corrected December 31st 2008

EXPERIENCES IN ARAB AFFAIRS

1943-1958
 

Mohommed Fadhel Jamali..M.A..Ph.D., L.L.D.

Former Prime Minister of Iraq.

 
Located in Widener Library

Harvard University under the title:
Arab Struggle; Experiences of Mohammed Fadhel Jamali.

WID-LC DS 7953.J34 1974x
 
CONTENTS

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

IRAQ and the FERTILE CRESCENT

Syria

        Syria and King Abdullah
            Lebanon

Jordan

Palestine

                    The Palestine Cause
                      The Bludan Meeting of the League of Arab States
                    Crisis in the Leadership of the Palestine Arabs The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry
                     The ad-hoc political committee
                     The London Conference on Palestine
                      The United Nations Special Session
                       22 September, 1947
                        The General Assembly of the United Nations, 1947

 

                        The Opening the Session of the General Assembly

          The Ad-Hoc Political Committee
                        The General Assembly Vote on Partition

          Arab Confrontation with Zionists at the United Nations
                        Palestine and Western Interests in the Arab World

            Portsmouth Treaty

           Oil
                        My Recollections of the Palestinian War

            Zionist Expansionist Designs
                       
Arab-Israel Negotiation

            The Internationalization of Jerusalem
                        The Palestine Problem and Iraq’s Foreign Policy

                Iraq and the United States

                Secretary of State Dulles's Visit to Iraq.
                        American Military Aid to Iraq.

                President Eisenhower and Palestine
                         Mr Dulles prepares a public statement on Palestine.

                The Baghdad Pact and Palestine.

                         Positive Neutrality or Non-alignment and Palestine.
                         German Rparatuions for Israel

                          Israeli Agression aginst Egypt
                        The Triple Invasion of Egypt

            Kuwait          

IRAQ and the ARABIAN PENINSULA

Saudi Arabia

Yemen

IRAQ and the NILE VALLEY

            Egypt and the Sudan

IRAQ and NORTH AFRICA

Libya

Morocco

Tunisia

Algeria

IRAQ and the ARAB LEAGUE

IRAQ and the BAGHDAD PACT

IRAQ and the BANDUNG CONFERENCE

CONCLUSION

APPENDIX A

APPENDIX B

APPENDIX C


Obituary of Sarah (Powell) Jamali

 

PREFACE

by

Richard Wilson

Mallinckrodt Research Professor of Physics

Harvard University

 

In 1989 it was my privilege to invite Fadhel Jamali to spend a week at Harvard University to lecture and discuss whatever he chose.  He gave me a typescript of these memoirs which I passed to Widener Library.   It was hoped that the typescript would be edited and published to inform the Western World that there was a time when Iraq had tasted and struggled for freedom not only for themselves but also for other Arabs, and by extension for all peoples.  Alas, funding for the editing and publication was not forthcoming at that time.   Now it is my privilege to arrange for the scanning and placing on the World Wide Web this very important document.   In addition to scanning I added the corrections in the margin made by Sarah Jamali.

 

Originally I planned to prepare two versions.   One in Portable Data Format (pdf) and the other in Hypertext Markup Language (html).   I prepared the initial text in html and edited it in html..   I planned links  for convenience in accessing a particular section.  I  was assisted in this by four young visiting Iraqi scientists who did this in memory of a great Iraqi and a great human being.   But then we ran out of steam.   Some links have not been made and the PDF version is not made.  I note that Fadhel's American wife (Sarah) was a great lady herself.   Her humanitarian work on behalf of children firstly in Iraq, and later in Tunis, won the admiration of all who knew her.  What other American has been pictured on the front page of a non-American (Tunisian) magazine at age 90, and called the woman of the year?   She fully supported Fadhel in his work, and remained in Baghdad when he was in jail during 1958-1961 at great risk to herself.

 

        For 17 years I have had the privilege of calling Fadhel and Sarah my friends.  It is for their memory, which I cherish, that I undertake this task.     

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

        On the 14th of July 1958, one chapter of Iraq's history was closed by the fall of the Hashemite monarchy. The story of that chapter remains to be written, but some facts are already completely lost to future historians since many documents were destroyed by the 1958 revolution.  Besides, the Iraqi government under the royal regime did not care much for publicity, nor did they keep well-documented records.  This was especially true of foreign affairs where secrecy was observed. Some secret papers were kept in the private possess­ion of those responsible for handling the affairs, and in certain cases, nothing whatever was put on paper.As one who took part in Iraqi foreign affairs from 1943 to 1958 I feel it a duty to put on record what I know about Iraq's policy in Arab affairs. During that period I was Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then Minister of Foreign Affairs in eight Iraqi Cabinets. I presided over the Iraqi Chamber of Deputies for two sessions from 1951-53.  I was Prime Minister of Iraq in 1953-54.  I attended several of the meetings of the Council of the League of Arab States and the League's Political Committee. I presided over two sessions of the League's Council. In 1945 I attended the San Francisco Conference of the United Nations and signed The Charter on behalf of Iraq. I led the Iraqi delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations at most of its sessions until 1958. I led the Iraqi delegation to the Asian-African Conference at Bandung in April 1955. and I also took part in most of the meetings of the Baghdad Pact.

 

On the morning of July 14, 1958.world news media said that I had been killed by the mobs in Baghdad.  Actually some unfortunate fellow was mistaken for me and killed.  On the morning of the 17th of July I was arrested in the wilderness north of  Baghdad. In the following months I was interrogated. tried an sentenced by the Special High Military Court of Iraq.   I was condemned to death. sentenced to fifty-five years of imprisonment. and fined over one hundred thousand dinars (pounds sterling). The death sentence was imposed for my supposed plotting against Syria. Actually I never plotted against Syria nor against any Arab state.   I am a Muslim Arab nationalist who believes in the right of the Arabs to be free and to unite by democratic processes.  Thanks to the intervention on my behalf of many people. including some great world figures, the death sentence was commuted to ten years of imprisonment: After spending three years in prison I was released on the night of July 14, 1961. For the next nine months I busied myself in collecting and classifying the important documents I happened to have at home.  In May 1962 I was permitted to leave Iraq for health reasons. Since 1962, at the invitation of H.E. President Habib Bourguiba, President of the Tunisian Republic. I have been living in Tunis and teaching at its University. In 1970 I started writing my experiences in Arab affairs depending on my memory and on the documents in my possession. The fruits of my effort are by no means perfect or complete, but  facts as I experienced them. Some known, others have never been divulged before. Still others have been ignored or distorted by propaganda or prejudice. With all fairness and objectivity one can say that Iraq had a clear and well-designed foreign policy in the period under discussion.

