98. Telegram 254913 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Algeria1

254913. Subject: Message for President Boumediene. For Ambassador from the Secretary.

1. You should convey following message from me to President Boumediene.

2. Begin message:

Dear Mr. President:

I want to thank you for the time you took from your busy schedule to receive Assistant Secretary Atherton and to share your views so frankly with us. Mr. Atherton has given me a full report of his and Ambassador Parker’s meeting with you, and I would like to comment in particular on several points.

I very much appreciated your full explanation of Algerian policy with respect to the situation in the Sahara. I agree with you that every effort must be made to resolve this matter by political means and that it should be dealt with within the framework of the United Nations.

In this spirit, we supported the resolution recently adopted by the Security Council asking Secretary General Waldheim to undertake consultations with the interested and concerned parties.

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As Mr. Atherton told you, the United States has taken no position on the substance of the Sahara question, and we will continue to maintain a policy of non-involvement. At the same time, given our friendly relations with all the parties, we cannot be unaffected by developments with respect to the Sahara and for this reason have long urged that a solution be found through amicable means. We remain ready to help diplomatically, if opportunities arise, in working for a solution within the framework of the United Nations that will meet the basic interests of all the parties and contribute to stability in the area. Mr. Atherton conveyed essentially this same message to the Government of Morocco during his visit there.

As you know, Mr. Atherton’s long planned visit coincided, as matters developed, with a round of bilateral discussions between the Governments of Morocco and Spain in Marrakesh and Madrid. As our public statements have made clear, we are not involved in any way in those discussions and are of course playing no mediatory role. We are pleased that Secretary General Waldheim is now active at the request of the Security Council, and we support the Council’s call for restraint and moderation in order to enable his mission to be undertaken in satisfactory conditions.

I also welcomed your comments to Mr. Atherton in response to the views I asked him to convey to you with respect to the Middle Eastern situation. I value the insights you have always given me and can assure you that we take seriously your advice about the importance of filling the void in the negotiating process.

Finally, Mr. President, I welcomed your positive comments about the recent preparatory conference in Paris and I am pleased that you feel that our bilateral relations are today very good. I can assure you that we fully reciprocate your assessment in both these regards.

Warm personal regards,

Henry Kissinger

End message.

  1. Summary: The Ambassador was instructed to deliver a message from Kissinger to Boumediene, thanking the President for explaining the Algerian position on the Spanish Sahara. Kissinger reiterated the U.S. position of neutrality on the issue, emphasized the need for a negotiated settlement within the UN framework, and offered U.S. diplomatic assistance, short of mediation, to resolve the issue.

    Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 101, Geopolitical File, Algeria, September–December 1975. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Repeated to Rabat, Madrid, Nouakchott, and the Mission to the UN. Drafted by Atherton; cleared by Hoganson and Sisco; and approved by Kissinger.