202. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic1
2602. We would appreciate your comments on following proposed plan for relaxing restrictions in economic and cultural fields in our relations with UAR.
We are thinking in terms of progressive change by stages which would permit flexibility and give us opportunity evaluate UAR reactions to steps as taken. Since we have agreed that UAR funds blocked in this country will be released when an agreement, or substantial progress toward an agreement, has been reached between UAR and Suez stockholders, and since decision has been reached in Department that CARE program will be resumed in any event no later than release of blocked funds, unblocking and resumption of CARE could occur apart from proposed timetable.
- We would proceed at once to approve licensing of quasi-military items on positive list on basis of demand.
- We would proceed at once to approve pending and future license applications for certain munitions control list items, notably spare parts for radio equipment and civilian aircraft.
- We would immediately approve delivery of about $400,000 of road building and communications items currently held in storage in US and intended for delivery under existing ICA agreements with Egypt.
Depending upon UAR reaction to steps taken in Stage I, upon developments in UAR attitude toward US and friends of US in NE, and upon indications of UAR desire for further US steps in direction of more normal relations with UAR, following moves could be made:
- Reinstate exchange of persons program, including Fulbright program, on scale similar to that obtained previously.
- Authorize resumption of limited voluntary agency programs by CARE and other interested bodies.
- Resume full-scale US participation in EARIS in accordance with 1953 agreement.
Manner in which UAR media handled these steps would have bearing on our readiness proceed with Stage III.
Since actions under Stage II would be a closer indication of a new US attitude toward UAR, it would be necessary to determine effects of such action on attitude and policies of UAR. If it becomes clear that UAR wished actively to pursue more friendly and fruitful relationship with US, and if apparent present trend toward realization dangers penetration NE by international Communism should continue, might be desirable to undertake steps of more forthcoming nature:
- Offer sell PL 4802 wheat to UAR.
- Offer discuss interrupted aid programs with view to fulfillment outstanding contracts, completion of mutually agreed projects and recovery or reprogramming of unused sums.
We would not contemplate adoption of policies proposed in this stage in absence of basis for significant improvement in our relations with UAR. While we would not expect Nasser to turn pro-West, we would wish convincing signs that he had become alive to danger international Communism and evidence that he had abandoned efforts to undermine pro-Western Arab regimes. With regard to latter point we realize that progress would be facilitated if inter-Arab tension could be reduced and that continuation of attacks on Nasser by pro-West Arab states would pose serious impediment to implementation of Stages III and IV.
- We might offer negotiate new aid agreements with view giving sympathetic consideration to UAR capital requirements for development projects.
- We might offer resume training UAR military personnel in US.
Except for Stage I, exact timing of above steps difficult to foresee since so much depends upon developments in NE and reactions in UAR.3
Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.86/3–2558. Confidential. Drafted by Rockwell; cleared with OSD, Commerce, E, P, MC, ICA, and NEA; and approved and signed for Dulles by Rountree. Repeated to Damascus.
On March 17, Rockwell sent Rountree a memorandum outlining four stages for relaxing restrictions on economic and cultural relations with the UAR, and asking for approval to implement the measures in Stage I immediately. (Ibid., 811.0086B/3–1758)↩
- The Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, enacted July 10, 1954, P.L. 480, provided for the donation of U.S. agricultural surpluses to friendly governments. (68 Stat. 454)↩
- On April 1, Hare reported that he welcomed these proposals, suggested some arrangement in the stages, and noted that it might be wise to discuss the broad outlines of the program before Nasser left for his visit to the Soviet Union. (Telegram 2571; Department of State, Central Files, 611.86/4–158)↩