 

That policy was summarized in a speech which I made as Minister for Foreign Affairs before the Chamber of Deputies on May 5, 1949.    There were four guiding principles:

1.. Achieving Iraq's independence and security.

2. Following the principles of the Great Arab Revolution  of 1916 which aimed at the liberation and integration of all the Arab world.

3. Promoting good relations with Iraq's neighbours.

4. Using foreign policy as a means for the social and economic development of Iraq along constructive and evolutionary lines and not along revolutionary and subversive lines. 

This book deals, mainly, with the second principle, which is the liberation and integration of the Arab world. although the principles above mentioned are really inter-related and the foreign policy of Iraq was, on the whole, coherent and consistent. In arranging the topics dealt with in this book, geographic contiguity was taken as a basis.

 

Thus we begin with Iraq's relations with the states of the Fertile Crescent: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Kuwait.  Then we deal with Iraq's relations with the Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia and Yemen. This is followed by the Nile Valley: Egypt and Sudan. Then comes Iraq's work for North African independence: Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. After covering Iraq's relations with the individual Arab states we take up Iraq's role in the League of Arab states, in the Baghdad Pact, and in the Asian­ African Conference at Bandung.

 

The translation of the Arabic documents into English has been made by the author. The English spelling of Arabic names has also been decided by the author.   The spelling has been kept as close to correct Arabic pronunciation as possible.   I am indebted to many friends who helped me and encouraged me to write down these memoirs.    My gratitude is due to my colleagues and collaborators in the Iraqi government in the past and to the hospitality of the Tunisian government and the Tunisian people in the present day.  It is my sincere hope that Iraq will continue to move in the path of brotherhood, freedom and justice for the Arab world and all mankind.  

Mohammed Fadhel Jamali

University of Tunis

20th April 1974

 

IRAQ AND SYRIA

 

The achievement of pan‑Arab unity is one of the cardinal aims of all Arab nationalists. From the early rise of Arab nationalism, the concept of unity was inculcated in the minds and hearts of Arab nationalists who always aspired to gain the freedom of their peoples from foreign domination and to integrate them into one nation.  Some Arab idealists think that all the Arab world could be amalgamated into one centralized state with one head running all.  This dream is cherished by many, including the followers of President Gamal Abdul Nasir of Egypt. There are other Arab nationalists who,  .like myself, think hat the best form of integration would be reached by the path of confederation, or, at most, of federation.   They visualize something like a U.S.A.W., United States of the Arab World.  We are of the opinion that, to achieve Arab unity, one should go by stages; integrating areas adjacent to one another and forming one geographic and economic unity.  According to this theory, Arab unity could start with three or even four sub‑units.   The first would be the Fertile Crescent, consisting of territory extending from the Gulf of  Basrah to the Gulf of Aqaba and including Kuwait, Iraq and Greeter Syria which includes Syria, Jordan and Palestine.  To my mind this might be a first step in Arab integration.The second unity would consist of the Arab peninsula including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Southern Arabia, Oman and the Gulf Sheikhdoms. The third would consist of the Nile Valley which is made up of Egypt and Sudan.The fourth would consist of North Africa, including Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.     

 

It is to be understood that the achievement of this unity should come about by an evolutionary process and with the full consent of the peoples concerned.  It should be the result of a truly democratic process.   There should be no imposition or dictation from any part  over the other. Any section of this grouping could stay out if she chose to do so.  Lebanon, for example, would be free  to remain outside the grouping unless and until its Christian population should deem it to their advantage to join the federation.   Syria, before the First World War, was the geographic entity which included present‑day Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Trans‑Jordan. Beirut in those days was a part of Syria.

 

When I went to the American University of Beirut, the University had just changed its name from the Syrian Protestant College to the American University of Beirut..Syria was the hot‑bed of Arab nationalism. The Syrians provided the brains for the Arab revolt against    the Ottomans.  Nationalities in Istanbul before the first World War consisted mostly of Syrians and Iraqis. The majority of those attending the Arab Conference in Damascus, held in 1908 to promote the cause of Arab nationalism, were Syrians. There were also a few Iraqis. During the First World War, Syria offered many nationalist martyrs for the Arab cause who were hung in the large squares of Damascus and Beirut by the order of Jamal pasha, Commander in‑Chief of the ottoman army in that region.

 

During the First World War, Sharia Husein of Mecca and Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Cairo, exchanged a series of letters in which Britain encouraged the Arabs to rise against the Ottomans for the liberation of the Arab people from Turkish domination.   In 1916, under the leadership of Sharif Husain of Mecca and his sons, Abdullah; Faisal and Zaid., the Arabs rose in revolt against the ottoman Empire.   Many Arab tribesmen and volunteers were commanded by Iraqi and Syrian army officers who had been trained in the Ottoman army.  The first fruit of the Arab Revolt against the Turks in the First World War was the liberation of Syria which was entered by the Arab army, headed by Emir Faisal,   the third son of the Sharif of Mecca who had declared the revolt against the Turks: Emir Faisal became the first King of Syria, so Syria had its first Hashemite Arab King  after centuries of non‑Arab  rule.  In March 1920, a   Syrio‑Iraqi Conference was held in Damascus, presided over by Hashim al‑Atasi, at which the unity of Syria and Iraq was declared.    Behind the backs of the Arabs, two damaging agreements had been made by the 'Allies' of the Arabs. One was the Sykes‑Picot Treaty between France and Britain by which they agreed to partition Syria and Iraq between themselves. This document came to light when the Russian papers were made public by Lenin after the Russian Revolution.  As a result of the Sykes‑Picot agreement, the French invaded Syria and the Arab Kingdom headed by King Faisal came to an end, but only after a heroic resistance. The King had to leave Syria, but the Syrians cherish the fondest memories or King Faisal of Syria.   The second damaging agreement was the Balfour Declaration in 1917 in which the British Government promised the Zionists a national home in Palestine.  Aview with favour the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object..."

