641.74/1–2852: Telegram

No. 954
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Egypt 1


1098. 1. Dept authorizes you, to support action by Stevenson on Eden’s message, London’s 3259 Jan 28, which is clearly in right direction.

2. Dept hopes UK will maintain utmost flexibility in agenda discussions since there is possibility “four-power proposals” have a particularly unpleasant ring Egyptian ears this time. Proposals, of course, stand and would, we hope, be hub talks once started, but if play-down proposals would assist getting parties around table we think that proposals need not be stressed. Perhaps it might be more efficacious for UK to suggest talks on all outstanding differences including both defense and Sudan. We do not believe Sudan excludable from talks, however desirable that might be.

3. Dept believes there is no harm in UK attempting trade public statement for halt terrorist activities and anti-Brit measures (para 4 reftel) but believes UK well advised not to be too rigid if statement would reduce popular Egyptian pressure which new Govt attempting to combat. Long run capabilities new Govt unproven. Govt might not be able fulfill its side of trade unless assisted by Brit statement in advance.

4. Re para 5 we agree multilateral character defense proposals to Egypt very important element, significance of which Egyptians have largely failed appreciate and that in consequence this good line for UK. In this connection, however, we must avoid impression four-powers “ganging up” on Egypt to force upon it their combined will. On the contrary, idea four-powers is to harmonize interest of Egypt with interest free world in ME security.

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5. Please convey above thinking informally Brit FonOff. Comments London and Cairo requested.2

  1. Repeated priority to London as telegram 3565. Drafted and approved by G. Lewis Jones, Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs.
  2. Ambassador Gifford reported on Jan. 30 in telegram 3294 from London, not printed, that the contents of this instruction had been delivered to the British Foreign Office on Jan. 28. The Foreign Office reaction was one of pleasure that Ambassador Caffery had been authorized to support Stevenson if and when an approach was made to the Egyptians along the lines of telegram 3259 from London (supra). With regard to paragraph 2, the British were cautious and noncommittal about the proposal to include the Sudan in any prospective talks with the Egyptians. And, lastly, Gifford reported that the Foreign Office essentially agreed with the contents of paragraphs 3 and 4. (641.74/1–3052)