RUSSIA'S POSITION ON SOUTH ARABIA

Created: 5/24/1967

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SUBJECT: Russia's Position on 3outh Arabia

1. Tba> current immediate Interest ol" tbe USSR ln South Arabia la to secure ths earliest possible departure of the British and to prevent thoir Influence froa being replaced by Saudi Arabia, tbo OS, or any otter noa-'progrotalve" power. The USSR 3eee the current Jockeying for position in the local political scenetruggle primarily be tat* on progressives and conservatives. This being tho case, the outlook for fruitful discussions with the US on Aden's future seen dla.

3. With few Indigenous assets ln South rrabla -the Coaaaunlat Party la aull and not very Influential: ban been giving tbe UAH Halted political and propaganda support for activities against the British. This backlog ls ln line with general Soviet tactics of pursuing Soviet alas through local forces already coaaltted to an aati-tteetcro course. Tbe US3R, however, would not want to seeactivities reach such as aleraing stage that the British Bight delay withdrawal. There are reports that, during his late II arch visit to Cairo, Soviet Foreign Ulnlster Oroayko advised restraint and caution on the Fgyptlaoa concerning their South Arabia operations lest thoy push the British into staying on.

J. Ruaors aros tbey aretbo Nearthe Soviets are seekingbase at Aden, rrhatevsr alght bease, lt would seea to bethe Soviet political line to take on n

which the colonial powers have given up.

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references to the US role inBast were on the whole temperate and While charging that "imperialistpractical action which might have beenby Israeli extremists solely as directto commit acts ofenear alleging that the US hadin the hostilities. Whether Kosyginto keep the door open for private talksUS, he seems to have chosen his words so asraise obstacles to such talks. eneralto the undesirability of arms races,Soviet concernroblem whichJohnson had mentioned earlier in themay also have been intimating theUS-Soviet conversations when he said thatbe good if the great powers "foundto reach decisions meeting the interests

of peace in the Middle East and the interests of universal peace,*

The Soviet premier made aconcession in the direction of Israel when he said that "every people enjoys the right toan independent national state of itstherwise, for the benefit of the Arabs, Kosygin was harsh and unrelenting toward the Israelis, even to the point of accusing them of behaving as the Nazis did. He said nothing to encourage the Arabs to be conciliatory.

Kosygin made it clear that the chief Soviet aim is to bring pressure on Israel to withdraw its troops from captured Arab territory. From the Soviet point of view, a good outcome in the General

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