This collection concerns high-level U.S. diplomatic relations with all countries of the Middle East and South Asia. The topical scope is broad, involving, for example, Indo-Pakistani relations, Lebanonís collapse into civil war, Sinai disengagement discussions between Egypt and Israel, military and economic assistance programs, oil exports and prices, the partition of Cyprus and Greek-Turkish tensions, the Rabat Summit of Arab leaders, and the Arab-Israeli conflict generally. Materials are primarily memoranda of National Security Advisers Kissinger and Scowcroft, National Security Council staff memoranda, and cable traffic between the State Department and individual U.S. embassies in the region. The collection is arranged alphabetically by name of country, with separate sequences for NSC documents and State Department telegrams. Folders for Egypt are included in this collection, but folders for the other Arab nations of North Africa are located in Presidential Country Files for Africa.
14 linear feet (ca. 28,000 pages)
Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-118)
Open, but some materials continue to be national security classified and restricted. Access is governed by the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, and National Archives and Records Administration regulations (36 CFR 1256).
Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.
Prepared by Helmi Raaska, February 2004
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The Presidential Country Files for the Middle East and South Asia is one of many subcollections that comprise the National Security Adviser Files.
This particular subcollection concerns U.S. relations with all countries in the Middle East and South Asia, encompassing both regional and bilateral matters. In arrangement, the first folders concern the Middle East in general or the United States Sinai Support Mission. The rest of this substantial collection is arranged alphabetically by country name and thereunder by type of document, i.e. National Security Council letterhead memos in the first folders, Secretary of State – Embassy cables in the next folders. Egypt is included here, but researchers should consult Presidential Country Files for Africa for the other Arab nations of North Africa.
Scope and Content of the Materials
Presidential Country Files include materials prepared for and by the National Security Adviser and National Security Council staff. Memoranda, reports, briefing papers, schedule proposals, correspondence, and telegrams make up the bulk of the collection.
Materials in the “Middle East – General” folders relate to a variety of topics including arms sales, economic and military assistance, reassessment period in American Middle East policy, Palestine Liberation Organization, Arab boycott of companies trading with Israel, and tensions between India and Pakistan. The Sinai Support Mission materials concern the establishment of the Mission and the appointment of C. William Kontos as its director.
Materials on several significant foreign policy events are found throughout the collection under multiple country headings. These events include the Sinai II disengagement negotiations between Israel and Egypt, negotiations with Greece and Turkey to resolve the Cyprus partition crisis, and the emerging civil war in Lebanon. Other topics include Arab-Israeli relations in general, Palestinian representation in the Middle East peace process, arms sales, military cooperation, economic assistance, and concern about the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Several country headings merit special mention. Egypt and Israel are significant for materials on all aspects of the peace process and related topics such as U.S. military and economic assistance, the United Nations, monitoring stations in the Sinai, and transport of Israeli cargo through the Suez Canal. Folders for Egypt also include material on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia folders include materials relating to the Middle East peace process, Arab-Israeli relations, Lebanon, arms sales, and military training. Materials in Saudi Arabia folders are also relevant for discussions about oil and the Arab boycott of businesses dealing with Israel. In addition to materials concerning Cyprus, folders for Greece and Turkey also contain information about their conflict over territorial sea and continental shelf in the Aegean Sea, military base negotiations, and the U.S. arms embargo against Turkey. The Iran and Iraq folders contain material on the conflict between these countries and their relations with the Kurds. Specific to Iran are materials on Iranian investment in the U.S., especially in Pan American Airways, U.S.-Iranian bilateral oil agreements, manufacturing co-production agreements, and uranium enrichment. Folders for India and Pakistan have materials relating to their bilateral relations, Bangladesh, and development and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Materials for India also concern naval deployments in the Indian Ocean and naval facilities on Diego Garcia.
Throughout this subcollection State Department telegrams provide an overview of communications between officials in Washington and staff at embassies across the region. They provide contemporaneous, on-the-scene reports and analyses of events and conversations. The telegrams also convey comments and analyses by host government officials and members of the diplomatic corps from other countries. PRESNET search reports, available upon request from Ford Library staff, provide subject access to the broad range of topics discussed in the telegrams.
Related materials are available in various White House Central Files Subject File categories, especially country files. The National Security Adviser Files subcollection Kissinger Reports on USSR, China, and Middle East Discussions, 1974-1976, is especially relevant to the Middle East peace process and negotiations between Egypt and Israel. Researchers can locate related material in other processed/declassified segments of National Security Adviser Files by requesting PRESNET search reports. Additional materials will undoubtedly become available as declassification processing continues in all Ford Library collections.