238. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Egypt1

401. Prelim reactions to Secretary’s speech have in main been gratifyingly thoughtful, sober and responsible. Dept desires make most of present momentum provided by speech and supporting statements by UK,2 France,3UNSec-Gen,4 Ceylon,5 and additional statements which may be forthcoming. Effort is complicated of course by Gaza developments but we intend treat Gaza flareup separately and as far as Alpha concerned, use it only to underscore necessity moving forward.

Meeting of Arab states Cairo Sept 3 will be important in setting Arab course. Despite probable reiteration of past polemics for bargaining and domestic polit purposes, we hope fol may materialize from meeting:

Approval of Secretary’s sincerity and effort at impartiality in stating problems;
Expression of desirability exploring significance and fuller meaning of Secretary’s statement.

[Page 421]

We wish avoid necessity deal with Arab states as bloc. Hope they will tacitly agree Egypt take lead in exploring Secretary’s ideas. Intimations from Nuri and Bashayan that Egypt holds key to Arab position give reason think Arab states may agree to Egypt moving first.

We assume Arabs not yet ready tackle problems by their reps sitting around table with Israelis. Exchange of views of various parties therefore might be achieved through suitable person or commission designated by UN, or by any govt or person agreed upon by both sides.

Chiefs of mission should in their discretion seek impress upon delegates to Sept 3 meeting essentiality avoiding negativism and of indicating their govts’ desire explore further significance of statement.

Chiefs of mission authorized to use, informally and orally only, and in response inquiries from govts to which accredited, any of points in guidance contained Deptel 139 to Tel Aviv rptd other posts, except para 3(e).6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8–3055. Top Secret;Niact; Alpha; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Burdett and Russell and approved by the Secretary.Russell signed for Dulles. Also sent niact to Baghdad, Beirut, Amman, Damascus, Jidda, and Tripoli. Repeated to London, Paris, Tel Aviv, and Ankara.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 230.
  3. Telegram 898 from Paris, August 28, transmitted the text of a statement to be issued that day by the French Foreign Office. (Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8–2855)
  4. See the New York Times, August 27, 1955, p. 1.
  5. The Embassy in Colombo furnished the Department with the text of the Government of Ceylon’s statement on August 28. (Telegram 77; Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8–2855)
  6. Document 214.