NEA Files: Lot 55–D36
Statement by the United States and the United Kingdom Groups
Problem: The Arab League
- The British group stated that the British Government had not taken the initiative in creating the Arab League but they had indicated that they were not adverse to it and currently maintained contact with it through the British Middle East Office and otherwise. On the one hand, the League had a certain usefulness in lessening friction between the Arab States but on the other hand it had lately displayed certain anti-foreign tendencies. This raised the question of the advisability of its continuance, with the arguments being about evenly balanced. Were it to break up, the tendency for the Arab Nations to split into two blocs might be accentuated. These might then seek foreign partners and one or the other might lend an ear to Soviet propaganda. Moreover, any attempt to bring about its dissolution might only serve to arouse Arab antagonism.
- The American group stated that the United States Government, after a period of initial reserve, had in 1945 welcomed the League,1 but that the tendency of the League to extend its activities outside the Arab States, particularly in North Africa, had recently given rise to [Page 607] concern. It was recognized that the League served as a useful forum for the discussion of Arab problems, but it was felt that activities of the League had thus far centered excessively on political problems to the virtual exclusion of attention to economic and social development. The American Government still considered, however, that the League was serving a useful purpose.
Both groups found their views about the Arab League to be in general accord. The two Governments should watch developments carefully and there should be exchanges of views and consultation.