Memorandum by the Officer in Charge of Lebanon–Syria–Iraq Affairs (Gnade) to the Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs (Jones)1


Subject: Weekly Summary


Representatives of the United States, Britain, France, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia sent to the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs notes acknowledging receipt of the Syrian Government’s notice to them that Colonel Fawzi Silu had become Chief of State. According to a US Legation spokesman, this formal contact was tantamount to recognition of the new Syrian Government. A few days ago the Lebanese Government made a similar gesture. According to a New York Times report of December 16, Jordan’s delegate made his country’s act of recognition directly to Colonel Shishikli.

This act of recognition by three Arab States allays fears that Egypt might attempt to obtain Syrian endorsement of the Egyptian position vis-à-vis MEC and the British as a price for Egyptian-sponsored recognition by the Arab States. Syria might have been forced to pay such a price if the Saudis had backed up the Egyptians. Now Syria remains unrecognized by only three of her fellow Arab States: Egypt, Iraq and Yemen.

The Egyptians are said in some quarters to be holding off until new elections were held in Syria. The Iraqi Minister to Egypt claimed that Egypt was waiting on Saudi Arabia before taking definite steps to recognize Shishikli’s Government. The Saudi Arabian attaché in … , on the other hand, suggested that Egypt was hesitating because of the alleged anti-Egyptian influence of the PPS in the new Government.* He also reported that King Ibn Saud, being against Syria–Iraq union and following his policy of support to the strongest man in Syria, had been quite pleased by the recent events in Syria.

The Secretary General of the Foreign Office has assured the US Legation that the Populists arrested on November 28 are well-treated and that all their rights will be respected.

[Here follow the sections on Lebanon and Iraq.]

  1. Memorandum drafted by M. L. Smith (NE).
  2. Egypt’s position as leader among the Arab states might be challenged by a realization of the P.P.S.’s aspirations toward a Greater Syria. [Footnote in the source text.]