 

 Implementing these two plots, the League of Nations put Syria and Lebanon under French Mandate, and Iraq and Trans‑Jordan and Palestine under British Mandate. In 1920 the Iraqis revolted against Great Britain,  and Britain found it impossible to rule a turbulent country like Iraq. At the time she wanted to partially correct her stance with the Arabs. Thus she yielded to the wish or the Iraqis and, in 1921,  King Faisal,  the ex‑King of Syria, came  and  established the new Kingdom of Iraq.  

 

King Faisal the First championed the ideal or Arab nationalism. When he came to Baghdad he brought with him an Arab nationalist educator, originally from Syria, namely, Sati'al‑Hasri, who became Director‑General of the Ministry of Education. King Faisal was also accompanied by a great Arab nationalist brain, a Sorbonne‑educated Lebanese, Rustam Beg Haidr, who was appointed as Head or the Royal Diwan. These two men, along with the Iraq officers who had fought in the Arab Revolt, like Ja'far al‑'Askeri, Nuri as‑Sa'id,  Jamil al‑Madra'i,  'Ali Jawdat, al‑Ayoubi. and others did much to promote the cause of Arab nationalism in Iraq.  As a young man I was conscious or all these events. and. from the coming of King Faisal to Iraq. the idea of Arab liberation and Arab unity became one or my great objectives in life.   Our whole educational atmosphere in Iraq was filled with inspiration and initiation into Arab nationalism which aimed at the liberation of all Arab lands and their integration   The Arab youth were not happy to find that their nation had been cut to pieces and people separated from each other with walls created between one part or the Arab world and another.  While there had been no frontiers between Syria and Iraq under the Ottoman Empire. all of a sudden Syrian and Iraqis found  themselves separated .from each other by walls. I was one of six Iraqi students sent by the Ministry to  study at the American University of Beirut.  Our way in these days took from Baghdad to Basrah, to India,  to Aden, to Egypt, to Haifa, .to Damascus and then  Beirut.   Thus I was a University student when I had my first glimpse of Damascus.  Over the years I came  to love that city of great history which was also a centre of Arab culture and  power.

 

 During the Easter vacation. I joined a group of about fifteen students from the American University of Beirut, led by the Instructor of Physical Education, Harry Foot, and went on a visit to Syria.   On the way from Beirut to Damascus we stopped at Maysaloun  to pay our homage to the souls of those martyrs who were killed there while defending their country against the French invasion.  Syria in those days was in revolt against the French, but the cities were calm and orderly for the fighting was done in the countryside.  Even in the cities we could see barbed wire at street junctions with French soldiers standing on guard. Travelling from one city to another required a pass from the French officer responsible for the district.  I usually acted as the representative of the group in talking to the French officer in order to get the necessary  permit.   I also acted as an Arabic interpreter for Mr Foot whenever he spoke in the name of the group at a public function.  We visited Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo.   We were entertained very generously by the Syrian people who were friendly to the American University of Beirut, for the University had alumni in all those towns.  We also spent a night in a bedouin camp near Aleppo and introduced football to those bedouins for the first time.  All of them, young and old, enjoyed kicking the ball and running after it.   On our departure we presented them with a football.

 

        On that visit I fell in love with Syria. I felt very much at home there and Syria seemed as much my country as did Iraq.   I was filled with pride and admiration for the Syrian people who were fighting for the liberation of their country from foreign domination.  That trip invigorated my sense of Arab nationalism, and I felt that an Arab, besides belonging to a province or specific region, belonged to the whole Arab homeland extending from the Gulf of Basrah to the Atlantic Ocean. The partitions and the divisions in Arab world,  especially in the Fertile Crescent, were the creation of Western imperialism.  It was Western imperialism that divided the united region of Syria into Syria, Lebanon,  Jordan and Palestine.  To make it worse, the French subdivided the lesser Syria into separate entities ‑ Damascus, Aleppo, Alawites, Jabal ad‑Druze ‑ each of' which had a separate and different administration. A young Arab nationalist like myself would immediately detest and reject such a state of affairs for his people and nation. Before giving in to the French, the Syrians wrote a golden page in the history of Arab nationalism at Maysaloun, an army post between Beirut and Damascus, where, led by the Minister of Defence, Yusuf al-Azmeh, the small Syrian army fought to the last man against the French. Thus the French could march on Damascus only over the bodies of' the martyrs. Maysaloun, with the graves of the Arab martyrs,  including that of Yusuf  'al-Azmeh, represents a point of' pride and inspiration for all Arab youth, and the name of' Yusuf  al-Azmeh has become symbolic of  Arab readiness to die for the safety of' the homeland. Professor Sati al‑Hasri wrote a classical book in Arabic (now translated into English) commemorating Maysaloun.


        In 1932 I returned to Iraq from the U.S.A. after having attained my Doctor of' Philosophy degree in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.  I was appointed as Supervisor General of Education.  I remember that, in the Ministry of Education, we engaged hundreds of teachers from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt who naturally acted as representatives of Arab nationalism.  In the summer of 1932 Dr Sami Shawkat, then Director General of Education, and I, as Supervisor General of Education went to Syria and Lebanon to engage teachers. As it happened,   the majority of the teachers we engaged were Lebanese. On our way back from Beirut we had luncheon at the Iraqi Consulate in Damascus. Some prominent Syrian nationalists were present. At the luncheon table I was sitting between Dr 'Abdur Rahman  Shabandar, a graduate of the American University of Beirut and a well‑known spokesman for Arab nationalism who later was assassinated by French agents, and Ma'arouf Arnawut, a well known author and journalist.  During our conversation,  Ma'arouf Arnawut asked me, "What has Syria done against you?"   I replied, "Nothing at all. On the contrary."   "But why, then, do you avoid the employment of Syrian teachers and pick only Maronites from Lebanon?"


