EMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION
Hussien Abdulkadir Kassim, Minister of Mineral and Water Resources
Ambassador Abudllahi Adu Addou (DC)
Abdurahman Jama Barre, Director General, MU,
Mohamed Mohamud, Counselor
US The Secretary Under Secretary Habib
Acting Assistant Secretary Seelye Frank Wisner (Notetaker)
DATE: October 8, 1976
TIME: 3:45 p.m.
PLACE: Secretary's apartment at the Waldorf-Astoria,
KISSINGER: What does "Acting Foreign Minister" mean?
KASSIM: I am the Minister for Minerals and Water, but I have represented the Government at a number of international conferences.
ADDOU: He is the de facto Foreign Minister.
KISSINGER: How long have you been in
KASSIM: Over two weeks. In a few days I will return home, but I may not go straight back. I may stop en route.
KISSINGER: It sounds like you have already made your mind up to stop.
KASSIM: I try to take care of the interests of my country and do so without fanfare.
KISSINGER: For a medium-sized country, you make a lot of news.
KASSIM: It all depends on the way the wind blows. Is it we who make the news or others who create conditions that force us to act?
KISSINGER: You should see me when I am trying to make news.
ADDOU: With the press following you so closely; you always make news.
KISSINGER: What is the state of our relations?
KASSIM: I would like to comment on that. I believe there is room for improvement.
KISSINGER: I agree with you.
KASSIM: Yes, there is room for improvement. You made a good point during your toast at lunch. You are learning about
KISSINGER: I have learned a lot from watching African politics. You Somalis are rough. I do not mean that as a criticism, but you play tough internal politics.
KASSIM: We speak our hearts and minds.
KISSINGER: I don't believe that the African states as a group are hostile, but if you look at the actions of the Somali Government, you can hardly judge them to be nonaligned. On almost every international issue you oppose us. We can't be wrong all the time. The law of averages does not work that way.
KASSIM: From our point of view,
KISSINGER: We are not against non-alignment. Every African state is non-aligned except possibly for
KASSIM: That is not an unfair picture but it is an incomplete one. We follow the actions of the
of the Somali nation is at stake. Your actions have not always indicated neutrality.
KISSINGER: Would you give me an example?
KISSINGER: Why do we think that you have more military equipment than
KASSIM: That is wrong.
KISSINGER: You want a part of
KASSIM: No, we want freedom for the part of
KISSINGER: Is that part of
KASSIM: The Ethiopians took the southern portion of their country which was inhabited exclusively by Somalis in 1884. Until 1960 Ethiopians were present in small administrative and military groups. Now they have reinforced their control and the situation is different., KISSINGER: So you will be hostile until you obtain the rest of your territory.
KASSIM: The other way around. We do not renounce the rights of our people and our nation. We suffer from a colonial situation.
KISSINGER: There are Somalis in northern
KASSIM: That is an historical fact. The British Government organized a Province in 1963 for what they called the
KISSINGER: There is little we can do about history but as you know,
KASSIM: We are closer and have a better understanding there. There are pressures working/ We cannot cover every subject in this meeting. We would prefer to talk about the present. We want you to listen to us and we want to listen to you. The cause of unhappy relations between the
KISSINGER: We suffer under the impression that you are better armed than
KASSIM: We were invaded in 1963 and 1964.
KISSINGER: I will take another look at our intelligence.
KASSIM: We believe there is a role for you to play, We are aware of your history and your principles. We don 't understand your hostile attitude towards a small state. Look what you did during our drought.
KISSINGER: Talcott, what did we do?
SEELYE: We provided assistance.
KASSIM: Yes, but you said we had a Soviet base and we invited observers to come and see for themselves.
KISSINGER: That is right. And all of them came to the same conclusion--even those who were opposed at the outset. They left convinced that you had a Soviet base.
KASSIM: Do you believe that?
KISSINGER: I believe we can survive a Soviet base on Somalian territory, but I guess it depends on how you define a base. If you define a base as a place where
military personnel are stationed and service military equipment, that is a base. In the
KASSIM: You need to know more about the nature of our people. We will never permit a foreign base. We have no bases or facilities. We have seen pictures from your satellites and know that you said we had missiles. We checked your allegation and found what you called a missile was in fact a minaret of a Mosque.
KISSINGER: Perhaps you are tricky and hide missiles in minarets.
KASSIM: We opened the Mosque for your observers to visit. We do not have the money to buy missiles.
KISSINGER: We don't believe they are your missiles. But towards feel
let us get off this. We hostility /
KASSIM: There is reason to improve our relations, and there may be an opportunity to do so. We need to be clear about each other's positions. We lack consultations.
KISSINGER: I will take a look at the question of the military balance. We have no reason to take sides in your relations with the Ethiopians. posture,
KASSIM: If you are prepared to adopt a neutral/ why don't you help contribute to peace?
KISSINGER: If I became involved in any more African problems I will lose my sanity. I will think about it.
KASSIM: We look for a change in your attitude.
KISSINGER: What can we do?
KASSIM: Bluntly, you can cause the bullet to be dislodged from the gun. We believe you should reconsider your strategy in
KISSINGER: Would you stop military equipment coming from the Soviet Union if we stop deliveries to
KASSIM: We are not receiving military equipment from the
1964 we were attacked and were without defense. If one party receives arms and we do not, the situation becomes dangerous.
KISSINGER: If we don't send arms to
KASSIM: But you have given $200 million in military equipment to
KISSINGER: That's impossible. We have only given $60 million to all of
When you ask us to stop, what do you mean? Future arms deliveries or present deliveries?
KISSINGER: Talcott, how much are we giving
SEELYE: $10 million to $20 million this year.
KASSIM: I stick to my version. We know you are giving $200 million.
KISSINGER: This is insane.
HABIB: Perhaps if you count deliveries over past years some figure like the one the Minister mentions might be the case.
KISSINGER: We have no reason to lie to you; we tell you what is true.
KASSIM: We would appreciate the information.
KISSINGER: It is all in the public record. Such information is easy to obtain.
KASSIM: Such large grants fuel tensions.
KISSINGER: I think you are wrong.
KASSIM: Let's hope I am wrong.
KISSINGER: Can you give me an idea of what we should do--concretely?
KASSIM: Yes, We look forward to an attitude of American goodwill toward
KISSINGER: How can we dispell suspicion?
KASSIM: By stopping your military equipment.
KISSINGER: Do you act as Foreign Minister in
KASSIM: I help the President and the Foreign Ministry.
KISSINGER: I will ask our Ambassador to have a general talk on how we can improve our relations. Let's see where this takes us. Who should we talk to?
ADDOU: You should talk to Dr. Adburahman. He comes from the Foreign Ministry.
SEELYE: Our Ambassador has had trouble in making appointments.
ADDOU: That is not correct. Your Ambassador has full access. Just like you, our people are busy. Sometimes he has to wait three or four days, but so do all ambassadors.
KISSINGER: I will ask our Ambassador to get together with you and begin a general exchange of views. I want to thank you. We feel no hostility and you have nothing we
want but we have the impression you systematically oppose us.
|Dagaalkii Cabdiraxmaan Mursal iyo Ingiriiska ee Jubbooyinka 1915-1918|
|German leader Erich Honecker and Fidel Castro conspiring against Somalia in 1977|
|Memorandum of Conversation, East German Official with Soviet Ambassador to Ethiopia Ratanov|
|LETTER sent by Emperor Menelek to the Heads of European States in 1891|
|Text of the letter By former Somaliland President Egal to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin|