156. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia1

197113. Subject: Message for King Khalid. For Chargé from the Secretary. Please deliver following message from the Secretary to King Khalid by most expeditious means.

Begin message:

[Page 530]

I am writing with regard to a report appearing today in our press that we are planning to make some changes in our Ambassadors overseas including Ambassador Akins, and attributing this to proposed changes in American policy.

I am confident that Your Majesty will not give credence to any report that we envisage changes in our policy toward Saudi Arabia. That policy has always been based on a firm conviction that United States and Saudi interests are best served by a relationship of confidence, friendship, and cooperation. It remains our intention to do everything possible to strengthen the relations between our two countries in the future as we have in the past.

It is true that we do envisage some changes in Ambassadors. I very much regret that this fact has been published prematurely, but I want you to know that it is our intention to seek soon Your Majesty’s agreement to accredit to Saudi Arabia one of our most respected and senior professional diplomats. Our present thinking is that this change would not occur much before the end of the year, and meanwhile I want to assure you of our continued full confidence in Ambassador Akins and in Mr. Hume Horan who is serving as Chargé d’Affaires in his absence.

Respectfully Yours,

Henry A. Kissinger

End message.

  1. Summary: Kissinger transmitted a letter to King Khalid informing him of Akins’ recall, after it was reported in the Washington Post.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P850011–1654, N750003–0294. Secret; Cherokee Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Atherton; cleared by Sisco, Eagleburger, and Executive Secretary Arthur Borg; approved by Kissinger. See Joseph Kraft, “A New Oil Diplomacy,” Washington Post, August 19, 1975, p. A15. The article was widely reprinted.