177. Telegram From the Department of State to the Liaison Office in Saudi Arabia and the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

47704. Subject: (S) Démarche to Soviets on YAR/PDRY Border Hostilities.

1. (S-entire text)

2. During a call by Ambassador Dobrynin February 27,2 the Secretary raised the present border conflict between the Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen.

3. The Secretary made the following points:

—We are concerned about the recent incursion by PDRY forces into the territory of the YAR.

—We realize there is a long history of border unrest between the two countries and it is difficult to determine which side has provoked specific incidents.

—Nevertheless, we are disturbed by the recent escalation of the conflict which has caused a significant increase in tensions.

—We have urged restraint on the leaders of the YAR. We hope the Soviet Government will similarly urge restraint on the PDRY.

—We believe it is in the interest of both the YAR and the PDRY to exercise restraint and to use diplomatic means and not force to resolve their differences. We also believe it is in the interest of the United States and the Soviet Union to work together to prevent the conflict from developing further.

4. We see no need for you to make a specific demarche to the Soviets on this matter. However, at your discretion and if an opportunity presents itself, we have no objection to your repeating the points made by the Secretary with appropriate Soviet officials.

5. For Riyadh: Ambassador may draw on points above in describing to SAG in general terms our demarche to the Soviets.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Cables File, State Department Out, Box 115, 2/14–28/79. Secret; Sensitive; Niact Immediate; Exdis; Distributed as Nodis. Sent for information Immediate to Sana, Jidda and the White House. Printed from a copy that indicates the original was received in the White House Situation Room.
  2. See Document 176.