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

748. In discussion with Assistant Secretary Allen during visit US,2 Foreign Minister Azm said he believed “certain US officials, not Ambassador Moose” were working for Iraq–Syria union. Allen replied that question Syria–Iraq union was one for Syrian and Iraqi people to decide; he doubted very much that any US officials would interfere since they would be acting contrary US policy.

Azm also expressed concern about US pressure on Arab states to join Turk-Iraq pact. Allen replied that there had been no pressure on any state to join pact. US view is that question of whether or not join pact is matter solely for interested states themselves decide. Turk-Iraq pact has full approval and support US Government; but we believe success of this or any collective defense organization depends on voluntary support of its members, and would not attempt persuade any state which did not wish to do so to join.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783.13/6–3055. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by George Allen and Francis Allen and approved by Dorsey who signed for Dulles. Repeated to Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo, Jidda, and Amman, and pouched to Tel Aviv, London, and Paris.
  2. Azm was in the United States to attend the U.N. commemoration of its 10th anniversary at San Francisco. On several occasions prior to the visit, Syrian Ambassador Zeineddine requested that Azm meet with Secretary Dulles during his visit. (Memoranda of conversations, June 1 and 13, 1955; ibid., 310.1/6–155 and 611.83/ 6–1355 respectively) In a telegram to Ambassador Moose on June 27, Assistant Secretary Allen explained that it had not been possible for Secretary Dulles to see Azm at San Francisco and that Azm was “disgruntled particularly since Secretary was able see two Foreign Ministers from NEA (Naim of Afghanistan and Fawzi of Egypt).” Allen added that Azm had assumed the attitude of refusing to press for an appointment during his 1-day stop in Washington and noted that while in the United States Azm’s general attitude had been anti-West. Allen commented: “I suspect he will return to Damascus quite unhappy but Secretary’s inability to see him will at least have avoided building up his personal prestige.” The telegram also reported that Azm had been rebuked by the Syrian Government for pro-French statements which he had made during a recent visit to Paris. (Telegram 740 to Damascus; ibid., 783.13/ 6–2755)