318. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia0

1673. Embtel 1176.1 When King next in Jidda you authorized have Stoltzfus arrange meeting and state orally:

[Page 730]
USG has received King’s oral message of May 30 and is appreciative of important information re Nasser’s talks in USSR.
As King knows US keenly desires see preservation independence Arab states. At present major threat comes from influence USSR and those who may slavishly follow Communist policies. US has long appreciated significance events in Syria in this connection. At same time we agree with His Majesty that solution problem is essentially matter for Arabs. We cannot see on basis our current assessment that Syrian situation suitable for action. In absence clear recognition by substantial portion of Arabs of threat to them developing through close UAR-Soviet relations any effort on part US or UK stimulate or assist action likely not only be unsuccessful but damaging to our position and that of our friends. We also believe that Syrian people have not abandoned their traditional spirit of independence. There are some reports already of dissatisfaction re new role of Syria. Lebanese situation is also pertinent. Support given established government of Lebanon to restore order, maintain Lebanese independence, and frustrate outside efforts to interfere should in itself assist in restricting advances of destructive elements in Syria. This perhaps most important action anyone can take at present time.
We appreciate King’s assessment Yemen situation. We too are watching new developments closely and continue hope that agreement on US aid and legation may give us some opportunity increased influence in Yemen.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786.00/5–3158. Top Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Newsom and approved by Rockwell.
  2. Telegram 1176, May 31, reported on Stoltzfus’ meeting with Saud in Damman on May 30. Saud stated that as a result of Nasser’s official trip to Moscow, April 29–May 15, the USSR agreed to further assist Nasser to align all Arab countries with the Soviet Bloc. According to Saud, Syria would be the headquarters for a Soviet-Egyptian propaganda and subversive campaign because of its central location. Saud also claimed that Nasser and Serraj were using Soviet funds to finance the Lebanese opposition with an eventual aim of annexing Lebanon to the UAR. Saud reiterated his deep concern over the Egyptian-Soviet danger from Syria, “the heart and soul of the Arab world.” Saud recommended a coordinated campaign “to deliver sufficient surprise shock to Syrian regime” so as to cause a popular uprising and topple the government. Saud stated that unlike Syria, events in Yemen were less urgent with the Iman moving away from Communist and pro-Egyptian policies. (Ibid.)