774.5 MSP/1–753: Telegram

No. 1073
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Department of State1


3720. From Byroade. Reference: Embtel 3691, January 6.

Final US–UK meeting re Egypt today confined largely to preparing position papers in final form. Copies will be air-pouched Friday. Other points covered in meeting as follows:

1. US interim military aid.

Bowker said he did not think meeting could carry matter much further and that he would have to refer problem to Eden. He [Page 1956] thought Eden be strongly opposed to program and if so, Bowker could see no alternative but continued discussion between London and Washington. In order make sure Eden fully understood US reasoning on program, I said I would appreciate opportunity discuss program with Eden before my departure. Bowker said he endeavor arrange such meeting.

2. Sudan negotiations.

I said I wanted make clear that we conducting present talks on basis there be progress on Sudan negotiations. Without successful conclusion Sudan negotiations, present talks might well prove fruitless. Consequently I felt I should warn them that should Sudan negotiations fail or should long delays ensue, US would have to retain freedom of action as far as Egypt concerned. I emphasized I had nothing specific in mind but did think I should make point clear to them.2 Bowker replied they also working on assumption of agreement with Egyptians on Sudan and early commencement defense negotiations. If Sudanese negotiations failed UK also would have to take another look at their position. (British have promised discuss latest Sudan developments at meeting probably tomorrow.)

3. Timing of Anglo-Egyptian defense negotiations.

Bowker said British planned start defense negotiations as soon as Sudan negotiations completed, altho exact timing depended on developments.

4. Approach to other sponsoring powers on MEDO.

Meeting decided that as soon as position papers of meetings approved by UK and US Governments and timetable on approach to Egypt definitely known, British would then inform other MEDO sponsoring powers of intention start negotiations with Egypt and give them copy of MEDO paper.3 We indicated we should like be informed British plans this connection so US could take similar action with French and Turks. I reminded UK that US had not reached agreement with French re steering group, but did not believe this should prejudice planned approach to Egypt re MEDO.

  1. Repeated to Cairo as telegram 175.
  2. In telegram 4638 to London, Jan. 13, not printed, the Department indicated that it concurred fully with this position. (745W.00/1–353)
  3. See footnote 4, Document 1064.