783.00/1–950: Telegram

The Minister in Syria ( Keeley ) to the Secretary of State 1


16. Deptel 8, January 7. Consensus Legation officers is that having ref rained from any expression of concern over previous military coups US would be ill advised to take initiative in doing so at this juncture.

British are in somewhat different position as they are suspect and failure to speak out might be taken as confirmation British intrigue in favor Syrian-Iraqi Union. See, in this connection, Legtel 13, January 92 re exchange of views with British Minister and my reply (Legtel 14, January 93) to Fr Minister’s suggestion that we go even further than Britain has gone.

Legation feels however that should Prime and Foreign Minister actually broach subject, or suitable occasion otherwise arise, it should informally (conversation confirmed by aide-mémoire) express US concern in sense of Deptel 8 which might serve to strengthen position of civil authorities. To help counteract possible misinterpretation we should mention démarche in Depcirtel December 22, 7 p. m.4 and recall bur position (Depcirtel October 18, 5 a. m.5) on [apparent garble].

Suitable occasion may arise momentarily as Prime Minister has asked me to see him January 10 at noon.6

  1. Repeated to Baghdad, Jidda, London, Cairo, Amman, Beirut, Tel Aviv, and Ankara.
  2. Not printed; it described a conversation with the British Minister in Syria, P. M. Broadmead, during which he informed Keeley that the British Government was announcing to “certain other governments” in the Near East that it opposed any interference in Syrian affairs (783.00/1–950).
  3. Not printed; it explained Keeley’s refusal to agree to a French proposal whereby the United States and France would inform Syria that they opposed the idea of a Syrian-Iraqi union (783.00/1–950).
  4. Not printed; it instructed diplomatic officers to advise the government to Which they were accredited to “refrain from any precipitous action and fol policy complete nonintervention” (890D.00/12–2249).
  5. Not printed; it stated “US continues disfavor any use of force or intervention change status NE countries but shld not oppose union of peoples responsive to their freely expressed will” (790D.90G/10–1849).
  6. On January 11 the Department sent a telegram to Damascus approving these suggestions (telegram 11, 783.00/1–950).