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

188. Embtel 220.2 Department appreciates your arguments in favor Section 106 Arms Sale Agreement with Syria but renewed controversy re Middle East defense arrangements will inevitably result in Israel and among Arab states if negotiations opened at this time. Current consideration of Secretary’s statement3 by such countries might thereafter be affected. Department continues disinclined therefore negotiate at this particular moment.

You may however supply GOS with copy Lebanese Agreement after study of which GOS might wish ask USG formally if it wish negotiate. While agreements follow similar pattern they are not rigid and are designed for country in question. Certain provisions however such as no act of aggression, use of equipment for self-defense only, and equipment not transferable without permission are required by legislation and practice.

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Meanwhile Embassy authorized accept and transmit Washington for study list equipment which GOS desires in order that pricing and availability check could be made in Defense.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 780.5/9–1055. Secret. Drafted by Dixon and Wilkins; cleared with Boardman and in draft with Gray and Frechtling; and approved by George Allen who signed for Hoover.
  2. Supra.
  3. On August 26 Dulles delivered a major address concerning the Arab-Israeli problem.
  4. On September 27 the Embassy in Damascus forwarded to the Department in despatch 95 the Syrian note of September 1, which included a list of equipment desired. (Department of State, Central Files, 783.56/9–2755)