611.83/7–1950: Telegram

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


34. Deptel 13, July 14. Legation has taken advantage every appropriate occasion to offer similar sound advice to Syrians (both in official and non-official circles) see this connection Legdes 24 of July 191 reporting press versions of my conversations with newsmen. While some usually find basic agreement re desirability Syria’s economic development and American aid therein, deep-seated chagrin over our past support of establishment of Israel in Palestine to Arab disadvantage and fear of further Israeli aggression makes almost everyone suspicious of our professed good intentions and current impartiality.

Syrian Minister Khouri’s pessimism in present circumstances is quite understandable and shows commendable insight for one so far from scene. While we should all continue work to allay suspicion and to encourage confidence so necessary to restoration of greater measure stability in Syria, as well as cooperation with US, past experience has demonstrated that it would be unfortunate self-deception to expect too much of the future without remedying the errors of the past that brought about present situation (reLegdes 352 of June 16 and my letter of June 23, to Berry2).

US initiative in and support of UN Security Council’s prompt action against aggression in Korea, being in such marked contrast to US and UN apathy toward Israeli disregard of UN resolutions re Palestine, has given new hope to Syrians that in light Korean precedent, Israeli will henceforth encounter stiffer attitude in US and UN both regarding so far ignored UN resolution regarding Palestine and any possible future Israeli aggression versus Arabs.

Prime Minister Qudsi, who is destined to play continuing important role in Syrian scene, whether in power or in opposition, states he is now willing to try cooperation with US on ad hoc basis of demonstrated impartiality. Unstable state Syrian politics and uncertainty future is burden of proof of ability of US and Syria to cooperate fruitfully despite suspicions aroused by our past Palestine associations must largely rest with US. We are suspect and will so remain until over period of time we prove by our acts, not by declared friendliness and largess alone, that we are in fact being impartial. Any pro-Israeli manifestation such as recent plugs for Israel by prominent US officials will most certainly be construed against us.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Neither printed.