164. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to Minister of Foreign Affairs al-Hamid1

Dear Mr. Minister:

Following the return of Assistant Secretary Talbot from his visit to your country,2 I wish to thank you for the cordial reception he received. He found his talks with Acting Foreign Minister Farhan most rewarding, as well as those he had with several other of your Cabinet colleagues and leading Iraqi citizens.

Mr. Talbot has informed me of the Iraqi point of view on the issue which acts as an irritant in our relations. You may be sure that United States policy in the Near East has not changed since the tragic death of President Kennedy. President Johnson is aware of Iraqi concerns and, I can assure you, will continue to conduct the even-handed, impartial policy pursued by President Kennedy.

The United States maintains a keen interest in the stability and progress of Iraq and in its tranquil existence within an area of peace.

Mr. Talbot’s report to me has confirmed accounts received from Ambassador Strong with regard to the improvement of relations between our two countries. I welcome these reports. We want to continue and to expand the areas of cooperation between our two countries. While we seldom are able to do all we should like to do, we will constantly be on the alert for feasible measures, including the services of private institutions, by means of which Iraq-United States cooperation may prosper. I am particularly hopeful that our two governments will keep in close touch, and that we will not allow a misunderstanding or an occasional disagreement to stand in the way of communication with each other.

I wish you and your colleagues all success in your constructive efforts on behalf of the Iraqi people.


Dean Rusk 3
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 17 IRAQ-US. No classification marking. Drafted by Strong and Dinsmore on May 5 and cleared by Davies and Jernegan.
  2. Talbot visited Iraq March 21-22; see Document 162.
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.