1. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Nixon1
Secretary Kissinger has asked that I provide you with the following report of his conversations with President Boumediene.
“I have just completed almost four hours of meetings with Boumediene Monday night and Tuesday morning. Our talks were warm, friendly and constructive.
“Boumediene opened our talks by noting how much he had profited from his recent meetings with you in Washington. He spoke highly of your understanding of Middle Eastern problems and of the steadfast role he sees you playing in the progress toward a Middle East settlement. As a result, he will be an important positive influence in the Syrian negotiations.
“Boumediene reiterated his hope that our efforts will succeed in bringing about a successful Syrian-Israeli disengagement, though he noted Asad’s concern that the process on Israeli withdrawal continue after the disengagement phase. I assured him that we are committed to the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and to a just and lasting overall settlement.
“We had a good discussion about the Soviet problem. Boumediene urged me not to agree to meet with Gromyko in any Arab capital because this would be demeaning to the Arabs. I agreed, leaving open a [Page 2]meeting at the end of the trip outside the area. He also stated his firm conviction that after a settlement in the area, the Soviets would be unable to compete with the United States in any field of endeavor in the Middle East.
“Our talks also accelerated the momentum toward resumption of diplomatic relations and a deepening of our overall economic relations. Boumediene said he wants to resume formal diplomatic relations with us after the Syrian-Israeli disengagement has been achieved and before the Geneva Conference convenes. He sees this as a matter of only weeks.
“Boumediene told me that he is anxious to encourage joint ventures with American companies, in fields such as refineries, fertilizers, truck factories and iron and steel plants. He cites the more favorable political climate between our countries and Algeria’s good credit rating as reasons the EX-IM Bank and other institutions should look favorably on Algerian projects. I agreed in principle to be helpful while at the same time pointing out that we could not guarantee favorable decisions for each project.
“In short, these talks fully reflected the marked improvement in our bilateral relations begun by your talks two weeks ago. They should establish a base for a positive role for Algeria in the disengagement agreement and in the Middle East in general.
“Finally, Boumediene told me that he hoped you would come to Algiers if you visit the area.
“I am flying to Alexandria for meetings with Sadat and will report to you from there tomorrow.”
Summary: Scowcroft provided Nixon with a report of Kissinger’s conversation with Boumediene, which included a discussion about the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 101, Geopolitical File, Algeria, April–May 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Kissinger met with Boumediene in Algiers en route to the Middle East.↩