91. Telegram 113002 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Morocco1
113002. Subject: King Hassan’s French Radio Interview on Spanish Sahara. For the Ambassador. Ref: A. Rabat 2081, B. Madrid 2970, C. State 27758, D. Rabat 2134, E. Madrid 3056, F. Rabat 2137 (Notal), G. Paris 11239.
1. Apparent renewed militance of King Hassan on Sahara issue as revealed in French radio interview April 28 (Ref A) is cause for concern in Department. As outlined in Ref C, Moroccan aggressiveness on territorial claims against Spain complicates sensitive U.S.-Spanish relations, because of responsive U.S. arms supply policy toward Morocco. Al[Page 262]though U.S. remains neutral on merits of Moroccan claims it cannot, because of its military relationships with both parties, remain neutral on modalities employed to resolve the territorial disputes.
2. Accordingly, you should seek appointment with Foreign Minister Laraki, to express USG concern generated by King’s remarks in French radio interview that Morocco may be changing its approach in dispute with Spain from peaceful diplomatic and judicial channels, as exemplified by GOM’s successful proposal to refer Sahara question to ICJ, to more militant posture. You should point out that U.S. supports peaceful resolution of territorial disputes with Spain not only to preserve stability in area, but also because U.S. military relationships with both sides could cause obvious difficulties for U.S. if other than peaceful methods are used.
3. You should also seek Laraki’s view on status of ICJ adjudication of Sahara case and ask him how GOM conceives of role ICJ decision would play in final resolution of question.
4. When exchange on Sahara is completed, you should tell Laraki you have been instructed to express Department’s appreciation of King Hassan’s confidence expressed to you in April 30 audience (Ref F) and in “Figaro” interview May 2 (Ref G) that U.S. could emerge in strong position in post-Vietnam era. You should ask Laraki to reassure King that U.S. intends to continue active involvement in search for Middle East peace. Regarding King’s recommendation that U.S. should move forward on Middle East in consultation with other permanent members of U.N. Security Council, you should express appreciation for advice and confidential note that as process of reassessment of U.S. Middle East policy continues, we are in touch with UNSC permanent members on bilateral basis. However, we have doubts about utility of Security Council itself as effective forum for Middle East peacemaking.
5. For Madrid: You may inform GOS at appropriate level of dé-marche in paras 2 and 3 above after Rabat confirms that it has been made. You should also inform Ministry of Army official quoted Ref B that U.S. is not providing Moroccan Army with any kind of insurgency or infiltration training. You may also inform any GOS officials who raise matter that USG continues to be sensitive to Spanish concerns over our military supply relationship with Morocco. The GOM is aware of this US attitude and has not given US any reason to suspect that it will depart from King’s stated policy not to use US supplied equipment against friends of U.S.
Summary: The Department instructed the Ambassador to meet with Foreign Minister Laraki, to express U.S. concern over Morocco’s increasingly militant posture toward the Spanish Sahara. The Embassy in Spain was instructed to inform the appropriate Spanish officials of Moroccan assurances that they would avoid the use of U.S. equipment against American allies.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. Sent to Madrid, and repeated to the mission to the UN and Algiers. Drafted by Joseph V. Montville in NEA/AFN; cleared by Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs L. Bruce Laingen, Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations Robert J. McCloskey (info), Skogerboe, Atherton, and Rewoods; and approved by Sisco.↩