611.83A4/7–2151: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Lebanon 1

confidential

108. Urtel 65 July 212 Dept believes possible administrative details may delay conclusion FCN Treaty with Israel about two or three weeks. However, Dept cannot postpone longer and wld prefer earliest possible sig if nothing gained by waiting. FCN with Egypt still long way from conclusion. FCN with Leb has been under consideration by Lebs for some four years but sig has been postponed by Lebs for variety of political reasons having no relation treaty itself. If FCN Treaty with Israel concluded first fault lies entirely with Leb.

When Malik discussed proposals for strengthening Leb-Amer relations with me in 1949 (memo of conv Mar 4, 1949)3 we talked of FCN Treaty as logical first step toward bringing about closer US-Leb relations which Lebs at time seemed desire. Dept continues believe Treaty mutually advantageous means starting process toward closer US-Leb relations and logical complement Pt IV4 and projected MSP. However, Dept has no intention belaboring this view. As one [Page 1007]of Treaty’s principal architects who thoroughly understands reasoning behind every provision, Malik in better position than anyone convince Leb Govt of Treaty’s advantages. Because of friendship for Leb, Dept will not close door on Treaty question, but after this initiative must come from Lebs.

Suggest you discuss foregoing with Malik and in your discretion with appropriate Leb auths and report reaction soonest.

Acheson
  1. Repeated to Cairo and Tel Aviv. Drafted by Barrow (NE) and cleared by Burns (NE) and Setser (CP).
  2. Supra.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vi, p. 789.
  4. Signed at Beirut May 29, 1951. See p. 1016.