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The Buraimi Dispute

The Buraimi Dispute
Contemporary Documents 1950–1961
10 Volume Hardback Set Including Boxed Maps

Cambridge Archive Editions
  • Date Published: December 1992
  • availability: Available
  • format: Mixed media product
  • isbn: 9781852074203

Mixed media product

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  • This companion work to the Archive Editions' publication The Buraimi Memorials provides the evidence of the original historical and contemporary political files to set alongside the official government submissions of the Memorials. With one volume summarising the historical background from earlier records, key documents are assembled providing a broad perspective on events and conditions in the Buraimi Region in the post-war period. The chronological presentation of original records shows the cumulative build-up in the late 1940s and early 1950s of local incidents, tribal unrest, intrigue and political tension; including details of Saudi and British manoeuvres and diplomacy. The set is illustrated with a box of contemporary maps including Ibn Saud's map of Arabia.

    • Facsimile collections of key documents from archive sources
    • Previously unknown or fragmented material now available in a coherent collection
    • Carefully selected and edited for maximum value to researchers and scholars
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 1992
    • Format: Mixed media product
    • Isbn: 9781852074203
    • Length: 8000 pages
    • Dimensions: 440 x 400 x 269 mm
    • Weight: 17kg
    • Availability: Available
    • Binding: Library bindings with gilt
    • Resume

      This companion work to the Archive Editions' publication The Buraimi Memorials provides the evidence of the original historical and contemporary political files to set alongside the official government submissions of the Memorials. With one volume summarising the historical background from earlier records, key documents are assembled providing a broad perspective on events and conditions in the Buraimi Region in the post-war period. The chronological presentation of original records shows the cumulative build-up in the late 1940s and early 1950s of local incidents, tribal unrest, intrigue and political tension; including details of Saudi and British manoeuvres and diplomacy. The set is illustrated with a box of contemporary maps including Ibn Saud's map of Arabia. 

    • Historical Overview

      This publication provides a sequence of key documents selected from the enormous amount of archive material relating to the Buraimi dispute. While most of the publication is organised around the development and aftermath of the armed crisis in 1955, the first volume provides historical background up to 1949.

      The documents convey the complexity of regional and tribal affairs and the cumulative strain of territorial claims and provocations. The documents show how over a period of years the British and Saudis developed irreconcilable positions and how the various attempts at settlement, including the Dammam Conference and the Arbitration Tribunal, rapidly became likely to fail.
      On a wider front the records show how the commercial interests of Aramco became entangled with American foreign policy and how the determination of the British to maintain their earlier level of influence led to the alienation of US support. With hindsight the Buraimi affair can be seen in conjunction with the Suez crisis as a point of re-alignment of British relations both with the Americans and with the Arab world.

      The Buraimi dispute was apparently settled in 1974 when Saudi Arabia ceded, or at least relaxed, its claim in favour of Abu Dhabi in return for territorial concessions elsewhere; although the agreement has not been published.

      The Buraimi Dispute: contemporary documents provides scholars and researchers with the detailed primary materials required for an understanding of the origins and escalation of the Buraimi crisis, as well as of the following years of international diplomatic repercussions involving the Arab League and the United Nations, the roles of the UK and the US and the evolving relationships of Abu Dhabi, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

    • Documentary Importance

      This collection of primary source material provides evidence from the original political archives to set beside the official government submissions of the Buraimi Memorials themselves. Key documents show the build-up of tension and the clash of interests between the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Omani and Abu Dhabi, the British and the Americans. It includes detailed records of tribal relations and allegiances, payments of zakat, frontier claims and incursions, provocative actions and armed incidents, all of which demonstrate the international repercussions of the Buraimi dispute, the severance of Anglo-Saudi diplomatic relations, the linkage with the Suez crisis, and the increasing strain on Anglo-American understanding. 

