290. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Syria1

415. Damascus tele 4012 crossed Deptel 4133 conveying Department’s views requested Embtel 394.4

Department does not at present perceive anything we can usefully do re current situation beyond suggestion made Deptel 413 but would welcome Embassy views.
Re Syrian requests we restrain Saudis and Egyptians we feel little to gain by approaches to Saudi or Egyptian Governments since it appears certain such remonstrances as we might make would not significantly affect their behavior. We shall discuss with French in immediate future their attitude to Turkey–Iraq agreement and its supporters in Syria but similarly are not hopeful we can do much change French attitude in short term.
If when you discuss situation with President Atassi he requests US action restrain Saudis, Egyptians and French you may in your discretion explain to him substance para 2 above. If you judge it appropriate you may also tell him Department appreciates his attitude and that of his associates toward Iraq’s efforts develop realistic Middle East defense arrangements and that we will regard it [Page 518] as most unfortunate if new Syrian Government adopts policy hostile Turkey–Iraq Pact.

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  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 780.5/2–1555. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Francis Allen and approved by Jernegan who signed for Dulles. Also sent to Ankara and repeated to Amman, Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Jidda, London, and Paris.
  2. In telegram 401 from Damascus, February 15, Ambassador Moose reported that, according to special Iraqi envoy Fadhi Jamali, Syrian President Atasi had expressed the desire that the United States and the United Kingdom take steps to restrain Saudi, Egyptian, and French machinations in Syria and had urged that Iraq use its influence with the United States and the United Kingdom to this end. Moose also stated that the Turkish Government had reportedly instructed its Chargé in Damascus, Ismail Soysal, to initiate contacts with several Syrian commanders in the northern part of the country so that Turkey would know who to contact in case a deterioration in the situation required extraordinary measures. (Ibid.)
  3. Supra.
  4. See footnote 2, supra.