44. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassies in Oman, Somalia, and Kenya1

15122. For the Ambassador. Subject: Indian Ocean Access.

1. (Secret)–entire text.

2. We want to get back to host governments at the highest level now to confirm our serious interest in continuing our discussion of access and other forms of security cooperation. We are concerned that the combination of a hiatus in high-level dialogue and press speculation may have left them vulnerable to political pressures. We want to dispel any question about this with them and also to affirm our full understanding that the context of our interest in access is our desire to cooperate broadly with them in order to enhance our mutual security. We would like host country agreement for a return of the high-level State/Defense team in the period February 3–February 10.

3. Accordingly, you should immediately approach Sultan Qaboos, President Siad, and President Moi, (or, in all cases, if early appointment impossible appropriate senior officials) using the following talking points:

A. The President is pleased with the results of our discussions with you about our mutual security interests and your responsiveness in this matter. He is seriously interested in pursuing this matter. He hopes that you agree in general on the need for greater cooperation and on the need to press ahead with the dialogue.

B. In this connection we are studying a number of specific steps which the U.S. would propose taking to enhance your security. We will also have more specific ideas regarding our access objectives. We are prepared to send a high-level team back to the area to discuss these specific ideas with you and your officials during the period from February 3–10.

C. We will get back very soon with specific dates in this time frame for each country.

4. For Nairobi: We are considering the possibility of sending only one or two members of the team to Nairobi, given acute Kenyan con[Page 166]cerns about visibility and also the very limited character of our access objectives in Kenya.

5. For Mogadishu: You should mention to Siad that we will, of course, need to discuss our concern about the Ogaden issue when the team is in Somalia.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Box 68, Middle East: Security: 1/80. Secret; Niact Immediate; Nodis. Sent for information Immediate to the White House. Printed from the copy that indicates the original was received in the White House Situation Room. Drafted by David C. Gompert (PM); cleared by Seton Stapleton (S/S–O), Bartholomew, William C. Harrop (AF), Twinam, Kreisberg, Ermarth, and Murray; approved by Newsom.