29. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey1

1214. Department encouraged by improving situation Cairo and slackening of attacks on Turkey and Iraq Cairo’s 1385.2 Points set forth Deptel 458 to Ankara3 on Turkey-Arab relations remain generally valid. Department wishes make special effort secure resumption Turkish-Egyptian rapprochement evident last fall. RCC remains best foreseeable Egyptian Government and retains major potential usefulness as instrument through which to further US policies NE.

Immediate requirement is cessation Turkish attacks on Egypt especially efforts undermine RCC Ankara’s 1067 and 1112.4 (See separate telegram)5

Department believes we may be able use Asian-African Conference6 to advantage with respect to Egypt. If Nasser feels “betrayed” by West and isolated he may take extreme neutralist line at Conference harmful to West and making future cooperation difficult. On other hand Conference affords opportunity to broaden his understanding world problem and establish working relationships between [Page 44] Nasser and nations friendly to West (especially Turkey and Pakistan) which could later be extended to other fields. Conference may also be used to rebuild Nasser’s prestige and self-confidence and faith in West. Therefore Department planning suggest nations friendly to West make special effort with Nasser.

Embassy instructed immediately approach Turkish Government on following lines:

Refer to general US views on Turkish-Arab relations outlined to Turkey last fall as given Deptel 548.
US pleased to note general improvement Egyptian situation and diminution attacks on Turkey and Iraq. It hopes Turkey will resume efforts at cooperation which showed such promise last fall. Because of her recognized position Turkey can well afford pursue course which most likely result in long term benefits thus increasing further her own stature and reputation.
Asian-African Conference in US view provides special opportunity resume cordial relations with Nasser. Success could result in Egypt’s adopting Conference position helpful West and lay foundation for cooperation on ME area problems.
US suggests Turkey provide Nasser opportunity participate in discussion among anti-communist countries both before and during Conference and generally facilitate any inclination Nasser may show to play important constructive role.7
US making similar approach other friendly countries.

Additional guidance to be provided Cairo.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 682.87/3–2655. Secret. Drafted by Burdett and approved by Jernegan who signed for, Dulles. Repeated to Cairo, Karachi, Djakarta, and London.
  2. Dated March 22, not printed. (Ibid., 774.00/3–2255)
  3. Reference should be to telegram 548 to Ankara, November 11, 1954, printed in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. IX, Part 1, p. 557.
  4. Telegram 1067, March 15, reported that during a television interview Prime Minister Menderes had expressed the view that except for Egyptian and Saudi Arabian pressure and threats, other Arab countries would have immediately joined the Baghdad Pact. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100–SM/3–1555)

    Telegram 1112, March 21, reported that the Turkish Foreign Office had released a statement indicating among other points “that Turkey has been subject to the present Egyptian Government’s unfounded and hostile actions.” (Ibid., 682.83/3–2155)

  5. In telegram 1216 to Ankara, March 26, the Department of State instructed the Embassy to discuss with Turkish officials Turkey’s recent, “intemperate” criticism of Egypt and Syria and to urge a policy of moderation. (Ibid., 682.87/3–2655)
  6. Reference is to the Afro-Asian Conference held at Bandung, Indonesia, April 18–24, 1955. For documentation on U.S. interest in the conference, see vol. XXI, pp. 1 ff.
  7. On March 30, Warren reported that the substance of telegram 1214 was discussed with Nuri Birgi on March 29 and that Birgi saw no possibility of developing working contacts with Nasser prior to the Bandung Conference and was dubious about the prospects of making such contacts at the conference itself. Birgi noted, however, that if the United States could stimulate an approach by Nasser to Turkey, Turkey would not rebuff it and would take advantage of any opportunity that might develop for effective personal contact with, Nasser at Bandung. (Telegram 1165 from Ankara; Department of State, Central Files, 682.87/3–3055)