Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Officer in Charge of Lebanon–Syria–Iraq Affairs (Barrow)



Syria–Israel Dispute
Military and Economic Aid to Syria

Participants: Faiz El-Khouri, Minister of Syria
NEA—Mr. McGhee
NE—Mr. Barrow


1. The Syrian Minister expressed satisfaction at the United Nations Security Council resolution of May 18, 1951 regarding the Syria-Israel dispute, “even though it came a little late”. He said that this [Page 697] move was regarded as concrete evidence that the United States was following its announced policy of impartiality.

When the Syrian Minister alluded to Israeli misbehavior, Mr. McGhee took occasion to mention that Syria had recently taken some actions which were of a minor character but which nevertheless did not help to advance the Syrian case in the eyes of the public. He referred to (a) the transfer of air units from Iraq, (b) the statement of the Syrian Prime Minister that Syria would never make peace with Israel, (c) the creation by the Arab League of an office to strengthen the economic boycott against Israel and (d) the visit of the controversial Grand Mufti to Damascus during the Arab League meetings. Mr. McGhee emphasized that whatever reasons or justification might lie behind these developments he believed they accomplished very little while at the same time evoking adverse reaction toward the Arabs in world public opinion. The Minister, while not admitting that the foregoing actions were unjustified, agreed that it was unwise to have made them public at this time.

The Syrian Minister said that Syria, while pleased with the resolution, was fearful that Israel would not comply and asked what the United States would do in the face of Israel’s flouting the Security Council resolution. Mr. McGhee assured Faiz Bey that the United States would press strongly to see that the resolution was implemented.

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  1. The material on military and economic aid to Syria is omitted.