774.5/3–1553: Telegram

No. 1121
The Ambassador in Egypt (Caffery) to the Department of State1

top secret

2064. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs told me this morning that the news of the joint approach yesterday had been extremely badly received all over Cairo.2 By the time they met with the Cabinet Ministers and members of the RCC in the evening the feeling was so strong that those present were unanimous that the joint approach must be rejected.

I have previously on several occasions warned that the joint approach might be unhappily received. (re my telegrams 2008 and 2022)3

As example of the pathological distrust of the British Naguib told me it was alleged in the meeting last night that this was simply a maneuver on the part of the British to endeavor to transfer some of the animosity now directed against them to us.

The Prime Minister and Minister Foreign Affairs then went to great pains to assure me of their great friendship for us, their pro-Western sympathies their intention eventually to cooperate in ME defense and their strong hopes that we could continue our friendship. They particularly asked that I continue during the Suez negotiations the same role that I played during the Sudan negotiations.

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“We believe” they said, “that you can accomplish more in your behind-the-scenes role than you could have accomplished as an active negotiator.”

  1. Repeated niact to London as telegram 693.
  2. In telegram 2060 from Cairo, Mar. 14, not printed, Ambassador Caffery reported that he and Stevenson had seen General Naguib and the Foreign Minister; that they were both personally disposed in favor of having the United States participate in the negotiation; and that they pledged that they would recommend to the Council of Ministers and the Revolutionary Command Council that they accept the U.S. offer. (774.5/3–1453)
  3. For telegram 2008, see Document 1114. Regarding telegram 2022, see footnote 3, Document 1117.