The Secretary of State to the Consul at Beirut (Knabenshue)
Sir: The Department has received and read with interest your despatch No. 2118 of March 9, 1926 and Consul Keeley’s despatch No. 329 of March 3, 1926 referred to therein reporting the recent representations made by the Consulates at Beirut and Damascus to the French mandatory authorities in Syria with respect to the protection of American citizens residing in the Damascus consular district. In particular, it is noted that, after consultation with you, Consul Keeley availed himself of the authorization, contained in the Department’s telegram of February 23, 1926, in addressing circular letters to all Americans residing in Damascus inviting their attention to the danger attending residence in the city and its environs and strongly advising them to leave the city.
The Department is pleased to commend the action taken by you and by Consul Keeley in this matter together with the character of your respective representations to the French mandatory authorities.
Further instructions are being prepared by the Department with respect to the special questions raised by the recent kidnapping of Doctor Melikian, Honorary Dragoman of the Consulate at Damascus, and the killing of Mrs. Fatmeh Hessie in that city, as reported respectively in Consul Keeley’s despatches Nos. 323 and 328 of February 23 and March 2, 1926.77
I am [etc.]
- Neither printed.↩