210. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

Secto 31. Department pass Cairo, Jidda, Kuwait, London, Sanaa, Tehran. Kuwait pass Muscat. Subject: US–PDRY Relations.

1. USUN Summary: In private breakfast meeting on October 1 with PDRY FonMin and PDRY PermRep, Under Secretary Sisco probed PDRY attitude toward resumption of diplomatic relations with US. Meeting was friendly and PDRY officials welcomed initiation of dia [Page 665] logue but it clear PDRY not yet ready to reestablish relations. End summary.

2. Under Secretary Sisco, Assistant Secretary Atherton, and ARP Director Dickman held private unpublicized breakfast meeting in Sisco’s suite at Waldorf with PDRY FonMin Muti and PDRY PermRep al-Ashtal to sound out PDRY attitude on resuming relations with US. Egyptians had earlier told us, following PDRY President’s visit to Cairo, that PDRY wanted to resume relations and urged we take initiative to follow-up. After reviewing US policy in Middle East and US support for cooperation among all countries in peninsula, Sisco said US position remained that we prepared resume relations with PDRY without prior conditions and at a pace that would suit PDRY requirements.

3. PDRY reps noted that meeting with Sisco had become possible because of progress in Middle East but devoted almost all of their discussion to peninsular issues. On several occasions, they referred to the threat they saw from Saudi Arabia and the support the Saudis had given to dissident groups to wage a campaign of sabotage against PDRY. They viewed the insurgency in Dhofar as one of self-determination. They had nothing against Sultan Qabus but felt that his policy of war had only led to an Iranian presence in the peninsula. They stoutly affirmed that PDRY wanted only to live at peace with its neighbors, that it had not let its good relations with Socialist countries dictate its policies, and that it had not become a Soviet base.

4. The PDRY reps referred to the country’s meager economic resources, which had been made worse by the departure of the British in 1967 and the closure of the Suez Canal, and their interest in gaining resources for economic development. They also referred to the good relations which the US enjoys with Saudi Arabia and Iran and US ability to influence Saudi and Iranian actions in the peninsula because of the good US relations with these two countries. Sisco gave no encouragement that US economic assistance might be in the offing noting increasing congressional strictures on foreign aid. We hoped PDRY would be able to improve its relations with its neighbors but Sisco noted this basically was something for the PDRY to work out.

5. The PDRY representatives welcomed the initiation of this dialogue. They suggested that future contacts should use PermRep al-Astal as the channel qte until the right time comes unqte. They also asked that no publicity be given to this meeting.

6. Prior to meeting with PDRY reps, we informed Foreign Ministers Fahmy and Saqqaf and Oman’s Ambassador Makki because we did not want them to learn about it later on. We intend to convey gist of this meeting when Secretary meets with Fahmy and Saqqaf but addressee posts may draw on foregoing in briefing appropriate senior host government officials on hold-closely basis. We do not intend to [Page 666] give any publicity to meeting. If report on meeting should leak, we intend say that we will not confirm or deny it.

7. Full memcon being pouched.

  1. Summary: The U.S. Mission reported on a meeting among Under Secretary of State Sisco and PDRY representatives in New York, regarding Aden’s desire to renew relations with the United States.

    Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Agency File, Box 19, USUN–DOS to SOS, NODIS, 10/1–10/31/1974. Secret; Nodis.