           I said, "I never differentiated between Syrian and Lebanese candidates, nor‑between Muslims and Christians in choosing teachers.   My choice depended solely on academic and professional qualifications."   Nevertheless, a telegram was sent from Syria to H.M.King Faisal I complaining that we were biased in the selection of teachers and that we favoured the Lebanese and the Christians.   This incident made me think deeply about the cleavage between Syria and Lebanon both from a denominational as  well as a political point of' view.   It enabled me to appreciate later the Lebanese jealousy for their own independence and their fear of' Syrian encroachment that might result from a Syrio‑Iraqi federation.  It shed light on the fear of Lebanese Christians of domination by the Muslims.  I come to understand this end I took it into account in all my later activities relating to the Syrio‑Iraqi federation.  My attitude towards the Lebanese was that such a federation would surely reduce any denominational bias rather than increase it, and that it would be to the advantage of the Lebanese.
 

        Among the Syrian teachers employed by Iraq were some outspoken Arab nationalists like Dr Farid Zainuddin, Alice Qandaleft and the greet Syrian poet, Badawi al‑Jabel.  Some of them became members of the Muthena Club, an Arab nationalist foreign yoke and the achievement of Arab unity.   Badawi al‑Jabal composed and recited one of' his historic poems in the Club. A verse from this famous poem runs as follows:

 

"There is no frontier between Iraq and Sham (Syria). May Allah demolish the frontiers which they erected!"

 

       "They" refers to imperialist powers.   The echo of this verse rang in the ears and hearts of all Arab nationalists all the time, and I was no exception.  Before his death in 1933. King Faisal I of Iraq was invited to Paris by the French government.  He started to convince the French to grant Syria independence in the same way as the British had done to Iraq.  The French seemed sympathetic at the time, but the King's untimely death put an end to his plans.   To show the importance which the Syrians attached to King F'aisal's effort on their behalf I shall translate a passage from a book in Arabic entitled, AHizb.al‑Istiqlal al‑Jumhoury, which means the Independence Republican Party, by the Lebanese Arab nationalist, 'Adil as‑Sulh.   

 

  AAnd the people of Syria from various classes ceme forward signing petitions authorizing King Faisal the First, King of Iraq, to negotiate in Paris regarding the Syrian question. A delegation of Syrian journalists, some nationalist young men, and delegation of Osbat al‑Amal al_Qawmy. The League of Nationalist Action, travelled .to Amman to meet the King on his way to Paris.  For the same purpose, the nationalist bloc delegated Saledullah el‑Jebiri as their representative. "  

 

 The King told these delegations that he would not let an opportunity pass without his using it to deal with the Syrian question and to strive for its solution.   On the 10th or June (1933) in Cairo, King Faisal I received a delegation or the Executive Committee or the Syrian‑Palestinian Conference and a delegation or the Syrian‑Arab Society and some prominent Syrians in Egypt. They jointly presented him with a petition authorizing him to act for them in solving the Syrian problem.   While the King was in Amman, the Secretary General of the Arab student conference in Europe, Mukhtar al Mukhish, addressed the following telegram to him:

 

'The Syrian Arab youth from the various parts of Europe met in the city or Paris to discuss conditions in Syria.  They decided to request you to stretch out a helpful hand to them in their efforts, and to make the world hear, during your forthcoming trip to the West about the injustice and persecutions (we suffer). We want complete independence and a true Arab unity."

 

And Faisal the First, King of Iraq, arrived in Europe and made Geneva his headquarters. He had stated in Amman that he was travelling to Europe in order to try to solve the political problems that concerned the Iraqi Kingdom directly, especially the question or foreign privileges which the British had kept for themselves in Iraq.  He said that he would also discuss with some European statesmen the Syrian problem and express his opinion about it.  The London Times mentioned that the purpose or King Faisal's passing through Amman was to negotiate on the subject of federating the Arab regions.           

 

        The national bloc met in Damascus and delegated two of its leaders, Sa=adulleh al‑Jabiri and 'Afif as‑Sulh, to travel to Amman, contact the King, and discuss with him current Arab affairs in general and the Syrian question in particular.  The two delegates had two meetings with the King at which they discussed for severa1 hours the topics that interested the Syrians,  and they informed him that the nationalist bloc and the Syrian people were anxious that he should occupy the Syrian throne at the same time as the Iraqi throne.   In Paris, Subhi Barakat, President of the Syrian Parliament, who had gone to Paris to discuss the Syrian situation, met with the King and had a lengthy talk with him in which Barakat explained his own stand, and confirmed that King Faisal should be enthroned in Syria in addition, to his Iraqi throne. The King and the President of the Parliament separated with the understanding that they would meet again in Geneva to continue the discussion.  One day before the appointed date, Subhi Barakat came to the hotel (in Paris) and informed us of the sudden death of King Faisal in Berne.

 

This news fell as a thunderbolt on those present, Arab journalists and Arab students.  They all rose to go to the Iraqi Legation to offer condolences. This was the 8th of September, 1933.   I was aware of all this and it influenced me.   In 1936, during the Cabinet of Léon Blum, the Syrian nationalists started negotiations with the French with a view to obtaining independence along the lines of the independence Egypt and Iraq, but they could not.   Later on, some of the nationalists had to go underground as the French in Syria began to chase them, Some of the great leaders sought refuge in Iraq. Shukri al-Quwaitli, Saidallah al-Jabiri, Lutri al-Haffar, >Adil Azmeh and others came to Iraq and lived for sometime in Baghdad. This in itself kept the Syrian problems alive and gave greater impetus to the Iraqi government=s work for the freedom of Syria. 

 

           During the Second World War, I was transferred from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  In my new position I could see to it that the Iraqi government spared no opportunity to convince its allies, Britain and the United States, of the urgent need for the liberation of Syria and Lebanon from the French Mandate. General Sir Edward Spears. for the United Kingdom and Minister George Wadsworth for the United States did their best to promote the independence or these two states.   Tahseen Qadri, the Iraqi Consul General and later Minister to Lebanon and Syria, was in constant touch with the political leaders in his area.  Iraq worked hard to see to it that, after the downfall of the Vichy regime, the French recognized the independence of Syria and Lebanon.   The Iraqi government also worked hard to make sure that Syria and Lebanon were invited, in 1945 to the San Francisco Conference for the founding of the United Nations Organization. The French bombardment of Damascus took place at the same time as the opening of the Conference. That  gave me an opportunity to go to the rostrum at the General Meeting or the Assembly to denounce the bombardment or Damascus, an: unfortified city and the most ancient one in the world.   I asked if the assault was consonant with the French principles or Liberté, Fraternité and Egalité.

