291. Editorial Note

On February 26, Egyptian Minister for National Guidance Major Salaheddin Salim arrived in Damascus to begin discussions on an Egyptian proposal for a new Arab defense pact that would include the Arab States opposed to alliances with non-Arab powers. Upon conclusion of the talks on March 2, Syrian and Egyptian officials signed in Damascus a communiqué indicating that the Syrian and Egyptian Governments would not join the Turkish-Iraqi alliance or any other alliances, that they would establish a joint Arab defense and economic cooperation pact, and that they would advance these objectives with other Arab States. Following his visit to Damascus, Salim visited Jordan and Saudi Arabia and upon conclusion of talks in the latter country on March 6, the Governments of Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia jointly announced that their armed forces would be placed under a unified command. The Saudi Arabian Government also subscribed to other parts of the Egyptian-Syrian communiqué of March 2. For text of the March 2 communiqué, which was made public on March 6, see Frankland (ed.), Documents on International Affairs, 1955, pages 326–327.