4. Telegram 1410 From the Interests Section in Algeria to the Department of State1
1410. Subj: Meeting with President Boumediene. Dept please pass the Secretary.
1. Summary: During farewell call on President Boumediene June 28 he stressed good U.S.-Algerian bilateral relations while mentioning serious past differences re Vietnam and Middle East. He saw U.S. policy evolving and thought U.S. was strong enough to be relaxed re [Page 5] third world political problems including Cuba. He mentioned specifically that momentum must not be lost in Middle East, that Israeli raids on Lebanon were unhelpful and that U.S. should use its influence with Iran to prevent trouble on “eastern front” in Kurdistan. He expressed general satisfaction re economic relations but some concern over future gas contracts with U.S. Boumediene did not commit himself to a date for resumption diplomatic relations but said matter would move forward when FonMin Bouteflika returns to Algiers from Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile he saw no reason to replace chiefs of interests sections since Ambassadors would soon be exchanged. End summary
2. President Boumediene received me for farewell call afternoon June 28. After usual exchange for such occasions, he went over theme already known to Secretary to effect that U.S.-Algerian bilateral relations have never encountered serious problems though major differences had divided two countries in international sphere, particularly re Vietnam and Middle East. U.S., he said, was powerful enough to conduct its policies in third world without threats or use of force and without relying on person such as Lon Nol. Communist world was divided and faced many problems.
3. Boumediene referred to evolution of U.S. policy in Middle East and asked that I pass to Secretary his view that it was necessary to maintain momentum. Meanwhile he was disturbed by Israel’s raids on Lebanon which could endanger movement toward peace. He hoped USG would give full weight to Palestinian problem in months ahead.
4. (With Vice Premier of Iraq Saddam Hussein in town) Boumediene asked that I express to Secretary his concern over developments in Kurdistan and his hope that U.S. would use its influence with Iran to ensure that territorial integrity of Iraq was not threatened.
5. Re Middle East I referred to the Secretary’s recent messages to him. I observed that absence of public declarations did not mean that American leadership was neglecting Middle East, nor did it mean that we condoned Israeli raids on Lebanon. Intensive efforts would be continued throughout summer to prepare for Geneva talks. We were aware of dangers to this effort posed by clashes between Palestinians and Israelis.
6. Re Kurdistan I assured Boumediene that USG supported territorial integrity of states in area including Iraq. It would be mistake to overestimate our influence on Iranians who considered Kurdish question to be their affair and subject on which they did not appreciate outside advice. Boumediene interjected that in confidence he could tell us he had advised Iraqis to improve their relations with U.S. They were considering doing so including resumption diplomatic relations. I replied that this would be helpful as means to improve communications and remove their suspicions regarding our policies.[Page 6]
7. Boumediene also briefly mentioned Cuba as a country which did not have natural ties with Soviet Union and wished rather to develop ties “within its natural environment”. I replied that problem had been Cuba’s desire to export revolution and interfere in neighboring countries. He acknowledged this but thought their attitude had changed.
8. I asked whether Boumediene saw any problems on economic front. He replied in negative but asked what was delaying El Paso II and other gas projects. I replied that formulation of our own energy policy, including that related to gas prices, was one cause of delay. We would like to have assured source of Algerian gas at competitive price. He agreed that this was desirable and noted that security of gas projects would be strengthened by renewal of diplomatic relations.
9. I asked whether he had any thoughts re Secretary’s suggestion that U.S. and Algeria give structure to their economic relationship through creation of a joint commission or in any other way Algerians might suggest. Boumediene replied that this was being studied.
10. During discussion of U.S.-Algerian relations Boumediene said in measured but somewhat vague terms that resumption of diplomatic relations would occur soon and that action in this regard would be set in motion following FonMin Bouteflika’s return from Kuala Lumpur (probably next week). I reiterated Secretary’s message that this was for President Boumediene to decide. At close of conversation Boumediene agreed that there would be no reason to name a replacement Chief of USINT since Ambassadors would soon be exchanged.
Summary: Eagleton reported on his farewell call on Boumediene. Eagleton noted that Boumediene did not commit himself to a date for resumption of diplomatic relations, and saw no reason to replace the chief of the Interests Section since ambassadors would soon be exchanged.
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 101, Geopolitical File, Algeria, July–September 1974. Secret; Immediate; Nodis.↩