684A.86/3–452: Circular telegram

No. 409
The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Missions1


758. Dept interested recent developments NE connected with Arab-Israel relations and refers fol: Iraqi PriMin Nuri’s remarks as reported by UK rep Baghdad that Arab Collective Security Pact might be framed as instrument of defense against aggressive threats external to ME rather than against Israel (Baghdad Embtel 682 Feb 27):2 recent mtg Leb rep with Gen Yadin and actions and comments Ahmad Touqan, Jordan rep Israel–Jordan MAC (Tel Aviv Emb tels 881 Feb 27 and 894 Feb 29 and Amman Legtel 244 Feb 29). Israel reps Wash currently stressing that Egypt reps at UNGA Paris considerably more moderate toward Pal question than other Arab reps and in private talks with Israel reps indicated steps improve Israel-Egypt relations might be possible near future. Israel interest also aroused by alleged remarks Zafrullah in Cairo (Tel Aviv Embtel 897 Feb 29,3 Deptel to Cairo 1350 Mar 34). FYI Israel Amb Eban intends discuss these developments with Secy morning Mar 6.

While gratified these indications relaxation Arab-Israel tensions NE, Dept inclined view with reservation possibilities any concrete progress toward peace settlements at this time view past history this problem and other factors such as Anglo-Egyptian question.

Request addressee missions comment soonest.

  1. Sent to Cairo, Baghdad, Jidda, Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Ankara, and Karachi.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Telegram 897 from Tel Aviv, Feb. 29, referred to a statement reported to have been made during a recent visit to Cairo by Zafrullah Khan, the Pakistani Minister of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, that the settlement of Arab-Israeli differences was essential to regional collective security. The telegram reported that the Israeli Government was particularly interested in knowing the extent to which the statement might be interpreted as an indication that Egypt might be preparing ground for possible conversations with Israel, or other steps toward the improvement of relations. (684A.86/2–2952)
  4. Telegram 1350 to Cairo, Mar. 3, requested a text of Zafrullah’s remarks. (684A.86/3–352)