780.5/1–854: Telegram

No. 1401
The Ambassador in Iraq (Berry) to the Department of State 1

top secret

398. Prior departure for Beirut and Cairo today (January 7) Prime Minister Jamali requested urgent meeting with me. Subjects foremost in his mind were status Iraq’s request for military aid and stories United States military aid program to Pakistan.2 Jamali said that Indian Minister in Baghdad called recently and discussed at length reasons why United States arms aid to Pakistan should be opposed by Asian nations. Prime Minister replied Iraq could not ignore the question of its defense as Iraq has oil and occupies a key strategic position and is therefore liable to attack. Having refused advice offered by Indian Minister he proceeded to give him advice saying that India should pursue three courses: (1) settle its difference with Pakistan; (2) arm itself. and (3) cooperate with other [Page 2365] Asian nations to develop protection against external attack whether from east or west.

Fortunately Deptel 374 January 53 reached me prior to meeting and Jamali was most appreciative of the remarks I was able to make to him in confidence on United States military assistance to Iraq and United States attitude toward Middle East regional security arrangements. He expressed especial approval of United States thinking that Middle East regional defense armies should spring from Middle East commenting that much difficulty could have been avoided had United States held such thinking several years ago.

Jamali said he wished to reiterate however that if United States expects success in Middle East we must not link our relations with Arabs to Arab-Israel question. We must avoid stirring up Arab world by presenting plans, projects and proposals which ignore “what remains of Arab rights. as recognized in United Nations resolutions. He added that if we could not now produce “something equivalent” to United Nations resolutions, it would be best that we set Palestine to one side in our dealing with Arabs.

Jamali said that as this is first year of King Faisal’s reign and as disturbances may take place in Iraq on anniversary of Portsmouth treaty (January 27), the projected royal visit to Pakistan is being postponed. However, as Prime Minister of Pakistan had extended a personal invitation to him independent of royal visit he might visit Pakistan alone sometime next month.

Following telegram contains Jamali comments re forthcoming Arab League meeting.4

  1. Repeated to Ankara, Tehran, and Karachi.
  2. For documentation on this topic, see vol. XI, Part 2, pp. 1818 ff.
  3. Supra .
  4. Telegram 399 from Beirut, Jan. 8. Jamali told Berry that he intended to table a proposal at the conference calling for federation of all the Arab states. He did not expect early action on his proposal, but wanted Iraq to be recorded as favoring Arab unity through evolutionary, democratic means. Jamali also said he would try to enlist the support of President Chamoun to help blunt Egypt’s drive for Arab neutrality. (780.5/1–854)