7. Telegram From Secretary of State Dulles to the Department of State0

Dulte 18. Eyes only Acting Secretary for President from Secretary.

Dear Mr. President:

Our conference is drawing to a close in an atmosphere dominated by concern over the union of Syria with Egypt.1 It is the unanimous view of the Middle East members that this is an unhappy development which can presage much trouble. It does not seem to be entirely clear whether it is promoted by the Communists or whether the Communists are going along with Nasser’s ambition to unify the Arab world under his leadership. Under either contingency the development is viewed with lively concern.

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We have had a series of highly restricted meetings and also I have met privately with the Iraqi delegation, headed by Nuri-Said,2 who is the key to the situation. I have maintained that if there is any reaction it must be initiated by Arab and not Turkey or Western powers; that Iraq should try to have cooperation with other Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon) so as not to stand alone in the Arab world; also that the Arab position must be quickly arrived at so that the rest of us can concert our policies. Accordingly Nuri asked that I should communicate with Saudi Arabia and Jordan urging their cooperation with Iraq to take account of the Syrian-Egyptian situation, and I agreed to do so.

This morning we dealt with the economic phase of the pact. I made a statement which among other things attempted to measure “aid” by the same formula that the Soviets use, including trade and lumping several years together. By this formula I could come up with a round figure [of] highly impressive proportions.3

I gave Lloyd the message about the summit conference.4 We still remain on friendly terms, and he is seeking and getting some help from me on Cyprus, where the situation continues very messy.

I am about to go out to my third formal dinner. The dinner hour is from nine until twelve, which is a bit strenuous as there is usually some work to be done after I get home. However, I shall have a chance to make up on lost sleep on the plane tomorrow.

Faithfully yours,

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–AN/1–2958. Top Secret. Drafted by Dulles.
  2. The Union was proclaimed on February 1, 1958.
  3. Dulles met with Nuri Said at 3:15 p.m., January 28. No other record of this meeting has been found. (Princeton University Library, Dulles Papers, Dulles Appointment Book)
  4. A longer summary of Dulles’ statement during the fifth closed plenary session, January 29, is in Secto 38, January 29. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 976)
  5. Not found.