783.00/7–1450: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Syria


13. Syrian Min Khouri called at his request on Asst Secy McGhee July 12 asking advice as to course of action his govt shld follow in present unstable situation it faces. He declared most Syrians still feel insecure and fearful of attack by Israel.

McGhee said Tripartite Declaration1 was designed remove any remaining fears of aggressive action in NE, and Syrian Govt shld place full confidence in it. He said Syria shld have faith in friendship of western powers and embark on truly progressive program for developing its fine econ potentialities and raising standard of living. US and internatl community stand ready assist thru many channels open to Syria such as IBRD, Eximbank and PRA. PRA offers great benefits for Syria without strings attached. Govt shld attract to itself courageous leaders who will adopt and carry thru positive programs. Khouri stated Syrian army controls govt and McGhee replied that mil often steps in to fill a vacuum where civ population is apathetic, and the converse is true where courageous civ leadership exists.

Khouri said he had once before nearly persuaded Qudsi2 to follow positive policy of cooperating with US and western powers and then govt fell. He wld write again in same vein now but had no confidence present govt wld last or that instability wld not continue.

  1. For documentation concerning the Tripartite Declaration of May 25, 1950, see pp. 122 ff.
  2. Nazim Qudsi, deputy leader of the Peoples’ Party, became Prime Minister of Syria on June 4, 1950.