783.00/11–1750: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


2709. 1. View its gen’l interest promoting area stability re Damascus tels 249 Nov 172 and 243 Nov 16 Dept favorably considering informal approach to all Arab Govts (including Lebanon but excluding Yemen). Dept reps wld be authorized state belief Qudsi’s efforts other NE capitals remove sources unrest in Syria have merit and shld commend themselves to Arab Govts. Approach wld be kept within context Syrian question only and discussion wld therefore be avoided Qudsi’s proposals paras 2 and 3 Baghdad [Damascus] tel 250 Nov 18.3

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2. Although Dept has given consideration joint US–UK–Fr approach it believes Qudsi’s suspicious attitude toward Fr and possible recurrence “spheres of influence” theme such as encountered tripartite approach at present.

3. Dept wld keep UK informed and wld welcome informal support when suitable occasions arise. UK cld be particularly helpful in Iraq and Jordan.

4. Dept wld inform Fr immed prior approach Arab Govts saying Dept confident Fr will approve objectives US effort and believes they may wish lend informal support shld suitable occasions arise.

It wld be emphasized to Fr however that USG acting unilaterally and not proposing tripartite action.

5. Dept does not believe desirable refer tripartite declaration since inter alia this might arouse unwarranted fears of imminent threats to Syria, but Dept wld, if asked, reaffirm support of declaration.

6. You may also inform UK that McGhee discussed Syrian situation with Azzam Nov 22 along gen lines indicated Deptel 2153 Oct 254 and 2436 Nov 95 taking into consideration views Emb Cairo’s 504 Nov 20.6 Summary of conversation will be forwarded by separate tele.

7. FonOff reaction desired soonest re foregoing.

  1. Repeated to Baghdad, Jidda, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Paris, Amman, Beirut, and Damascus.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed; it contained an outline of the three main themes which Prime Minister Qudsi hoped to discuss with officials in Baghdad, the last two themes of which dealt with Iraqi-Saudi Arabian friction and Egyptian-British conflict (783.00/11–1850).
  4. Repeated to Damascus as telegram 151, October 25, p. 1214.
  5. Repeated to Damascus as telegram 172, November 9, p. 1217.
  6. Not printed; it included a recommendation from the Ambassador in Egypt, Jefferson Caffery, that if a Department representative initiated a conversation with Azzam Pasha, the theme of the conversation should center around the point that if Egypt and Saudi Arabia expect Iraq and Jordan to desist from their involvement in Syrian internal affairs, they must desist themselves. The Department should solicit from Azzam Pasha what role he is willing to play in this situation. (783.00/11–2050) No summary of this McGhee–Azzam conversation could be found in Department of State files.