 

        I had further opportunity to challenge France in the Committee during the Section in the United Nations Charter dealing with the security Council. I raised the question or whether France was entitled to be named one of the guardians of peace in the world while she was attacking Damascus. I said that her attitude to Damascus should cause her to forfeit her seat as one of the five members of the Security Council.  But the real victory for Syria and Lebanon was achieved when Article 78 for the United Nations Charter was adopted.    This Article was especially meant to terminate the French Mandate over them.  The Article reads as follows:

 

AThe Trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle of sovereignty and equality.@        

 

 Since Syria and Lebanon were members of the San Francisco Conference they were considered as founding members of the United Nations, and the Trusteeship system could not be applied to them.   The adoption of this Article was a big victory for the Syrian and Lebanese delegations whom Iraq in particular and other Arab and friendly states had whole‑heartedly helped in their campaign.   After the San Francisco Conference, the Syrians had to work hard to have the French evacuate Syria.   The Syrian nationalist government, headed by Shukri al‑Quwatli as President, achieved the evacuation of  the French from Syria by 1946.  I was a member or the Iraqi delegation that went to Damascus to attend the celebrations on the occasion of  the French evacuation.  It was a great occasion and all the Arabs were jubilant.  President al‑Quwatli gave a historic speech in which he stated, "There shall be no flag flying over Syria except the Syrian flag and nothing shall be above it except the flag of Arab unity."


            President al‑Quwatli's first move was to fly to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects and to express his affection for King 'Abdul 'Aziz Ibn Sa'ud.   This was a very strange incident, for the rivalry between the Hashemite and Saudi families was well known.  The Regent of Iraq, Prince 'Abdul Ilah was stunned by the Syrian move.  Tahseen al Qadri, the Iraqi Minister to Syria and Lebanon was embarrassed.To remedy this embarrassment he arranged that  President al‑Quwatli should quickly pay a visit to Iraq.   But Prince 'Abdullah was psychologically unprepared for such a visit although he could not turn it down. The Regent did not wish to go to the airport to receive President al‑Quwatli, but, after some persuasion by the Foreign Minister, Arshad wearing a sports shirt instead of formal attire. President Shukri al‑Quwatli and Prime Minister Abddullah al‑Jabiri were somewhat peeved and felt that they had been treated with indignity and lack of courtesy

 

            Premier Sa=Adullah al‑Jabiri asked to meet me behind closed doors.   He said that I was the only one to whom he could talk frankly and open his heart.  He explained, complaining of the lack of courtesy on the part of the Iraqi authorities.  I pleaded for tolerance, big‑heartedness and the overlooking of the trivialities of officialdom and formalities.  I said, "Iraq is your home and the Iraqi leaders are your brethren.".  The visit certainly muddled rurther the waters it was intended to clear. The Iraqis were really hurt by having been given second place by the Syrians.  It was also felt that Tahseen Qadri was wrong to arrange the visit before the Iraqi nerves had cooled down.

 

           From then on.President al‑Quwatli and some of his entourage turned toward Saudi Arabia and Egypt instead of Iraq.    It was al‑Quwatli's initial naive mistake and lack of consideration for Iraqi Hashemite sensitivities that led to this coolness in relations.   My personal relations with many of the Syrian leaders of those days was always cordial and those who knew me well appreciated my genuine nationalist sentiments.   For example, there was always whole‑hearted cooperation between me and Professor Faris al‑Khouri who was leader of the Syrian delagation at the Arab League Conference held at Bludan  a mountain resort near Damascus in 1945,. the London Conrerence on Palestine in 1946, and the United Nations General Assembly in 1946 and 1947. Professor al‑Khouri was a wise old gentleman who truly represented political wisdom and acumen.   He had an excellent legal mind and was the master or convincing argumentation.  I used to cell him abune, Our Father, and we listened carefully to what each other had to say.

 

An incident of some human interest happened in the winter of 1946 when we were attending the Palestine Conference in London.  Professor Faris al‑Khouri ceme one day


Professor al‑Khouri protested, "Fadhel, do you want your father to be treated like a donkey?=

"Far from it. Our Father!  Why do you say such a thing?"

"Because,  he replied, "Dr Fawzi is a veterinary doctor and you want him to treat me."

We had a good laugh at my expense.   I had always thought that Dr Fawzi al‑Mulqi, who had attended the American University of Beirut, was a medical doctor while he was in fact a vetinarian from Edinburgh University.

 

In 1946 the Arab League met in Cairo.   I was the Head of the Iraqi delegation, and it was Iraqi=s turn to preside over the League Council.  I was as strict as a teacher in keeping order in the meetings. Sa'adullah al Jabiri, then Prime Minister of Syria, commented once after the meeting, "Fadhel, heve you put us back into school?"  "Yes, Sa'adullah Beg," I said jokingly,"you need it."  This meeting of the Arab League Council was one of the longest ever held. It lasted nearly a month The most crucial issue in that meeting was a complaint to the League Council by the government of Syria against the Kingdom of Jordan.  King 'Abdullah had made a call to the people of Syria to join a Greater Syria which would include Syria,   Lebanon, Palestine and Trans‑Jordan    This call was circulated in a printed leaflet and distributed to the Syrian people. The Syrian government considered this a violation of the Arab League Covenant and  as interference by one state in the internal affairs of another Arab state.  The situation was very tense.   The League Council consisted mostly of critics of the Jordanian move.   I, as President of the Council, suggested that this Syrian complaint should be referred to a Committee of the Foreign Ministers of all states, members of the Arab League, which would study the matter and bring its recommendations to the Council.

 

        My suggestion was accepted and that was the birth of the Political Committee of the Arab League.   After that date, several problems were referred to the Political Committee before being presented to the Arab League Council.   In the Political Committee I defended King >Abdullah's declaration as being an expression of a national ideal to be achieved through regular constitutional processes in the future. I argued that it was not meant to be an attack on the ruling government of Syria, since Article 9 of the Arab League Covenant entitles those states who wish to create closer ties to go ahead and do so. The Committee agreed to draft a formula by which Jordan would agree not to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria, but, could at the same time, continue to uphold the ideal of Arab unity.

