147. Telegram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State1
1. CHUSMTM has relayed to us (Ref A) the following letter from MinDef Prince Sultan to Ambassador Porter. Begin text of unofficial translation:
H.E. U.S. Ambassador, Jidda
In view of the good relationship that ties the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, we always desire that most of our arms purchases be from U.S. production. In the light of this, we request that you convey the Saudi Government’s desire—delegated to the Ministry of Defense and Aviation—to discuss with the U.S. Government—represented by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force—the purchase of fighter planes (model F–15) produced by McDonnell Douglas company.
I request that you transmit this request to the responsible American officials in the U.S. in order that arrangements be made quickly to begin discussions between the two committees of Saudi Arabia and the U.S.
Accept my greetings.
Sultan bin Abd al Aziz
2. Prince Sultan, you will note, has managed an end-run through USMTM, to put text of his letter in my hand so to speak. However I do not consider this official letter unless or until I receive it. I suggest no repeat no reaction from Department or DOD pending further developments.
3. For CHUSMTM: I hope you can manage to avoid any further discussion on this matter with MODA officials.