108. Memorandum From Acting Secretary of State Christopher to President Carter1

[Omitted here are items unrelated to the Horn of Africa.]

2. Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Charge in Washington, on instructions from his government, yesterday asked us to recall Ambassador Chapin from Addis Ababa within two weeks, and said that if we do not, he will be declared persona non grata. The Charge complained that Chapin is hostile to the Ethiopian Government and people and is opposed to good bilateral relations. He claimed that the Government of Ethiopia wants better relations with us and hopes that with the removal of Chapin, relations would improve.

On Monday,2 we will call the Charge back in to inform him that Ambassador Chapin will leave as requested. We will stress, however, that the decline in bilateral relations has resulted, not from Chapin’s attitude, but from Ethiopia’s systematic defense of Soviet positions, its disregard of human rights, and its refusal to provide fair compensation [Page 294] for expropriated property. We will also release a statement to the press defending Chapin and taking strong issue with the Ethiopian action.3

[Omitted are items unrelated to the Horn of Africa.]

5. Somalia. We have sent a message today telling the Somalia government that we will be prepared to receive a small delegation for a low visibility visit during the week of August 18. In reviewing today the full text of the Somalia message to us regarding the proposed facilities agreement, I have been impressed with the ambiguity of their reply.4 Although they insist that they want to agree they are not imposing “conditions,” I think we must recognize that their signing a facilities agreement remains dependent upon discussions with their delegation about their proposed modifications of the draft agreement, as well as upon our answers to the seven difficult questions they have posed. For that reason, I think we should be very cautious about any public indication that we have reached agreement, to avoid a credibility problem if we are not able to consummate the agreement.5

  1. Source: Carter Library, Plains File, Subject File, Box 15, State Department Evening Reports, 7/80. Secret. Carter initialed the memorandum.
  2. July 28.
  3. Chapin left post on July 29. A Department of State spokesman announced that day that he had been recalled because of growing friction between the U.S. and Ethiopian Governments. (“U.S., at Ethiopia’s Request, Tells Envoy to Return Home,” Washington Post, July 30, p. A17)
  4. See Document 105.
  5. On August 22, the United States and Somalia exchanged diplomatic notes that allowed expanded U.S. access to Somalia’s air and port facilities. The text of the Department of State announcement and Moose’s August 26 statement before the Subcommittee on Africa of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are printed in the Department of State, Bulletin, October 1980, p. 19.