647. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2

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  • Status Report—El Salvador-Honduras Conflict

The OAS Council this afternoon passed four resolutions calling for:

  • —a cease-fire, to go into effect tonight at midnight, EDST
  • —withdrawal from occupied territories within 96 hours
  • —the grounding of both air forces except for training flights
  • —guarantees for the security of the nationals of each country in each other’s territory
  • —an end to inflammatory press, radio, and t.v. campaigns.

The resolutions authorize the OAS Special Committee on the scene to appoint observers to monitor compliance and call upon member states to provide observers and facilities as requested.

The resolutions were passed unanimously by the voting members of the OAS Council (Honduras and El Salvador were excluded) after receiving word from the Special Committee that both governments had agreed to accept the terms of the resolutions. However, at the end of the Council session, the Salvadoran delegate declared that his delegation could not accept the resolutions because they treated both sides as equals. It is not clear at this time whether his position reflects a failure in communications or bad faith on the part of El Salvador.

There are press reports of continued fighting, but these have not been confirmed by official channels.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 786, Country Files, Latin America, Honduras–Salvador Dispute. Secret. Sent for information. Kissinger did not initial the memorandum. Sent by Vaky to Kissinger under cover of a July 18 forwarding memorandum, which is not published. In TDCS 314/10747–69, July 18, CIA reported that the Salvadoran Government had stated its willingness to accept the ceasefire, but refused to withdraw its troops unless “satisfactory and effective” guarantees were made for Salvadoran nationals in Honduras. (Ibid.) In telegram 2728 from Tegucigalpa, July 19, the Embassy reported that the Honduran Government had implemented the ceasefire. (Ibid.)
  2. Kissinger reported that the OAS Council had passed resolutions calling for a cease-fire, military withdrawals within 96 hours, the grounding of air forces, security guarantees for nationals of each country in the other’s territory, and an end to inflammatory media campaigns.