILITARY ASSISTANCE. WE MUST SHOW RESULTS TO OUR PEOPLE AND WE ASK FOR SOMETHING FROM U.S. THAT WILL MAKE DECISIVE DIFFERENCE FOR COMMON PEOPLE OF COUNTRY.

6. I RESPONDED FIRST BY EXPRESSING SATISFACTION THAT HE WANTED USG TO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH AFGHANISTAN, ADDING THAT ONE MINIMAL REQUIREMENT IS TO KNOW WITH WHOM WE MUST DEAL. THINKING HE MAY HAVE BEEN UNAWARE OF GENERA LEVEL OUR CURRENT ASSISTANCE, I GAVE HIM FIGURES OF OUR FY1973 AID PROGRAM, CITING ESPECIALLY OUR RECENT MASSIVE FERTILIZER PROGRAM WHICH WAS ALREADY HAVING SIGNIFICANT EFFECT IN AGRICULTURAL SPHERE. IN RESPONSE TO A SPECIFIC QUESTION HE SAID GOVERNMENT ALSO EMPHATICALLY ALSO WANTED CONTINUATION US MAP TRAINING PROGRAM.

7. I TOLD HIM THAT IN ADDITION TO USG ALMOST ALL FOREIGN DONORS WERE DISCOURAGED THAT ALL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR AFGHANISTAN WERE FOREIGN PLANS AND STRESSED NEED THEREFORE FOR SOLID AFGHAN-INITIATED PLANNING WHICH WOULD SET PRIORITIES FOR COUNTRY AND WHICH OF COURSE MUST BE PART OF BASIC AFGHAN GOVERNMENT POLICY DECISIONS. I TOLD HIM THAT NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR NEW PLANNING MECHANCSM.

8. NAIM INDICATED APPRECIATION FOR MY VIEW AND SAID WHEN DAUD WAS PREVIOUSLY PM, HE WAS ALSO IN CHARGE OF PLANNING. HE INDICATED THAT DAUD WOULD CONTINUE TO PLAY THAT ROLE. HE URGED ME THEREFORE TO SEE PRESIDENT DAUD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

9. WITH REGARD TO NAIM’S REMARKS ON PREVIOUS REGIME’S

RELIANCE ON MILITARY, I ASKED HIM IF THERE NOT SOME EVIDENCE THAT NEW REGIME WOULD ALSO HAVE TO RELY ON ARMY. HE REPLIED OF COURSE THAT WAS TRUE IN SHORT RUN. HE SAID DAUD’S MILITARY SUPPORTERS SECRET

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ACTED WITH GREAT EFFICIENCY AND SHOULD BE GIVEN DUE CREDIT, ACKNOWLEDGING, HOWEVER, THE NEED TO ESTABLISH STRONG CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT.

10. AT THIS POINT I ASKED NAIM, IN CONTEXT OF AFGHAN HISTORY, HOW HE THOUGHT KING, WHOM HE HAS KNOWN FOR MANY YEARS, WOULD ULTIMATELY REACT TO RECENT EVENTS.HE REPLIED THAT RECENT EVENTS PROVED THAT HE HAS LITTLE POPULAR SUPPORT, SINCE NO ONE STOOD UP AND FOUGHT FOR HIM. WHAT HE DOES IS HIS OWN BUSINESS BUT WE WILL TOLERATE ABSOLUTELY NO FOREIGN INTERFERENCE. I TOLD HIM OF SPECULATION THAT SOVIETS KNEW ABOUT COUP IN ADVANCE AND MIGHT EVEN HAVE ENCOURAGED MOVE. NAIM REPLIED, “LET ME SPEAK COMPLETELY FRANKLY AND AS ONE GENTLEMAN TO ANOTHER GENTLEMAN THAT THE RUSSIANS KNEW NOTHING MORE ABOUT THIS IN ADVANCE THAN THE KING.”

11. I REFERRED TO NUMEROUS QUESTIONS WE HAVE HEARD FROM ABROAD ABOUT DAUD SINGLING OUT PAKISTAN IN HIS SPEECH AS ONLY FOREIGN POLICY PROBLEM OF AFGHANISTAN. I SAID THAT WHILE I HAD EXPECTED MENTION OF PASHTUNISTAN, I HEARD NOTHING AOBUT SETTLING PROBLEM PEACEFULLY. NAIM MINIMIZED THIS ELEMENT DAUD’S SPEECH, EXPLAINING THAT EVERYING HAPPENED QUICKLY AT TIME IT WAS DRAFTED AND THAT PERHAPS SOMETHING INADVERTENTLY LEFT OUT. HE ADDED AFGHANS AND PAKISTANIS MUST NOT HAVE STIFF ATTITUDE TOWARDS EACH OTHER AND MUST MAKE “SERIOUS EFFORT” TO ACHIEVE PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO EXTENT POSSIBLE.

12. NAIM CONCLUDED MEETING WITH PLEA FOR US NOT TO ABANDON AFGHANISTAN. HE RECALLED WHILE HE AMBASSADOR IN WASHINGTON DURING DULLES ERA, HE HAD DIFFICULTY IN CONVINCING AMERICANS AFGHANS WERE NOT “GOING OVER TO OTHER SIDE”. BUT, HE SAID, AFGHANISTAN HAD SHOWN BY DEEDS ITS TRUE POSITION. HE NOTED THAT WORLD SITUATION HAD CHANGED SINCE THEN AND THAT NEUTRALITY IS NO LONGER CONSIDERED IMMORAL BY EITHER SIDE. WE REMAIN NEUTRAL, CLEAR AND SIMPLE, AND NOTHING MORE THAN THAT.

13. I MENTIONED TO NAIM THAT AFGHANS, WHO HAD BEEN A BIT FEARFUL ABOUT PREVIOUS REGIME, WERE CONCERNED (AS WE WERE) THAT THERE WOULD BE LESS PERSONAL CONTACT BETWEEN AFGHANS AND FOREIGNERS UNDER NEW REGIME. HE REPLIED THERE WILL INEVITABLY BE LESS CONTACT INITIALLY, SINCE OUR FIRST PRIORITY IS TO GET NEW GOVERNMENT FIRMLY ESTABLISHED AND THAT LEADERSHIP WOULD NOT WANT SECRET

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ANTAGONISTS TO SABOTAGE THIS EFFORT. HOWEVER, PRACTIVE WILL APPLY ABSOLUTELY EQUALLY TO ALL FOREIGN RESPRESENTATIVES WITHOUG DISCRIMINATION. NAIM ALSO APOLOGIZED FOR ANY INCONVENIENCES RECENT EVENTS HAD CAUSED, BUT SAID HE BELIEVED NORMALCY WOULD RETURN VERY QUICKLY.

NEUMANN
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Immediate;Exdis. It was repeated to Ankara, Islamabad, London, Paris, Tehran, and New Delhi.
  2. Ambassador Robert Neumann met with Mohammad Naim, President Mohammad Daoud’s brother and chief advisor. The discussion centered on the continuation of U.S. development aid and Naim assured Neumann that Afghanistan desired continued cordial relations with the United States.