555. Memorandum for the Secretary of State’s Special Assistant for Intelligence (Armstrong)1


  • Egyptian Proposal to Cooperate with U.S.

1. Muhammad Haykal in discussion with an Embassy official made the following points:

Yesterday the Soviets told Egyptian Chief of Cabinet Ali Sabri that they were prepared for World War III because the Soviet Union is an armed camp, surrounded by an inner ring of satellites and an outer ring of neutral states. The British aggression in Egypt was the first western attempt to break the outer ring, and the situation in Hungary is an attempt to break the inner ring. The Soviets cannot allow this to happen; therefore they are determined to help Egypt in their own self interest. Haykal said that neither President Jamal ‘Abd-al-Nasr nor Ali Sabri believe this explanation, but feel it is a Soviet attempt to cash in on a situation already existing.
The Egyptian Government wants to know what United States policy is concerning the immediate removal of British and French troops and the withdrawal of Israel forces to the demarcation lines. (Field Comment: The Embassy official referred Haykal to U.S. sponsored UN resolutions on these subjects.)
The United States must not push Egypt too fast on the question of peace with Israel. No peace is possible until a United Nations Commission has come to the area and investigated the situation fully in concert with all interested parties.
‘Abd-al-Nasr is fully aware of the Soviet game in the area, realizes that he must make a choice, and has chosen the course of full cooperation with the United States.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/11–856. Secret. Transmitted to the Department of State under cover of a memorandum from Gordon M. Stewart of the Central Intelligence Agency to Armstrong, November 8, which reads in part:

    “1. Attached is a message from Cairo reporting statements made by Muhammad Haykal … .

    “2. It is requested that this report be brought to the immediate attention of the Secretary of State, Undersecretary Hoover, and Mr. Rountree.” A handwritten notation on the covering memorandum indicates that Hoover saw the memorandum at the NSC meeting, presumably on November 8.