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litical accommodation. The Ambassador said that he had no difficulty separating relief from refugees, but he saw no way of separating refugees from political accommodation.
The Ambassador then handed Mr. Kissinger a letter by Prime Minister Gandhi to the President. The letter [Tab B]4 was couched in very conciliatory terms. He said it would provide an excellent opportunity for the President to state his basic policy towards India and to start a useful dialogue. He also told Mr. Kissinger that Prime Minister Gandhi had accepted the invitation to come to Washington and, indeed, on the dates we had proposed. This would give us an opportunity to ease some of the tensions.
Mr. Kissinger told the Ambassador that we welcomed Prime Minister Gandhi but that it was essential that the India/Pakistan problem not be solved by war. We would be generous in refugee relief, but India should not believe that it could use this crisis to overthrow the settlement of 1946.
The meeting ended with an exchange of pleasantries.
4 Attached is an August 7 letter that Kissinger sent to Nixon under a covering memorandum on August 19; see the attachment to Document 128.
118. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon1
Washington, August 10, 1971.
Discussion with U Thant on the UN Relief Effort in East Pakistan
In two meetings August 10 with the Secretary-General and members of his staff and of the specialized agencies involved, I stressed our desire to see the UN rise to the great humanitarian challenge posed by the risk of famine and disease among the victims of the strife in East Pakistan and assured him of our strong support for the UN effort.
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, SOC 10 PAK. Confidential.
U Thant seemed fully aware of the magnitude and urgency of the problem and was very cooperative. He expressed concern over the threats being made by the guerrilla leadership against the safety of UN personnel in the area and preoccupied by the need for a political accommodation with the Awami League in East Pakistan as the only real solution. He said he is prepared under Article 99 of the UN Charter2 to bring the situation between India and Pakistan to the attention of the Security Council if he decides that it involves a serious threat to peace. He will announce this week, probably Wednesday,3 that he has decided to station 38 UN officials in the Dacca area by early September to coordinate and expedite the movement of relief supplies and to work out arrangements to assure that the supplies reach those in need. Once such arrangements are made he plans to send some 150 additional personnel to other parts of East Pakistan, including the reception centers established to handle returning refugees. Their staffing plan seems sensible.
He was grateful for our one million dollar contribution and the promise of additional financial aid for this effort, to which the UK is also contributing some $500,000. At the same time he displayed considerable concern lest the US appear to be dominating the UN effort, and particularly at any effort to politicize the UN relief effort.
The discussions with U Thant's staff and representatives of the specialized agencies revealed substantial agreement with our assessment of the relief needs and what needs to be done to meet them. On the whole, I was favorably impressed by their competence and realistic attitude.
At U Thant's request, Mr. Sisco and I gave him a brief and general appraisal of Mr. Sisco's talks with Israeli officials, stressing that serious problems remain but that we are cautiously optimistic that an interim agreement is yet possible by the end of the year and that both sides continue to welcome our efforts to that end. U Thant said he would relay this information to Ambassador Jarring.
Incidentally, from the firmness with which U Thant spoke about his intention if necessary to raise the Indo-Pakistan matter in the Security Council and his stress on his good health, we came away with the impression that he is more than willing to remain as SecretaryGeneral.
William P. Rogers
2 Article 99 of the UN Charter reads: "The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security." (American Foreign Policy, 1950–1955: Basic Documents, Vol. I, p. 158)
119. Letter From the Indian Ambassador (Jha) to President Nixon1
Washington, August 11, 1971.
I am desired by my Prime Minister to convey to Your Excellency the following personal message from her:
"The Government and people of India as well as our Press and Parliament are greatly perturbed by the reported statement of President Yahya Khan that he is going to start a secret military trial of Mujibur Rahman without affording him any foreign legal assistance. We apprehend that this so-called trial will be used only as a publicity to execute Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This will aggravate the situation in East Bengal and will create a serious situation in India because of the strong feelings of our people and all political parties. Hence our grave anxiety. We appeal to you to exercise your influence with President Yahya Khan to take a realistic view in the larger interest of the peace and stability of this region". Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem.2
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 29 PAK. No classification marking. Sent to Kissinger on August 11 under cover of a memorandum from Eliot. (Ibid.)
2 On July 22 Syed Nazrul Islam, using the title of Acting President of Bangladesh, sent a telegram to President Nixon asking him to intervene on behalf of Mujibur Rahman. (Telegram 140332 to Islamabad, July 30; ibid.)
-The State/AID package of telegrams would be reworked by State, AID and Hal Saunders, in the light of the President's remarks, to separate some of the political issues from relief matters;
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-112, SRG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Secret. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. The minutes indicate that the meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and concluded at 3:55. According to Kissinger's appointment book, the meeting began at 3:10 and was interrupted at 3:15 by a meeting of the principal members of the Senior Review Group with President Nixon. That meeting concluded at 3:47 at which point the meeting of the Senior Review Group resumed and concluded at 4:20 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968-1976, Record of Schedule)
2 Reference is to two draft telegrams conveyed to Kissinger under a covering memorandum on August 7 by Eliot. One was a draft telegram from AID to Islamabad and New Delhi providing a status report on humanitarian relief in East Pakistan that emphasized the importance of preventing a famine. The other was a draft telegram of instructions to Ambassadors Keating and Farland entitled "Scenario for Action in the IndoPakistan Crisis," that outlined initiatives to be undertaken with Prime Minister Gandhi and President Yahya. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-058, SRG Meeting, Pakistan/Cyprus, 8/11/71)
-Mr. Williams would leave for Pakistan next week to make the presentation to Yahya on relief matters and discuss with M.M. Ahmad the case to be made to the World Bank consortium in October.
Mr. Kissinger: The President would like to see the principals for a few minutes on Pakistan.
(The following adjourned to the President's office and returned at 3:47: Irwin, Sisco, Selden, Cushman, Moorer, Williams, Kissinger, Saunders; see separate minutes.)3
Mr. Kissinger: I think we covered the main points with the President on what is needed. We have the AID package on relief and refugees. I suggest we separate out some of the political issues from the relief matters. Saunders and Van Hollen can work together on this. Mr. Irwin: I agree we've covered everything. We will take another look at the package in the light of the President's remarks.
Mr. Kissinger: Is $100 million the right figure for refugee relief. We're prepared to entertain a larger figure if that would be desirable.
Mr. Sisco: We should discuss the timing of this. Some people believe we can do too much too quickly with the Indians.
Mr. Kissinger: I'm talking about Pakistan. We're not so eager to do things for India. We want to make a demonstrable case to prevent famine in East Pakistan.
Mr. Irwin: They don't need money as much as they do the means for distribution.
Mr. Selden: The real problem is distribution.
Mr. Williams: And administration.
Mr. Kissinger: Hal Saunders can get together with you on some changes in the State/AID message rather than redraft it here. Can we get the whole package out this week?
Mr. Sisco: I think so.
Mr. Kissinger: Then Maury Williams can go out there to make the presentation to Yahya. I think that is as much as can be done
Mr. Irwin: The quicker he can get there, the better.
Mr. Williams: We want to let the UN get out in front, though. Phase One should be an announcement by the UN that they are taking on the responsibility. My trip can then be made in support of the UN effort.
Mr. Kissinger: When will the UN announcement be made?
3 Document 121.