780.5/9–1753: Telegram

No. 152
The Ambassador in Turkey (Warren) to the Department of State1


291. Embassy informed by New York Times correspondent Hangen that in interview yesterday with Major General Ayub Khan, Commander Pakistan Field Forces, and Pakistan Defense Secretary Iskander Mirza, he raised question possible “northern Middle East defense pact”. Pakistanis stated they favored such pact based on Turkey and Pakistan and probably including Iraq, but not Iran at present because too weak. They added, however, that they could take no action in this direction without go-ahead signal from US and that no word on this subject yet received from US. Pakistanis made clear US military and economic assistance would be prerequisite. Expressed view US has wasted too much time on Arab States and should encourage this new approach to Middle East defense.

Apparent throughout conversation that Ayub and Mirza preoccupied with problem relations with India and this major consideration in all their thinking. Foreign Office Under Secretary Birgi, in conversation with Hangen, expressed favorable personal reaction to idea of close Turk–Pakistan defense collaboration but “groundwork would have to be very carefully laid”. He said Turks would have to be sure Pakistani objective was not to use them against Indians.

Hangen has not yet sent despatch and states he intends phrase it carefully to avoid possible embarrassment Pakistanis.

I am having private luncheon with Ayub and Mirza today and shall report further this subject thereafter.2

  1. Repeated to Karachi.
  2. See telegram 332 from Ankara, Sept. 28, infra.