270. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1

1. Yemen—Scattered reports indicate that fighting between North and South Yemen continues, although a ceasefire was announced to take effect early today.2

We have stressed our willingness to be as supportive as US law permits in non-combat support of any Saudi defensive role in North Yemen. We have accelerated by airlift the delivery of military equipment we previously agreed to provide the YAR, and also agreed to new requests for some TOW missiles and grenade launchers. North Yemen accepted our offer of increased aerial reconnaissance but declined a US naval visit to the port of Hodeida. Meanwhile the Arab League Foreign Ministers agreed to meet in Kuwait tomorrow to discuss the Yemen situation.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Yemen.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, Plains File, Subject File, Box 39, State Department Evening Reports, 3/79. Secret. In the upper right-hand corner of the first page of the memorandum, Carter wrote: “Cy J.”
  2. On March 2, North and South Yemen agreed to a cease-fire brokered by Syria and Iraq and to consider a mutual withdrawal of forces, which would be proposed at an upcoming Arab League Foreign Ministers meeting (see footnote 6, Document 274). (Marvine Howe, “Yemen and Southern Yemen Agree to a Cease-Fire,” The New York Times, March 3, 1979, p. 3)