783.56/1–1050: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Syria


40. Legtel 20, Jan 10. Dept approves ur comments to PriMin. No legal auth now exists provide mil mission or grant or sell Syria arms from USG procurement. However Dept contemplates no change vis-à-vis Syria its export licensing pol Arab States and Israel defined Depcirtel Sep 7, 1949.1

FYI: Although policy above wld permit Syrians purchase arms US commercial sources not likely quantities available commercial dealers cld materially affect Syrian econ or mil position. Moreover all applications export licenses carefully screened in terms limitations set forth refcirtel.

FYI: Conversations with Brit progressing on exchange info arms shipments NE states. Talks not yet initiated with ER this subj pending estab working agreement with UK. Meanwhile Dept wld welcome ur further comments and summary available info Fr arms shipments Syria to date and projected.

FYI: Syrian Leg notified Dept Jan 18 that any arms export application made prior that date does not carry approval Syrian Govt. Accordingly, application export Dec 2 to Syria Minister of Natl. Defense spare parts for AT–6 value $248,000.00 and application pending since Aug 1949 for export 10,000 steel helmets being cancelled by Dept.

  1. Not printed; it stated that the United States would export arms to a country if it were determined that the equipment was necessary for “(a) maintaining internal law and order by Govt in reasonable and legitimate exercise of constituted authority; (b) reasonable requirement of self defense.” (711.00111 Armament Control/9–749).