783.02/12–751: Circular telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Legation in Syria 1


512. Deptels 2132 and 212 Dec 6.3

1. Dept met today again with reps Brit and Fr Emb Wash re recognition Shishikli govt Syria.

2. Brit rep without instr but Fr stated Fr Min Damascus instructed Syrian note as soon as US, Brit and Turk colleagues agree. This action Fr FonOff designed strengthen Shishikli since in its view speed important factor.

3. Dept while agreeing with Fr early action stated preference for letting Arab States recognize Shishikli before Western Powers. Jidda’s 298 Dec 64 as well as press reports indicate Arab States except Iraq may already have given tacit recognition.

4. Consult with your Brit, Turk and Fr colleagues and when you reach agreement re timing you are authorized send simple ack Syrian note. This act wld constitute US recognition.

5. Dept favors “business as usual” attitude. Dept will not issue press statement but will answer affirmatively inquiries re recognition.

6. Re penul para Deptel 2135 Turk rep here without info but expressed view Turks wld be pro-Shishikli as they were pro-Zaim.6

  1. Repeated for information to London, Paris, Ankara, Baghdad, Cairo, Jidda, Amman, Beirut, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. Drafted by Jones (NEA) and cleared by Matthews (G), Godley (WE), Coe (BNA), Moore (GTI), Tate (L), and Whiteman (L/ARA).
  2. Telegram 213 to Damascus was the information copy of a cable that went to London, Paris, and Ankara. It stated that the Department had discussed with the British and French Embassy representatives on December 4 the recognition question and the advisability of renewing offers of economic and military assistance to Syria. The telegram requested the views of the British, French, and Turkish Governments on these matters. (783.00/12–651)
  3. Ante, p. 1086.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Reference here is to that part of the telegram described in footnote 2 above which requested the Turkish Foreign Office views and stated that the Department would also raise the matter with the Turkish Embassy in Washington.
  6. Telegram 519 from Ankara, December 10, informed the Department that Turkey had instructed its Minister in Syria to consult with his French, U.S., and British colleagues and, if they agreed, proceed with the plan presented in this telegram 512. (783.02/12–1051)