30. Telegram 133328 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Egypt1

133328. Subject: Northrop-Page Air Defense System for Libya. From the Secretary for Ambassador.

1. Request you convey orally the following message from me to Foreign Minister Fahmy at your earliest convenience.

2. Begin message. I would appreciate your taking up with President Sadat once again the subject of the pending sale by the American firm Northrop-Page of an air defense system for Libya. As you know, we have been informed that the Libyan Government has selected Page Communications, a branch of Northrop-Page Corporation, to install a 150 million dols air defense system, provided the company can obtain the required authorization from the U.S. Government. The company has told us that there is the possibility that the amounts involved will be significantly higher than this figure by the time this project is completed—to our knowledge, this is a strictly defensive and fixed system. The British and the French have also been involved in the bidding for this contract and there have been unconfirmed indications that the Libyans may have discussed an air defense system with the Soviets recently.

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Since this contract is basically a system of a defensive character, and is a system which the Libyans can buy, in any event, from other sources, we would like to consider going ahead on this matter and approving this sale. However, I do not want to go ahead with this project without, frankly, having the benefit of your and President Sadat’s views. End message.

  1. Summary: The Embassy in Cairo was instructed to ask Sadat and Foreign Minister Fahmy for their views concerning the pending sale of an air defense system to Libya.

    Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 177, Geopolitical File, Libya 1973–76. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Sisco on June 19; cleared by Gammon and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Sidney Sober; and approved by Kissinger. In telegram 4502 from Cairo, June 22, the Embassy reported that Sadat had no objections to the sale, but requested notification when the transaction was finalized and details about the items sold. (Ibid.)