683.84A/5–1851: Telegram

The Minister in Syria (Gannon) to the Department of State 1


642. PriMin this morning asked me to call to hear his observations on draft SC res.

[Page 693]

He said reaction Syrians and other Arab leaders attending AL conference was gen favorable, above all because they felt they now saw translated into action the assurances of real impartiality and justice of which they had hitherto had little evidence in any disputes involving Israel. His three specific points re res were:

Gen uneasiness lest reference to suspension work prove ineffectual in light publicized determination Israeli not to be diverted from this project. He fears major attempt will be made to obtain endorsement Israeli program on grounds enlightened development project being held up by handful backward and recalcitrant Arabs. Comment: this “seven acres” argument (Legtel 641, May 18).2 I said it is up to Syrian del to prove his case. Whole world knows US policy favors and promotes land development, malaria control, etc. and Syrians must prove other factors are fundamental, and that it is not just legalistic obstinacy.
He hopes that powers given TSO will not be used too broadly. He has full confidence in present personalities but with changes over period of times some new chief of staff TSO might presume to order all sorts of things “to restore peace” outside framework of armistice agreement. Comment: I assume he refers to para 13. I said context was clear and advised against trying to tinker with formal text.
He said some of his Arab colleagues deplore lack of provision for sanctions for non-compliance. He himself was willing to take chance. I said he was quite right; a lot can happen if using this particular dispute Syria shld be induced to become stalking horse for gen Arab griefs against Israel.

  1. Repeated for information to Amman, Ankara, Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Jerusalem, Jidda, London, Paris, and Tel Aviv.
  2. Not printed. (683.84A/5–1851) “‘Seven acres’ argument” refers to repeated Israeli emphasis on the alleged smallness of the real property under expropriation from Arab holders in the Demilitarized Zone by the Palestine Land Development Company.