Volume #22 - 695.|
RELATIONS AVEC LE COMMONWEALTH
RELATIONS AVEC DES PAYS PARTICULIERS
VISITE DU PREMIER MINISTRE À OTTAWA, 3-8 FÉVRIER 1956
Le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
à l'ambassadeur aux États-Unis
le 7 février 1956|
Repeat London K-200; Paris K-108.
Sir Harold Caccia and Evelyn Shuckburgh discussed Middle Eastern affairs with senior officials of the Department. They seemed gratified with the wide area of agreement which had been reached in their Washington conversations on these matters.57 Since they confined themselves largely to an account of these talks, there does not seem much to tell the State Department.
2. Following is a summary of the points made by the United Kingdom officials:
Reference was made to the means by which teeth could be put into the 1950 Tripartite Declaration to prevent a renewal of hostilities.58 This would allow for swift action, if necessary, by the Three Powers concerned. On the question of policing the borders, it was recognized that there were practical difficulties in the way of putting an international force into Palestine. Furthermore, such action would probably be politically unwelcome both to the Arabs and the Israelis. A more feasible proposition seemed to be to increase General Burns' staff of observers, so that the truce supervision organization would be able to act more promptly when incidents occurred.
However, the essential problem was to get the Arab and Israeli Governments into negotiations for a settlement. To this end, it had been decided not to respond to Israel's request for large- scale armament to "balance" the Egyptian purchases from Soviet sources. In the circumstances this amounted to a policy of severe constraint upon Israel in order to induce the Israeli Government to make a settlement. It was realized that there was some danger in this of Israel's deciding to take extreme measures but, on balance, it seemed a better course than permitting an arms race. The great question was the assessment of the intentions of Colonel Nasser. He would have to be watched closely. There would be diplomatic and economic moves to keep him from going on the wrong side. If these failed, and it came to be clear that his ambitions ran counter to Western interests, then policy would have to be revised.
The United Kingdom intended to give strong support to the Pact as an encouragement to its friends in the Middle East but would not for the time being push Jordan to join. The United States was willing to give the Pact all support short of actually joining it. Opinion in Iraq in favour of the Pact was now more general than had been the case earlier, because of the benefits that had accrued to that country from membership.
It was hoped that the Saudi Arabians would not take the
Buraimi dispute to the United Nations, since in that event it
would be necessary to oppose them adamantly and to make public
the evidence of Saudi Arabian malpractices which had subverted
the arbitration agreement. It was emphasized that to give in to
King Saud over Buraimi would be fatal to the relationship of the
United Kingdom with Persian Gulf sheikhdoms which control 30
percent of Middle Eastern oil. Loss of this oil would be
crippling to the United Kingdom. There was thought to be no real
clash of interests between Aramco and the Iraq petroleum company.
The United Kingdom could not under any circumstances resume
arbitration but the possibility was mentioned, however, of direct
talks with Saudi Arabia.