74. Information Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1

SUBJECT

  • Gene Black in Cairo

Gene Black will seek an appointment with you when he comes back about February 16, but I thought you might wish a preliminary report on his talk with Nasser.2

[Page 152]

On the subject of resuming relations, Black told Nasser he understood that discussions on mechanics were going on and simply expressed his view that resumption of relations would be a good thing for both of us. Nasser agreed but said he would need a little time to inform the other Arab states of his intentions. He said it would be a little harder to resume relations with the US than it had been with the UK because we have not made the same sort of gestures friendly to the Arabs as the British had.

We will just have to wait and see whether Nasser is really moving ahead or stalling. Don Bergus sees his Foreign Minister contact tomorrow and that may shed more light.

Black also reports that Nasser was interested in the fact that Secretary McNamara will shortly take over as head of the World Bank. He may suggest that Bob visit the UAR soon.

We will wait until we hear Black’s full report before doing anything further.

Walt
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Arab Republic, Vol. VI, Memos, 8/67-7/68. Secret. A handwritten notation indicates that the memorandum was received at 4:20 p.m.
  2. Black’s meeting with Nasser on February 4 was reported in telegrams 1563, February 6, and 1571 and 1572, both February 7, from Cairo. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL UAR-US, POL 15-1 UAR, and IT 11-16 UAR, respectively)