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

421. Despite difficulties created by Gaza clashes it still of prime importance that Arab FonMins at meeting Polit Subcommittee Arab League not take definitive position against Secretary’s Aug 26 proposals. If you have opportunity and if, after consultation with Brit colleague, you feel would be useful in securing Nasser’s cooperation to this end, you authorized reassure him over certain points on which there seems from various Arab statements danger misunderstanding:

statement did not as has been alleged ignore possibility of return of some refugees to Israel;
we have open mind how the compensation for refugees would be administered and would be glad discuss this with Govts concerned;
proposed treaties of guarantee relate only to Arab-Israel border security and not to Middle East defense;
we fully realize this only a beginning and that all problems cannot be solved at once. All we are asking is that parties should be [Page 433] willing embark on a process of seeking solutions which might lead to improvement of relations and eventually to overall settlement.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786.00/9–155. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Russell, cleared by Allen, and approved by Russell, who signed for Dulles. Repeated to London.
  2. Shortly after the transmission of this telegram, Gallman reported from Baghdad that Bashayan had told him that morning that the Arab League Political Committee meeting had been postponed, since Syria still had only a caretaker government. (Telegram 193, September 1;ibid., 684A.86/9–155)Byroade reported on September 2 that his information about the meeting was that Foreign Ministers would not attend and member states would be represented by their chiefs of mission in Cairo. According to Fawzi, he added, “there no plan this body seriously discuss Secretary’s speech.” (Telegram 369 from Cairo;ibid., 684A.86/9–255)