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November 15, 1974

Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in London, to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 048.478, November 15, 1974, Secret

This document was made possible with support from Bilkent University

To the Third Directorate


Regarding the situation in the Middle East, an American source said the following:


1. The US is aware that the [diplomatic] recognition process of the Palestine Liberation Organization is ‘irreversible.’ The successes obtained by the PLO until now in this respect are undeniable, but the US government does not intend, at least for the moment, to accept the PLO as a ‘valid negotiation partner.’ Washington’s attitude is fueled by the following:


a. The fact that the PLO is [challenging] Resolution 242 from 1967, the only act through which the Arab countries had implicitly recognized Israel’s right to existence as a state;


b. The desire to show to the PLO that their diplomatic successes are not sufficient for the achievement of its political objectives;


c. [The US] preference to wait and see how the debates at the UN evolve and whether the UN General Assembly adopts a ‘moderate resolution’ on the Palestinian questions;


d. Israel’s opposition [together with] a great part of American public opinion towards the recognition of the PLO.


e. The tensions within the Palestinian Movement.


Because of all these [reasons], the US remains in a position of expectation. Washington is convinced that West European countries, in general, and the UK in particular, will not recognize the PLO until ‘Kissinger gives them the go-ahead.’


2. Although Kissinger is keeping his options open, he believes it is not opportune to convene the Geneva Conference, as there is still enough space to promote ‘step-by-step’ disengagement between Israel, on the one hand, [and] Egypt and Syria, on the other hand. Despite news published by the media, after the Rabat [Conference] the two Arab countries still maintain plenty of freedom of action [which would allow them] to sign such disengagement agreements. Kissinger will make another tour in the region in December or January.


3. The US is displeased with Soviet Union’s attitude towards the situation in the Middle East, [as they believe] the Soviets keep playing ‘a dangerous game.’ In the Americans’ view, Moscow insists on resuming the Geneva Conference because of ‘prestige considerations.’ The Brezhnev-Ford meeting is not going to produce any concrete results on the Middle East.


Gathering from the articles published in the media, the following conclusions can be drawn:


1. The US government is interested in postponing as much as possible the moment when [it will have] to include the PLO in the negotiation process [meant] to solve the Middle East conflict. The [Americans’] immediate objective is to weaken the diplomatic successes scored by the PLO. In this effort, the US has benefitted, so far, from the support of most West European countries.


b. The US and the USSR are mutually suspicious of their movements in the Middle East. For the time being, it cannot be foreseen that the two countries do something concretely in the region.


c. The resumption of Arab-Israeli hostilities is neither imminent, nor inevitable, at least over the next 5-6 months.


Pretor Popa


Romanian embassy in London reporting that the United States has not given its opinion on the Palestinian question and is waiting for the UN to have further discussions.

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Arhiva diplomatică - Ministerul Afacerilor Externe, dosar 4022, problema 220/1974. Contributed and translated by Eliza Gheorghe.


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