274. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter 1

Yemen. We have little news on the fighting. The Arab League-mandated ceasefire2 which officially went into effect this morning appears to have some impact: the level of combat seems to be reduced. The ceasefire calls for (1) an immediate end to fighting; (2) pullback of forces to internationally recognized borders within ten days, i.e., by [Page 847] March 16; (3) appointment of military and political committees to oversee the ceasefire and withdrawal (composed of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Kuwait, the PLO and the Arab League Secretary General); (4) cessation of propaganda attacks; (5) eventual re-establishment of commercial and diplomatic ties; (6) direct dialogue between North and South Yemen at the presidential level, with Kuwait offering to host such a meeting. The Syrians and Iraqis jointly took the lead in bringing about Arab League action.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Yemen.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, Plains File, Subject File, Box 39, State Department Evening Reports, 3/79. Secret. Carter wrote “Cy J” in the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum.
  2. The Arab League Foreign Ministers met in Kuwait March 5–6 to discuss the Yemen situation. The Arab League plan “called for a truce and a committee of Arab foreign ministers to follow it up. It also called for mutual withdrawals within a week, stationing of military observers along the border and opening of talks for unification of Yemen and Southern Yemen.” (Marvine Howe, “Arab League Agrees on Plan,” The New York Times, March 6, 1979, p. A8)