55. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic1

201638. Following based on uncleared memcon, is FYI, Noforn and subject to revision upon review:

Egyptian Ambassador accompanied by Chief of Protocol and Battle made farewell call President May 24.2 Ambassador made warm statements friendship US, reviewed his efforts strengthen friendship between US and UAR, and said he left with sad heart. Then followed his standard line of stating importance US leverage Cairo and hoped that after current crisis over (and he did not think situation yet out of hand) US would again make effort reestablish good relations UAR. Hoped US would be able cooperate with UAR, ignoring superficial matters such as speeches and protect basic American interests in area. To fail to do so would leave vacuum for communists and that vacuum would be filled. Urged President keep door open and look at long-range need for US influence UAR which must be viewed in its historic perspective.

President referred to grave situation facing Middle East, pointing out he had in recent letter to Nasser and in communications over the past always indicated willingness find road to friendship. Former Secretary Bob Anderson, a trusted friend of President’s since latter’s days with NYA, would soon be in Beirut and available consultation Egyptians if they so desired. If Egyptians would listen to Secretary Anderson, President Johnson would listen to him and believed Anderson’s mission clearly offered opportunity for contact with trusted friend of President’s.

Comment: Battle has talked with Secretary Anderson who said Ambassador Kamel called him immediately following White House appointment. Anderson has told Ambassador Kamel he will be Beirut Hotel Vendome for day or two and if Egyptians wish, he will be happy come over meet with Nasser but only if Egyptians want him to do so and consider trip useful. Anderson intends primarily to listen and will make no effort mediate current crisis.

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In view Department, Anderson’s presence will offer special opportunity to Egyptians to pass word through special channel if they wish re current crisis. If Anderson comes, he will be in touch with Ambassador Nolte and will undoubtedly want briefing current Arab-Israeli confrontation

Anderson, if he visits Cairo, will state he is on one his frequent trips to discuss phosphate reserves along Red Sea. Visit should in every respect be handled in very routine fashion.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 UAR-US. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Battle, cleared by Bromley Smith, and approved by Department of State Deputy Executive Secretary Herbert B. Thompson.
  2. UAR Ambassador Mustafa Kamel made a farewell call on the President from 2:32 to 3 p.m. (Johnson Library, President’s Daily Diary)
  3. Printed from an unsigned copy.