145. Telegram From the U.S. Interests Section of the Spanish Embassy in the United Arab Republic to the Department of State 1
2136. 1. McCloy left Cairo this morning after 36 hour stay.2 While here he saw Nasser, Fawzi, and FonMin. Following is prepared from rough notes dictated by McCloy before departure and is subject to revision by him. He asks that distribution be restricted to Secretary, Messrs. E. Rostow, Battle and Helms and White House.
2. Fawzi amenable but emphasized need for more significant US support for Nov 22 resolution. FonMin more critical of US and more despairing re any hope coming from US. FonMin said key to problem was limitation of Israel expansionism. He said Israel unwilling forego expansionism and US unwilling confront Israel on this issue.
3. McCloy talked very plainly to Nasser. Nasser said he willing make “package deal” with Israel including withdrawal, “agreed and secure boundaries,” demilitarization, non-belligerency. Documents to be prepared in advance and then go into effect simultaneously.
4. McCloy pointed up folly of linking Suez Canal to refugee problem. McCloy said refugee problem can never be “solved” to Arab satisfaction. Meanwhile one of Egypt’s most precious assets wasting away. McCloy suggested reopening of Canal with IBRD assistance on terms of free passage for everybody. Nasser seemed to acknowledge the wisdom of such a course but indicated his internal situation would not permit it.[Page 283]
5. Nasser admitted he was the one standing in way of resumption US-UAR relations. He again indicated concern re public reaction to resumption so long as US did not balance its policy by doing something for Arabs.
6. Nasser recalled proposed US arms aid to Egypt in 1954 had foundered on his refusal accept US technicians. We had been right and he wrong. After June war he has been begging for Soviet technicians. He unable deny use his ports to Soviet fleet.
7. Nasser made sympathetic noises re Hussein but said if latter negotiated directly with Israel he wouldn’t last very long.
8. Nasser said since President Johnson has announced he will not be a candidate might be time for US do something show its lack of bias for Israel. McCloy said no US administration would take action compel Israel withdraw without assurance for Israel’s security and without convincing simultaneous action on part UAR. Nasser said this bitter pill but he accepted it.
9. McCloy got impression Nasser less vigorous, more subdued. He senses restrictions on his flexibility. Although worried, he is not distraught.
10. Nasser spoke in considerable admiration for President Johnson and what Nasser called “his statesmanship action” re Vietnam. Nasser added he completely convinced President’s action not a maneuver.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 7 US/McCLOY. Secret; Nodis.↩
- John J. McCloy visited Egypt as part of a series of visits to Middle Eastern countries on behalf of the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development. He also visited Jordan April 10-11 and Lebanon April 11-13. Reports of his meetings with King Hussein and Prime Minister Talhouni are in telegrams 4316 and 4317 from Amman, both April 11. (Ibid.) For a record of McCloy’s meeting with Lebanese President Helou, see Document 149.↩