230. Memorandum From William Quandt and Gary Sick of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Aaron)1

SUBJECT

  • Weekly Report

Consultations with King Hassan of Morocco. Following the policy guidance laid down by the PRC concerning North Africa,2 Assistant Secretary Saunders met last week for three hours with King Hassan of Morocco.3 His primary objective was to insure that technical violations of the US-Moroccan military agreement of 1960 would be resolved so that our normal military supply relationship can continue uninterrupted. The major problem had involved the stationing of F–5 aircraft in the Western Sahara. King Hassan has now assured us that the F–5s will not be used in the Sahara, and we have some intelligence information confirming that they have already been removed. The King did say that he intended to use the F–5s in Mauritania, and he was informed that this would be acceptable if both the Mauritanian and Moroccan Governments were to make an official request that we permit the stationing of the F–5s in Mauritanian territory. The King continues to be interested in acquiring Cobra helicopters, and he was informed that we would be prepared to act positively on his request. In brief, the most difficult issue in US-Moroccan relations has been satisfactorily resolved for the moment. (S)

The King also spoke at length about the situation in the Middle East, and was very doubtful that Prime Minister Begin would have the capacity to show sufficient flexibility in the months ahead. He was clearly concerned that Sadat’s initiative might fail, thereby discrediting all moderate forces in the Arab world. To protect Sadat’s position, Hassan is anxious to convene an Arab Summit meeting and believes that Sadat should not meet with Israelis anywhere on Arab territory prior to such a summit. (S)

Finally, King Hassan and his colleagues were clearly concerned by the new situation in Mauritania.4 They have been told by the Maurita[Page 564]nian Government that close cooperation with Morocco will continue. We have heard directly from Mauritanian sources, however, that the new regime is very anxious to end the war, even if this means ceding control over the Mauritanian sector of the Sahara. If Mauritania were to take such a unilateral step, there would be strong sentiment in Morocco for annexing that portion of the Sahara. For the moment, such a dramatic development seems unlikely. We have some evidence that plans are underway for King Hassan to meet with President Boumediene of Algeria to try to find a political solution, but the prospects for early success remain dim. (S)

[Omitted here is material unrelated to the Western Sahara.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 105, Multiple Issues: 1977–1981. Secret.
  2. See Documents 33 and 34.
  3. In telegram 4443 from Rabat, July 22, the Embassy summarized the July 21 meeting. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780302–0367)
  4. Mauritanian President Moktar Ould Daddah was removed from office in a bloodless coup on July 10.