10. Telegram 62911 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Libya1

62911. Subject: Libya Air Space Problem. Reference: State 51869, Tripoli 385.

1. Department requests you submit note to MFA which would confirm U.S. view re distinction to be drawn in international law between “restricted area” and “danger area” which you believe LARG may not fully understand. Note should make points which Embassy has already made orally to MFA, drawing on State 210803, November 10, 1972.

2. Note should not repeat not refer to Ministry note of March 28 which we rejected here, New York, and Tripoli. It should, instead, be based on your earlier démarches this subject and refer to March 21 C–130 incident as evidence of urgent need for full understanding of elements of problem. Consistent with foregoing, tone of note as well as substance should be straight forward, with absence of polemic. It should avoid indication of steps USG may feel required to take in order to protect its rights while affording LARG opportunity to continue discussion if it wishes do so.

3. In presenting note you should also indicate that our investigation of C–130 incident indicates that aircraft was fired upon by Libyan Mirages at 34 05 N, 14 20 E, at a distance of 82 nautical miles from Libyan coast line. You should indicate you are providing this information in interest of establishing facts of case.

  1. Summary: The Embassy was instructed to deliver a note to Minister of Foreign Affairs Mansur Kikhyan, explaining the U.S. position regarding the distinction between “restricted area” and “danger area” in international law. The Embassy was also instructed to share the results of the U.S. investigation into the March 21 incident.

    Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–780002, Box 6, Libya 452. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by James J. Blake in AF/N on April 3; cleared by Miller in S/S, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs David D. Newsom, in substance by Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Joseph Sisco, and in substance by the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research Ray S. Cline; and approved by the Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Porter. A notation on the document reads: “Deputy Secretary has seen.” In telegram 449 from Tripoli, April 10, the Embassy informed the Department that the note was delivered that morning. (Ibid.)