890B.00/283: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt (Kirk)

1605. You may say to Shaikh Youssef Yassin, with reference to your 1829, October 13, 9 a.m.42j and 1837, October 14, 4 p.m.42k that although we have not issued any statement equivalent to the Eden statement on Arab union, our general attitude toward the nations of the Near East is well known and has undergone no recent change. That attitude is, in brief, that we desire to see the independent Near Eastern countries retain their liberties and strengthen their economic and social condition. The aspirations of other Near Eastern countries for full independence have our complete sympathy. It naturally follows that if those peoples find it advantageous to unite of their own free will, we would view such a development with sympathy, always on the understanding that it takes place in accord with the principles [Page 854] set forth in the Atlantic Charter42l and in line with the declarations of Secretary Hull, notably those of July 23, 1942 and September 12, 1943.42m

You may also say that while of course the countries concerned will shape their own decision, it seems to us that the events and problems of the last few years have shown that the Near Eastern countries need a great deal more strength in the economic, social and cultural domains and that first steps toward unity might well have these ends primarily in view.

The foregoing is for Shaikh Youssef’s background information only.42n

Repeat to Jidda.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; it reported a conversation with a member of the British Embassy in Egypt regarding the Arab union question (890B.00/284).
  3. Joint statement by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, August 14, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367.
  4. See Department of State Bulletin, July 25, 1942, p. 639, and ibid., September 18, 1943, p. 173, respectively.
  5. Mr. Kirk informed the Department in telegram No. 1976, November 4, 1943, 1 p.m., that Shaikh Youssef had been informed of the substance of the Department’s instruction on November 3; the Minister stated further that he was using the instruction “for background in reply to such questions as may be asked by other responsible inquirers.” (890B.00/294)