         After the meeting I made the following declaration on behalf of all the Arab League Foreign Ministers attending the Political Committee:
     "A dispute has arisen about the project of Greater Syria for the sake of which the Foreign Ministers of the Arab states held a special meeting and studied the matter in all its aspects. It appeared that no one intended, by taking up the subject, to interfere with the independence or sovreignty of any of the states of the Arab League or to interfere with the form of government standing therein. Therefore they all affirmed that each of these states upholds the Covenant of the Arab League acting and continuing to act to respect it and to implement it in letter and spirit. Signed:

Foreign Minister of Jordan, Mohammed Shuraiqi
Foreign Minister of Syria, Jamil Mardam Beg
Foreign Minister of Iraq, Mohammed Fadhel Jamali
Acting Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Yusuf Yaseen
Foreign Minister of Egypt, Ibrahim 'Abdul Hadi
Foreign Minister of Lebanon Philip Taqla
The Delegate of Yemen, AI-Qadhi Mohammed al-‘Amri"

     It seemed that His Majesty, King 'Abdullah, whose ambition for the unity of Greater Syria was always alive, was not pleased with the published statement. Accordingly, I, as President of the Arab League, received the following letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan:

His Excellency, The President of the Council of the League of Arab states,

 

        To confirm the upholding by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan of the Covenant of the League of Arab states,   my government has charged me to present the  attached memorandum which contains the Jordanian point of view on the matter of unity or federation with Syria. This is a national principle which has no relation to the propaganda against it    The understanding between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs should put an end to that propaganda.  We are anxious to remove all suspicions and to achieve the full solidarity of the states, Members of the League.

        Signed. Mohammed Shuraiqi,  The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

       
The text of the memorandum:

The Jordanian Government considers that any call for national unity or federation through political channels or by legally correct statements without         aggression on the rights of others. should not be a cause of disagreement. for the basic principle is that each Arab region must achieve the unity of its parts or their federation when the means of unity and federation are available and when the legal possibilities,  which do not do any harm to any private or public right, are made available; for it is for the good of  the Arabs to remove divisions which are harmful to national interests and which contradict the welfare of the home land, its hopes and aspirations of the League, or interfere with the government ruling therein, so long as the decision on unity or federation belongs to the will of the people which is concerned and which is the source of all authority, and to the public national conscience and accepted agreements between the responsible governments.  With our full appreciation for the efforts of the Committee of the Arab Foreign Ministers to put an end to biased propaganda concerning the project of Greater Syria contained in its common declaration, we present this memorandum to reserve the point of view of the Jordanian government in dealing with a national principle to which it attaches special importance because of its basic connection to its regional interests and national covenant.  Please accept the highest respects,  

Signed:   Mohammed Shuraiqi

Foreign Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

 

    I was also approached by some press men with a question about whether there were any more declarations to be made by any of the responsible leaders concerning the project of Greater Syria.   I gave the following answer:

AI do not think so.  The Arab nation is faced with several great national problems vis‑a‑vis the outside world, problems which require full dedication of thoughts and efforts to defend Arab lands threatened with danger, especially in Palestine, and to defend our suffering brethren in Libya and North Africa.   I hope that the press and men of letters will help direct public opinion in the Arab world to serious efforts to secure the freedom of the Arab lands and to unite their world and come together vis‑a‑vis outside dangers.

 

 

    One journalist asked if the debate on Greater Syria had done any harm to the mutual relations between states, Members of the Arab League.  I answered:

AThe debate was the means of clearing the atmosphere between the Arab states,  and it was a proof that the Arab states are all united within the bounds of the League Covenant for which they all cherish respect and loyalty.
 

The Jordanian Parliament held a special session to debate the issue and to support King 'Abdullah's policy.   After lengthy discussion the following declaration was passed:

'14 Muharram. 1366.(8 December. 1946):

1. The Jordanian Legislative Assembly supports completely the principle of the Great Syrian unity and declares its adherence to the Mutual Syrian Pact emanating from the only Constituent Assembly which included  representatives from all regions of Syria meeting together in the year 1920 (The General Syrian Conference).

2. The Jordanian Legislative Assembly confirms that the Pact of the great unity of the homeland which was supported at the time by the results of a referendum of the Syrian people in all the regions is also a national principle which is to be unanimously respected,  and no one region of Syria has the right to annul it.   This principle does not mean transgression on the rights of particular regions or systems of government standing therein since the matter. in its definitions and its executions, has to be supported by the general national will or mutually acceptable agreement entered into by responsible governments.

3. The Jordanian Legislative Assembly protests that His Excellency the Prime Minister of Syria is at the same time the Acting Foreign Minister of Syria, has annulled what was decided by the Committee of the Foreign Ministers of the Arab League Council regarding cooperation between Arab states. It protests, as well, against what some Syrian daily newspapers publish by way of bitter attacks directed against the dignity of this country and causing harm to mutual inter‑Arab relations and national interests.

4. The Assembly refers this Resolution to the government for publication and notification to the parties concerned. 

     King 'Abdullah never stopped his campaign for the unity of Greater Syria.  He continued making declarations and. publishing leaflets addressed to the Syrian people.  Take as an example the one that was published in Amman and dated 16 Holy Ramsdhan,1366, (4 August, 1947). It was entitled, A Royal Statement: The Great Syria State and Arab Union. Here is a translation of the last two sections of that statement:

'Dear People:

 

 

What we call for is not mere words.  On the contrary, it is a desired hope and a forthcoming truth. National conscience is grieved that some say that the Covenant of the Arab League required the preservation of the status quo in Arab lands which means paralyzing the movement for Arab development by preserving the partitions which foreign imperialism imposed, not for the interests of Syria as a whole, nor for the interests of the Arabs in general. 

 

It is such statements which are a departure from the League Covenant and a shattering of its highest goals.  This certainly motivates us to openly state with no hesitation or obfuscation that the principles of the liberating Arab revolution, emanating from national conscience and written with Arab tears and blood. these principles are still and will continue to be the guiding goal of  the aspirations of all the Arabs. Believing that Syria is still cut to pieces physically and humanly, they shall not tolerate this tearing apart and closing the road towards unity.  They shall assert the consciousness of their right. and they shall double, in God, their efforts.

