9. Memorandum From Acting Secretary of State Herter to President Eisenhower 0


  • Message to King Saud on Egyptian-Syrian Union1

During the Ankara meeting of the Baghdad Pact which has just ended, the delegations present expressed deep concern over the dangerous implications of the projected Egyptian-Syrian union. Nuri Said, the head of the Iraq Delegation, declared that the union was being pushed by the Russians and by Nasser and that the objects of the latter was to obtain domination over the Arab world. The Turks, the Iranians and the British agreed that the union was dangerous and concurred with the Iraqis that it should be opposed. The question was, how?

The Secretary agreed that union was dangerous. He said that there was a strong possibility it was supported by the Russians and that if it materialized it would create a great danger that Jordan and Lebanon would be absorbed, putting Iraq and Saudi Arabia in peril. What would be involved would not be domination by Nasser so much as domination by the Soviets. The Secretary added that the United States would like to be helpful to its Arab friends in this matter but that it was difficult for it to do so in the absence of a unified position on their part. He suggested that Iraq attempt to concert such a position with Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and said that United States was prepared to send messages to these three countries urging that they collaborate with Iraq in this. The other states present in Ankara agreed to send similar messages.

The Secretary has suggested to us that the communication to Saudi Arabia might take the form of a message from you to the King.

There is accordingly attached for your consideration a suggested message which you might wish to send via our Embassy in Jidda to King Saud, as suggested by the Secretary. We have sent appropriate telegrams to Jordan and Lebanon.

Christian A. Herter 2
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Chronology File. Top Secret. Drafted by Rockwell.
  2. The message was sent in telegram 1047 to Jidda, February 1. (Department of State, Central Files, 786.00/2–158)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.