260. Minutes of the Secretary of State’s Staff Regional Staff Meeting1 2


  • D—Mr. Ingersoll
  • P—Mr. Sisco
  • M—Mr. Eagleburger, Acting
  • C—Mr. Sonnenfeldt
  • AF—Ambassador Davis
  • ARA—Mr. Rogers
  • EA—Mr. Habib
  • EUR—Mr. Hartman
  • NEA—Mr. Atherton
  • INR—Mr Hyland
  • S/P—Mr. Lewis, Acting
  • EB—Mr. Katz, Acting
  • S/PRS—Ambassador Anderson
  • PM—Mr. Vest
  • IO—Ambassador Buffum
  • L—Mr. Leigh
  • S/S—Mr. Springsteen
  • S—Mr. Bremer

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Sikkim.]

[Page 2]

MR. ATHERTON: The next step in the disappearance of Sikkim has taken place. There was a plebiscite and as expected they have asked to join India as a constituent state.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: What is the Indian obsession with annexing Sikkim?

MR. ATHERTON: It is their obsession with the Himalayan frontier.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: Then why not Nepal? Is that next?

MR. ATHERTON: That would be a little more difficult. They are a member of the United Nations. In fact, I don’t think they really wanted to take this last step, until the Chogyal tried to assert more authority than he had. And he made some statements at the coronation of the King of Nepal publicly, which upset the Indians. So they just finally decided that they had gone too far, and disarmed his palace guard. The Sikkim Assembly voted to request inclusion—a plebiscite. And it will become just another Indian state. And the Chogyal will probably—you may well get a request for him to come here, since his wife is here.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: We will accept it, won’t we?

[Page 3]

MR. ATHERTON: I think so. It has a nice esoteric complication, because his wife gave up her citizenship to marry him.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I think the country can stand the Chogyal of Sikkim.

MR. ATHERTON: There are enough people in Congress interested in this.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Sikkim.]

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–77, Entry 5177, Box 3, Secretary’s Analytical Staff Meetings. Secret.
  2. Secretary of State Kissinger and Assistant Secretary Atherton discussed the fate of the Chogyal.