17. Information Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Hare) to Secretary of State Rusk1


  • US-Arab Relations in the Near East

[Here follows a summary of circular telegram 74768, Document 16.]

Twelve replies to our telegram have now been received. Several of them were too diffuse to be of much value. There were two posts in the area, Tripoli and Tunis, who seemed basically content with the situation as it now is. It would be difficult to say that any kind of consensus was reached by the other posts, but some of their findings are of interest.

It was generally felt that a mere public statement by a high U.S. official would not in itself be of much use.
There was considerable support for the idea of a visit to Near East and North African capitals by a high-ranking U.S. official. The Vice President, the Secretary, and the Under Secretary were put forward in this connection.
Four posts (Cairo, Baghdad, Beirut, and Amman) urged that PL 480 assistance to the UAR be resumed. Jidda said that it should not be resumed unless there were a quid pro quo (unspecified) from the UAR. Rabat spoke of the resumption of PL 480 assistance in terms of maintaining ties with the people (as opposed to the regime) of Egypt.
Three posts urged the halting or stringent restriction of future arms sales to the Near East.
There were also expressions of concern lest diminution of U.S. support for UNRWA rekindle Arab resentment at U.S. efforts to “liquidate” the Palestine problem. In conclusion, it is interesting that a general feeling of malaise about the situation in the Near East was signalled by ten of our posts in Arab capital. This was before the Israeli attack on Jordan of November 13, 1966.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL UAR-US. Secret. Drafted by Bergus. The initials “DR” on the memorandum indicate that Rusk saw it.