    • Arrangement of Volumes

      CONTENTS OUTLINE

      Historical background to the 1950s dispute
      Tribal allegiances around Buraimi and the payment of zakat
      Wahhabi influence in Buraimi
      Reports on expeditions and petroleum exploration
      The Agreement of Sib between the Sultan of Muscat and Oman and leading shaikhs, 1920
      Anglo-Saudi frontier discussions, 1935
      Oil considerations, 1940-1949
      1950-1952
      Procedures for resolution of frontier dispute considered by Saudi Arabia, UK and USA, 1950
      Saudi claim and tribal allegiance
      Sultan's jurisdiction over tribes
      Saudi/Abu Dhabi relations and payment of zakat
      Status of Imam's administration, 1951
      Activities of Aramco and IPC
      Anglo-Saudi frontier conference at Dammam, 1952
      Arrival of Turki bin Ataishan in Hamasa
      Saudi call for American intervention
      Proposal for Standstill Agreement
      1953
      Consideration of use of force by HMG
      Situation in Buraimi, Dhank and Ibri
      Rift among Beni Ka'ab
      Infringement of Standstill Agreement
      Saudi tax collecting
      Activities of Turki bin Ataishan, Abdullah bin Salim and Obaid bin Juma'a
      1954
      Support by HMG of Gulf Rulers and Shaihks
      British attitude to United Nations
      Deployment of Muscat Levies
      Increase in shooting incidents
      Attitudes of Shaikh Saqr and Shaikh Zaid
      Shaikh Shakhbut visits Buraimi
      Oman applications to join Arab League
      Anglo-American relations
      Saudi approach to United Nations
      Extent of American Government's involvement with Aramco
      British and Saudi protests
      Nominations for Arbitration Tribunal
      1955
      Evidence and preparations for Arbitration Tribunal
      First meeting of Arbitration tribunal
      Access to Buraimi
      Anglo-Saudi relations prior to arbitration
      Arbitration proceedings and breakdown, September 1955
      British military action and approach to UN
      International repercussions of British action
      Aramco incursion; Anglo-American relations
      1956
      Situation in Buraimi after re-occupation; tribal allegiance
      Omani-British relations
      Saudi documents found in Buraimi
      Anglo-American relations; influence of Col. Nasser on King Saud
      Repercussions of Suez
      1957-1959
      Situation in Oman and British military intervention
      Involvement of UN and Arab League
      Action against Omani rebels
      Frontiers between Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi near Buraimi
      The exiled Shaikhs of Buraimi
      Khor al Odaid and the Buraimi refugees
      1960-1961
      Shaikh Zaid's relations with Muscat
      United Nations discussion on Oman
      Anglo-Saudi relations
      Aramco incursions and boundary claims
      The de Ribbing Mission on the Buraimi question, 1961
      Negotiations for the return of refugees

    • Key Documents

      MAPS

      01. Map illustrating Anglo-Saudi Boundary negotiations, 1935-1937. [Foreign Office Research Dept. 1941]

      02. Outline map from Petroleum Development, Qatar to Sir Rupert Hay, I5th November 1949, to accompany note on parts of Eastern Arabia, showing routes and tribes; including detail of Buraimi Oasis.

      03. 'Tribes of Oman'. Map of Oman showing tribes of Muscat and Oman. Published by Foreign Office Research Dept., October 1950.

      04. Map of Southern Arabia published by Foreign Office Research Dept., October 1949 to illustrate claim lines and tribal areas - to accompany Memorandum to State Dept.

      05. 'Frontier Claims by Ibn Saud'. Map of South East Arabia published by Foreign Office Research Dept., March 1951. Map showing frontier claim lines.

      06. Arabic map prepared for the Saudi Arabian Government by ARAMCO, July 1951.

      07. Map of South Eastern Arabia (Appendix 'D') illustrating significance of the Wadi Jizzi Area - to accompany document EA 1016/12, 19 October 1954.

      08. Arabic map published by ARAMCO of South Eastern Arabia showing the claims of King Ibn Saud - produced in Riyadh by the King.

      09. Map showing the disputed areas referred to Arbitration, 1954 and Central Oman, Dhofar and the Hadhramaut, Foreign Office Research Dept., January 1955.

      10. RAF map of Oman to accompany Report of Searches carried out by aircraft of no. 1417 Flight: February 1955.

      11. Map issued by the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations on 20 January 1956. Accompanies Saudi Arabian brochure on British aggression.

      12. Map of south eastern Arabia illustrating modified Riyadh Line, 1956.

      13. Map of south eastern Arabia illustrating operational areas of oil companies in relation to the Riyadh Line. Accompanies letter from Sir G. Middleton to Mr R.A. Beaumont, 11 February 1961.

      14. Map of south eastern Arabia. Foreign Office Research Dept., May 1955 (revised and corrected March 1961).

  • Editor

    J. Priestland

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