115. Telegram 263793 From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1

263793. Subject: 31st UNGA: 4th Committee: Sahara. Ref: A) USUN 4632; B) Algiers 2517; C) Katzen-Tefft Telecons.

[Page 318]

1. Should a resolution be introduced which refers to substance of the Saharan problem to the OAU or the African Group at the UN, USDEL is authorized to vote in favor.

2. Should a resolution be introduced designed to refuse permission for a Polisario appearance before the Fourth Committee and/or refer the Polisario to the OAU or African Group at the UN for a hearing there, USDEL should abstain without explanation of vote. If necessary, you may explain to Moroccans and Mauritanians that our vote reflects problem of reconciling desire to have OAU resolve Saharan problem and our well-known support for UNGA committees to hear anyone who has a contribution to make to committee’s work.

3. Should a resolution be introduced which contains points in both paras 1 and 2 above, USDEL should vote in favor. However, in this case, delegation should make an explanation of vote reaffirming our support for UNGA committees granting a hearing to anyone who has a contribution to make to the committee’s work.

  1. Summary: The Department provided guidance for the U.S. delegation on the Sahara issue in preparation for the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee meeting.

    Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Middle East and South Asian Affairs Staff Files, Box 39, USUN (4). Confidential; Immediate; Limited Official Use. Repeated to Algiers, Rabat, and Nouakchott. The Fourth Committee met November 11 and passed a resolution, which was adopted by the General Assembly on December 1. The resolution reaffirmed a commitment to the principle of self-determination, noted the OAU session seeking a solution to the problem of Western Sahara, and postponed the question of Western Sahara until its 1977 session.