783.00/11–150: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Syria 1


172. Reurtel 207 Nov 1. You are authorized approach PriMin Qudsi informally to discuss in gen terms what USG might appropriately do help promote Syrian stability. You may in ur discretion guide discussion along lines numbered points (2), (4) and (6) Deptel 151 Oct 25 seeking Qudsi’s views as to whether any of these steps wld be helpful.

Re NE Missions’ comments point (1) Deptel 151 Dept concurs preferable suggest Azzam Pasha2 he may wish counsel Quwatly and Mardam3 along lines Deptel 151.

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In ur discussion with Qudsi you shld be careful refrain from committing USG to any of foregoing or other lines of action. If necessary it shld also be made clear that USG sole concern is stability of Syria and not desire support one polit group against another nor to take position on any polit plan, e.g., union with Jordan or Iraq, nor in any way interfere with orderly polit activity under constitutional procedures.

Urinfo only. Dept appreciates merits ur arguments re strengthening Qudsi position with army through offers mil advice or mil aid, but latter question can be considered only in context security NE as a whole which involves many complex problems under continuing study. Consequently, you shld endeavor avoid discussion this question. US is now in a position, however, to help strengthen Syrian Govt through provision technical assistance (re Depcirtel Sept 12, 19504) and it is at all times prepared give sympathetic consideration to supporting Syrian requests UN and specialized agencies for assistance in sound econ and social development projects. Possibility IBRD loan to Syria shld be clarified after current visit IBRD mission.5 Eximbank also prepared consider loans for projects of econ and social merit.

Re London’s 2414 Oct 27.6 Although Dept has orally informed rep Brit Emb Washington it is considering possibility some action promote Syrian stability, Dept believes any formal consultation with Brit or Fr shld be postponed pending outcome of Leg’s discussions with Qudsi and further clarification as to what, if any, action is feasible or desirable. However, Dept has no objection Emb London continue informal exchange of views with FonOff on question Syrian stability.

Dept wld appreciate Leg’s estimate as to whether and to what extent recent arrests and convictions 21 persons motivated by desire Shishakli eliminate polit enemies.

  1. Repeated to London, Paris, Cairo, Baghdad, Jidda, Amman, and Beirut.
  2. Secretary-General of the Arab League.
  3. Jamil Mardam, former Prime Minister of Syria.
  4. Not printed; it instructed diplomatic officers to inform the governments to which they were accredited that Point IV funds would be available during fiscal year 1951 and told them to assist these governments in preparing their requests for technical assistance (880.00 TA/9–1250).
  5. On July 31 the Syrian Government applied for a loan of $100 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Chargé in Damascus, Owen T. Jones, stated that Nazim Qudsi’s Populist Government wanted this loan in order to demonstrate to the Syrian people some concrete progress in the economic development of the country. Because Jones believed that Qudsi and his party offered the greatest promise for political stability and economic and social progress in Syria, he stated that “it is the opinion of this Legation that the United States should avail itself of every opportunity to help Dr. Qudsi and the Populist Party to consolidate their position. To that end, it is recommended that the Department use its good offices to obtain speedy action by the IBRD on the Syrian application.” (Despatch 188 from Damascus, October 9, 883.10/10–950)
  6. Not printed.