780.5/1–554: Telegram

No. 1400
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iraq1

top secret

374. Department appreciates your concern lest Iraqis gain impression we stimulating development regional security arrangement in which we expect include them, but concerning which we are not consulting them (Embtel 3862). On other hand, Department convinced US should stay as far in background of negotiations as possible, and that initiative should appear come from Pakistanis, as in fact it has in considerable measure, and Turks. Approach Turks (Deptel 3613) was made in greatest confidence in effort develop appropriate context for extension military assistance [Page 2364] Pakistan. Success this effort depends in considerable measure on its being kept secret.

Taking account these considerations, Department of opinion problem you describe might best be approached via question military aid Iraq, which now formally approved by Defense. Although certain additional steps necessary finalize USG position, and undesirable that official information subject be released at this time, Department considers would be appropriate for you inform Jamali orally and in confidence that favorable reply Iraq request military assistance forthcoming near future. This would provide opportunity refer Section 202(b) of MSA which provides authority this offer, and which clearly indicates US interest in ME regional security arrangement. You could point out that although we no longer consider MEDO viable concept, we hope Middle East states themselves will come to appreciate fact that some regional security arrangement essential their interests.

If Jamali should then raise question possible four-power arrangement, you might tell him we informed that Pakistanis had held exploratory discussions subject with Turks and Iraqis and we had expressed our interest such development. You might then follow line para 2 reftel.

  1. Drafted by Daspit and cleared by NE and S/MSA.
  2. Dated Jan. 3, not printed. The Ambassador requested permission to inform the Prime Minister of the negotiations between Pakistan and Turkey, making it clear that, although the United States had stimulated the negotiations, it hoped for an indigenous solution to Middle East defense problems and was taking no part in them. (787.5 MSP/1–354)
  3. Printed as telegram 686 to Ankara, Document 164.