Visit of the Regent of Iraq to the United States

[In March 1945, President Roosevelt extended an invitation to Abdul Ilah, the Regent of Iraq, to visit the United States as a guest of this Government. The invitation was accepted and arrangements were completed for the Regent to arrive on April 19. As a result of the President’s death on April 12, the visit was suspended.

President Truman invited the Regent to visit the United States late in May, and the invitation was accepted. The President greeted his guest at the White House on May 28, in the company of White House staff and Department of State officers. Acting Secretary of State Grew noted, in a memorandum of conversation, that “we brought out the fact that we wished to develop closer relations with Iraq and that the best method of doing this was to develop a free flow of traffic and communications between our two countries. For this reason, and in order that more Americans might be interested in visiting Iraq, we felt it important that agreements should be made permitting the free and direct access of American civil aviation to Iraq and also the setting up of a direct radiotelephone and telegraph circuit with the United States so that messages would not have to pass through other capitals. Our interest in the great oil resources of Iraq was also brought out.”

Nuri Pasha as-Said, former Prime Minister of Iraq and leading member of the Regent’s entourage, discussed the question of Iraqi petroleum with officers of the Department on May 29; see memorandum of May 29 by Mr. Grew and footnote 10, pages 49 and 51, respectively.

The Regent and President Truman exchanged messages on June 27 and July 8, on the occasion of the departure of the former from the United States; for texts, see Department of State Bulletin, July 8, 1945, page 71.

Documentation regarding the visit of the Regent is found in Department of State files under No. 890G.001.]