203. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic1
2856. Embtel 2571. Department appreciates your full comments on Deptel 2602 which have been most helpful in final preparation four-stage program. Although Item A, Stage I, remains as previously drafted, new Item D, Stage I, now included reading as follows: “We would immediately prepare plans looking toward the early resumption of the Exchange of Persons Program, including the Fulbright Program, on a scale similar to that which existed previously.” Your suggestion re Item D, Stage II, has been included in plan. Having obtained British agreement we are now proceeding with immediate implementation Items A and B, Stage I, and preparation for early implementation Stage II. British believe equipment under Item C, Stage I, should not be turned over. We shall discuss matter further with them, but in meanwhile Item C will not be implemented.
Department believes that you should approach Nasser informally as soon as possible and speak to him along following lines:
- You should say that over period of time, and more specifically since events leading up to Egyptian-Syrian union which culminated in US recognition UAR, you had been urging USG to contribute to amelioration atmosphere between US and UAR by taking certain steps. In advocating such action you had referred to Nasser’s statements that he sincerely desired improved relations with West and expressed belief that if this so and if USG should take steps you had suggested toward improvement relations, Nasser would for his part take actions to respond positively to US gestures. You are now in position inform him that USG has decided accept your recommendations.
- At this point you should recall your previous comment to Nasser to effect new situations present both opportunities and new problems. As our contribution to seeking maximize opportunities and minimize problems and in interest development of atmosphere which might facilitate enlargement of area of understanding between us we [Page 440]are immediately implementing Items A and B under Stage I. You should also tell him we are prepared to move forward with resumption of Exchange Persons Program, including Fulbright Program, and will be disposed to give sympathetic consideration to possible UAR request for modest CARE program and to revival US participation EARIS (Para 4, Embtel 2571). With regard blocked funds Nasser should be reminded we have already indicated our willingness to unblock these funds as soon as agreement or substantial progress toward agreement has been reached by UAR and Suez Canal Company shareholders. In this connection we hope that progress will be made during present round of talks on this question.
- You should say that you feel certain that USG would be prepared to take additional measures to steps outlined above (Stages I and II) if UAR policies and attitudes gave substance and meaning, as you are confident they will, to expressed UAR desire for improvement in relations.
- You also authorized indicate that our judgment whether additional measures might be undertaken would frankly depend on manner in which above steps (Stage I and II) are received and treated by UAR, and upon our continuing observation of attitude of UAR toward international Communism and security of other ME states. If you believe would be helpful, you could cite as example of what we have in mind continuing portrayal of US by UAR media as arch-imperialist seeking to dominate Middle East and to frustrate world peace, while in apparent execution of UAR “positive neutrality” Soviet bloc is portrayed in completely favorable light. You could say that if West and specifically US are to make progress towards constructive relationship with UAR, and if Nasser really wants such relationship, Nasser should be prepared within framework of steps we are prepared to take to reexamine ground rules under which “positive neutrality” is now played and to recognize that relationship between UAR and US can hardly be fruitful while West and particularly US is constantly object of UAR hostility. You might find it also useful to reiterate view previously expressed that now is the time for Nasser to rise above petty propaganda and in-fighting and assume higher and more tempered role in ME.
- Finally you should express view that within certain limits it should be possible for US and UAR to reach mutually acceptable accommodation which, if it cannot lead to close relationship, would at least be improvement over present state our relations.
Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.86/4–158. Confidential. Drafted by Stabler, cleared with Rountree, and approved and signed by Dulles. Repeated to London and Damascus.
On April 5, Rountree sent a memorandum to Dulles outlining the plan described in telegram 2602 (supra) and summarizing Hare’s reaction to it in telegram 2571 (see footnote 3, supra). Rountree proposed that the British be consulted, that Stage I be implemented immediately, and that Hare be instructed to approach Nasser as he had suggested. Dulles approved all these recommendations. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.86/4–158) On April 9, the British Embassy in Washington was informed about the implementation of Stage I and told that the United States would keep it informed about further steps. (Telegram 7197 to London, April 9; ibid., 611.86/4–958)↩