16. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1
1. Ethiopia: The Ethiopian Government has agreed to an extension from April 27 to April 30 of the deadline for departure of our personnel.2 This decision, plus an overall improvement in the attitude of Ethiopian officials has much improved the chances for a safe and orderly departure. We will carry out the airlift on April 27 by DC–8 of most of our people in Addis Ababa as previously planned, leaving behind only those needed to complete shipping arrangements. We will, however, keep all personnel in Asmara until April 29 to remove as much equipment as possible, especially sensitive communications items.
We are anticipating Ethiopian pressure to cut our remaining 76 man mission, especially the AID staff. In any case, we are considering reducing our staff as rapidly as possible to about 25. I will send you my recommendation as to whether we should close down our embassy completely after I have reviewed the matter further.
In a related development, Somali Ambassador Addou, who is just back from Mogadiscio, called yesterday to say he is bringing a message [Page 46] from Siad.3 He has asked for appointments with you and me. We are assuming Siad will indicate his interest in economic and military support in return for loosening ties with the Soviets. As soon as I see the Ambassador, I will let you know my recommendation as to whether you need to see him.4
[Omitted here are items unrelated to the Horn of Africa.]