16. Telegram From the Embassy in Egypt to the Department of State1

2231. Frequent procedure following talks with Nasser is for Haikel or Amin to inquire how things went. This done following January 9 talk and I sent back word had been anything but happy with negativism and lack forthrightness which had characterized conversation.

Today received Nasser’s reaction through same source that he surprised my reaction since he had felt conversation useful. He then made following additional observations on two points covered in talk.

Re my suggestion that he was not exerting sufficient constructive leadership over people, he maintained he could lead and had done so but is question of timing. As matters stand everything hinges on Israeli evacuation of Gaza. When that accomplished, he will crack down on Communists.
Regarding Iraq he is willing to call off feud even though Nuri remains in office provided GOE will take public position of not pressing for adherence to Baghdad Pact by other Arab states. If that could be done arrangement could be made to have delegation prominent Arabs come to Cairo to compose difference. He would welcome and arrangement could then be made for meeting of heads of Arab states in Baghdad which he would attend.

Gimmicks obvious in foregoing but also not without interest.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.00/1–1157. Secret; Priority. Received at 6:49 p.m. Repeated to London, Paris, Amman, Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, and Jidda.