 

Dear People:

To be vocal in expressing national rights is the right thing in every time and place, and it is this openness that the regions of Syria or their official governments should call to a national preparatory conference to decide the following matters:

  1. To set a plan for Syrian unity or federation objectively, within the bounds of international covenants, national hopes and common regional interests.    

 2. To consider the union or the federation of Syria as a problem which concerns the Syrian states and the will of the Syrian people alone within the bounds of the whole homeland, geographically. historically and nationally.

3. To set up provisions guaranteeing that the unity or the federation shall refuse any diminution of national rights to independence acquired internationally within the bounds of the Charter of the United Nations.

4. To define the position of Palestine in relation to unity or federation in a manner which puts a stop to Zionist danger finally and completely.

            5. To invite the governments of the regions of the Syrian homeland to a common agreement which ends with calling a general meeting (constituent assembly) which will include representatives of all the Syrian regions to set up a constitution of the state on the basis of unity or federation in the light of the agreed plan.

6. To call, as soon as the Greater Syrian state is formed, for the already sanctioned Arab federation of the Fertile Crescent, Syria and Iraq, which would implement the plans laid down according to the principles of the liberating Arab revolution and required by the Pact of the 8th of March, moving on the path opened  by the Covenant of the Arab League. This is what we call for and this is what we work to realize, desiring nothing for this but the countenance of God's bounty and the great future of the Arabs. This is the clear truth "and you will hear its news eventually". 

 

 

        King 'Abdullah's words were highly poetic and literary with rhyme and rhythms.  It is a pity that no translation into English can reproduce the literary quality.     The squabble between Syria and  Jordan continued. The Syrian government, while being vociferous about Arab unity, were proud of their independence and took a negative attitude toward any approach by Iraq or Jordan f'or any kind of' union or special arrangement outside the Arab League.  In 1946, Nuri as‑Sa'id had proposed to both Syria and Lebanon that special treaty relationships should be established between Iraq and those two countries covering economics, communications, irrigation,  judicial, cultural and other matters. The Syrian government, with al‑Quwatli as President of' the Republic and Sa=dullah al‑Jabiri as Prime Minister, turned down Nuri's proposals. Nuri then went to Turkey and reached agreement with the Turkish  government on those proposed items. It was Sa=dullah=s opinion that Syria should take no step outside the Arab League.  The Arab League, however, with its divided policies and divergent points of' view and the varied mentality of' its members could hardly take any step forward in any major question related to Arab affairs with the exception of Palestine and the liberation of' the North African states.

I visited Sa=dullah al‑Jabiri before his death  in the Omayyid Hotel in Damascus, where he was lying ill.  Sa=adullah, who confided in me and considered me a true friend, expressed to me his deep regret for having turned down Nuri's proposals, and his disillusionment with the great hopes he had had in the Arab League.   He told me, "Fadhel, I regret very much not having gone along with Iraq.  I am greatly disappointed in the achievements of' the Arab League."

 

        I visited Syria again after the Palestine tragedy. In my memorandum I made the following notes which describe the atmosphere prevailing in Syria at the time.

Palestine.
1. All those whom I met in Syria considered it necessary to unify efforts and to harmonize plans for Palestine. President Shukri a1‑Quwatli said that Syria adopts the Resolution passed by the Parliament of Iraq on Palestine (See pp. for that Resolution)

2. They all wanted a complete understanding with Great Britain on the solution of the Palestine problem and they all wanted Britain to appreciate the Communist‑Zionist danger.

3. They wanted a meeting of the Arab states to reach an agreement on a unified policy vis‑a‑vis the United Nations Conciliation Commission on Palestine.

4. They were very much concerned that there should be a clear atmosphere between Egypt and Iraq.  The President of the Republic deputized Lutff al-Haffar to Egypt with a personal message to this effect.

5. Nabih al‑'Almeh regretted that the Arab states did not fight and did not sacrifice for Palestine. The President of the Republic hoped that at least one successful military move would be attained.


The Arab League.  The Syrian government is strongly is strongly attached to the principles of the Arab league and calls for reorganizing and reinforcing the League. Syrio‑Iraqi Federation. I found a strong inclination in non‑governmental circles for the federation of Syria and Iraq.  Nabih al‑'Azmeh, President of the Nationalist Party, and 'Adnan al‑Atasi, for the Peoples Party, both expressed this desire. Atasi even informed me that his Party had submitted an official memorandum to the President of the Republic in which they asked for the federation of Iraq and Syria, but they are anxious about two points, first,  the in fluence of H.M. King 'Abdullah on Iraqi politics, and second, the Anglo‑Iraqi Treaty.

 

 

I answered that, although Iraq was allied with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, it was independent in its policies.   As for the 1930 Treaty with Britain, the disposal of it had already been agreed in principle, and nothing would remain but our Alliance with Britain in facing an external aggression and that was what Syria wanted, too.  They agreed.  As for government circles, they think that union should take the form of treaties and agreements between two separate, independent states (as is the case between Iraq and Turkey) in matters affecting defence, communication, education, legislation, customs, navigation, etc., with special emphasis on unifying plans for defence.   That is what the Prime Minister of Syria, Khalid al‑'Azm, emphasized to me, and that is what he wished to achieve as quickly as possible.

 

            I referred to the scheme of Nuri as-Sa=id along  those very lines, which was rejected by the late Sa=adullah al‑Jabiri who said that such schemes should come through the Arab League. I spoke at length explaining the futility of waiting for everything to be decided by the League. Article 9 of the Covenant of the Arab League is clear. It encourages the strengthening of relations between Arab states wishing to do so beyond the limits of the League.   Taha Pasha al‑Hashimi spoke to me about the urgency and necessity of the federation between Iraq and Syria because of Syria's need for Iraqi aid in defending its borders, for Syria was exposed to direct Zionist danger, and, if Syria went, there would be no direct connection between Iraq and the Arab world.

 

Syria and H.M. King' Abdullah.


        There was a prevailing fear of H.M.King Abdullah, and various things were attributed to him by partisan people. One exception to this was Faris al‑al-Khouri whom I found appreciative of King 'Abdullah's idea about Greater Syria. He thought that the King should be trusted in the saving of Palestine, but he dared not make his views public nor did he wish to be quoted.  He attacked the policy of isolation from the Greet Powers which was prevailing in some Arab states and he called for complete understanding with Britain. He criticized H.M. King 'Abdul 'Aziz Ibn Sa'ud for refusing even to threaten to cut the flow of oil.


