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

1643. Since receiving Embtel 13732 Dept has been considering at top level possible measures which would provide Nasser way out of impasse resulting from his attack on Turk-Iraq Pact, permit him to gain new prestige and influence in Middle East, and thus enable him to take initiative in launching Alpha. Obviously area defense arrangements are involved in such a review. We would hope to convince Nasser that we attach great importance to Egypt’s position in the Middle East and to his influence and cooperation; that we are desirous of extending our support and assistance—political, economic, and military—to Egypt and in general of assisting Egypt to achieve the international standing to which she is entitled to aspire.

There are two basic prerequisites to our extending such support:

There must be continued progress toward firming up the Northern Tier (Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan). This is required by the interest of the Free World in maintaining the integrity of the Middle East against assault from the Soviet Union.
There must be a realistic and reasonably early prospect of a settlement of the major issues between Israel and Egypt as US cannot otherwise adequately help Egypt.

In other respects there is wide flexibility and we would welcome suggestions by Nasser.One approach which you might suggest to him before his departure for Asian-African Conference or after his return would be that Egypt and US and UK cooperate along following lines:

Northern Tier concept to continue as grouping of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and UK. Adherence of additional Arab states at this time to Turk-Iraq Pact will not be sought by US directly or indirectly.
Egypt to participate in Middle East defense, possibly through adherence to Turk-Pakistan Pact. Since this agreement more loosely worded than Turk-Iraq Pact and poses less specific obligations on parties, it more likely prove acceptable to Nasser.
Nasser initiate steps towards settlement principal Arab-Israel issues (Alpha). In your presentation you would include considerations mentioned para 2Deptel 1531.3
In any conference of Arab states (Damascus Embtel 524)4 US would hope GOE would work for a constructive orientation which would make possible increased US support for Arab states.

Basic pattern would thus be: (a) tightly-knit military cooperation by states along northern tier; (b) association by Egypt with Turkey and Pakistan in a looser form of association appropriate to remoter area; (c) concentration on Arab development through constructive inter-Arab cooperation.

The above would be put to Nasser not as definite US policy but as response to his request for suggestions for way out of his impasse (Embtel 1373). It could be pointed out that such a program would achieve his objectives of increasing solidarity of Arab world and orientation of Arabs toward Free World (Embtel 1261).5

Dept is informing British Embassy here of this message and you are authorized in your discretion to discuss it with Stevenson. You should not, however, make any approach to Nasser along above lines without further instruction which would follow your comment.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/3–3155. Top Secret; Alpha; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Russell; cleared with Dulles,Hare,Allen, and Jernegan; and approved by Russell, who signed for Dulles. Repeated to London.
  2. See footnote 6, Document 58.
  3. Document 52.
  4. Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 786.5/3–2555)
  5. Document 35.