Visit of Lord Carrington, Secretary of State for Defence, to Saudi Arabia and Oman, 8-13 April 1973

FCO 8/2114 1973 Jan 01 - 1973 Dec 31

This file concerns the UK Secretary of State for Defence Lord Carrington's [Peter Carington] visit to Saudi Arabia and Oman in April 1973. This was the highest level visit by a British minister to Oman since the Sultan of Oman Qaboos Bin Saeed Al Saeed's accession. It contains a defence sales brief for both his visits, including reference to:

  • The Saudi Arabian Air Defence Scheme
  • Multiple models of aircraft and helicopters
  • The Saudi Arabian National Guard
  • Vigilant missiles
  • The re-equipment of the Yemen Arab Republic Armed Forces
  • The support given to Egypt by Saudi Arabia
  • Current sales in Oman

This file also contains a brief on defence and security forces in Dhofar, including reference to:

  • British assistance
  • Assistance from Abu Dhabi, India, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia
  • The Sultan's Armed Forces
  • The Sultan of Oman's Air Force
  • The Sultan of Oman's Navy
  • Firqats

This file also contains a conversation between Lord Carrington and the Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, including reference to:

  • Anglo-Saudi relations
  • Oman
  • The two Yemens
  • The Navy
  • The Army
  • The Royal Saudi Air Force
  • Sales of Jaguar aircraft to Saudi Arabia
  • Training assistance in the UK

This file also contains political briefs relating to Saudi Arabia and Oman, including reference to:

  • Saudi foreign relations
  • The Arab-Israeli conflict
  • The Khartoum killings, during which a group of Palestinians from the Black September organisation attacked the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum during a party
  • Palestinian terrorism
  • Oman's economy

This file also contains:

  • A draft note by Lord Carrington informing his colleagues of the current military situation in Oman, and the advice he proposes to give when talking to the Sultan
  • A draft of a press announcement to be released shortly before Lord Carrington's trip
  • Discussion of arrangements and proposed itineraries, including mention of: a meeting with the Saudi Arabian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; an audience with King Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud; and calls on Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Prince Fahd and Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
  • Confirmation that Prime Minister Edward Heath is content with Lord Carrington's visit
  • Correspondence concerning: the 'Memorandum of Understanding' (MoU), marking the visits with symbolic gifts, dinner at the Palace of Seeb with the Sultan, and Oman's relations with South Yemen (PDYR)
  • A background brief on the Masirah and Salalah Agreements
  • A recommendation that Lord Carrington tell the Sultan that HMG must now restrict the number of loaned service personnel based in Oman; and memoranda on the conditions of service of loaned personnel in Oman and Saudi Arabia
  • A draft minute from Lord Carrington to the Prime Minister on the recent developments in Oman