Haji Ameen al‑Husaini.    In Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, I found harsh criticism directed against the policies  of Haji Ameen al‑Husaini.  Among those who were critical were Jamal al‑Husaini and Faris al‑Khouri.  


 Conclusions.


        Everywhere I found criticism of Iraq for not having gone to the help of Egypt.   I also found that many have great hopes in Iraq and its new government.  They think that the Iraqi government has the cards in its hand and that it can now render the greatest service to Palestine if they are well played    When that coup happened I was Foreign Minister in Nuri's Cabinet.  The coup came as a big shock and surprise to us. We had no premonition or it at all.We were greatly concerned at the time about the safety of President Shukri al‑Quwatli and his colleagues. Upon being reassured about that, Nuri suggested that we should send Jamal Baban, a Senator and former Iraqi Cabinet Minister who was a Kurd, to Syria to meet as‑Za'im, who himself was a Kurd, and come to an understanding with him on the need for cooperation and unity between Syria and Iraq. Jamal Baban left Baghdad on the 2nd of April and he sent us the following telegram:. 

 
        Damascus 2/4/1949.  Foreign Affairs.  The following is for the Prime Minister with a copy to the Royal Diwan.

 I arrived noon today Meza (airport).I telephoned Husni Za'im and asked for a meeting.   Two o'clock was assigned at his headquarters. Accompanied our Minister was received cordially and with readiness.  I told him first of all I am delegated by the Iraqi government to meet you and to meet the President or the House or Representatives for whom I carry a letter in his capacity as head of the legislative body.   Last night,   however, we heard rumours that the House of Representatives had been dissolved, and, since the Prime Minister of Iraq had no time to change the letter, he asked me to present it to you as if it were addressed to you. I wish that you would read the letter before we enter into discussion.

 

     I told him: Iraq, government and people, sympathize with sister Syria and follow events with great concern.

    

It gives me pleasure to assure you on behalf of the Iraqi government that Iraq is ready to render any help of any sort which Syria needs. We are interested to know also what you intend to do after this coup.

 

He answered saying:

 

Please present my respects to His Royal Highness the Regent and to His Excellency Nuri as-Sa=id, wishing that they may know thst I have not undertaken this move because of any outside influence. The army undertook the move as a result of public and army discontent resulting from the behaviour of the President of the Republic and his government in permitting carriers of subversive doctrines and severe attacks by Members of Parliament against the army. The public are very much relieved because of this coup.

 

            When I started to question him about other subjects, especially Arab and foreign affairs he answered me very clearly after requesting me to keep confidential that he intended first of all to unite Syria with Iraq militarily and economically as a first step to larger union, so that we may be able to stand against outside aggression, for it is impossible for the Arabs to survive as small states.  He gave as an example the tragedy of Palestine. But at the present it is not possible to open this door because the President of the Republic and previous governments have unjustifiably created resentment against TransJordan and they threw themselves into the lap of the Saudi and Egyptian Kingdoms fruitlessly. I asked him, "When can we start with this?" He answered that he is busy now forming the government and he may be obliged to dissolve the House or Representatives and start elections immediately to form a constituent assembly that will revise the Constitution and this will take no less than a month. After that he will send a delegation to Iraq to negotiate this problem. He does not wish the Egyptian or Saudi governments to hear this.  They both have received his movement with resentment at a time when he needs support and quiet. When I asked him on what basis he intended to revise the Constitution and whether the system of government was going to be republican or royal he excused  himself for not answering, saying, "You will hear about that in due time, but first I will not permit the election of any representative who opposes my principles".

 

            When we moved to foreign policy he told me that he had met the British and American Ministers and  notified them about his readiness to sign bilateral treaties with them on the basis of cooperation and participation in the Marshall Plan. Expanding on this subject he said: I wish you to notify His Royal Highness and the Prime Minister that I am preparing myself from now to annex to Syria the part of Lebanon inhabited by Muslims, when Syrian unity is complete. When I advised him that he should cooperate with the legal men of Syria he answered me that Faris al‑Khouri does not wish to cooperate with us and that he (Za'im) was in touch now with 'Adil Aralan to have him join the Cabinet.

 

I asked him if he had any objection to my meeting Faris al‑Khouri and 'Adil Aralan. He agreed to that  but asked me not to say a word to them about the conversation between us. My meeting with him lasted about two hours.   When I came out I went immediately to see Faris al‑Khuri whom I found in bed. I informed him about my meeting with Za'im, not mentioning the important points which I had been asked not to divulge and I handed him the letter of His Excellency the Prime Minister. He answered me that he had reached old age and he did not permit himself to take part from now on in any government the consequences of which were not known.  He informed me that Za'im had met him twice and that he had done his best to help him ease the situation and quiet conditions and that was by asking Shukri al-Quwatli to resign, but Shukri refused emphatically saying that he would not resign so long as he had a beating pulse. It is to be understood that the majority of the people are very much relieved by the removal of Quwatli from his government post and conditions are quiet as if nothing had happened.   When I informed Faris al‑Khouri that the Iraqi government welcomed his undertaking the responsibility of forming the Cabinet in order to save the situation, being sure of his good intentions toward Iraq he answered: I know that, and I know that His Royal Highness the Regent supports me also, but I regret to inform you that the matter has become an impossibility so far as I am concerned.  I have not been able to meet 'Adil Aralan for he had an appointment with as‑Za'im for that day and he was still with him   Al‑Za'im intends to dissolve all parties and organizations as he declared to me.   My personal conclusions are that, although as‑Za'im is negotiating with 'Adil Aralan and Faris al‑Khouri to form a Cabinet I understand from meeting with him  that he does not wish to form any government until after the elections and then he will form a new government from individuals who win his confidence, or he may head the Cabinet himself and retain the Ministries of Interior and Defence and he may make 'Adil Aralan and others participate with him.


        I met the President of The Peoples Party in Orient Palace (hotel) and I could get no ideas from him because people are afraid. I shall meet some newspaper men today with complete reserve in order to find out prevailing opinions.  Tomorrow morning I am leaving for Beirut to meet the responsible people there and to get their point of view. On returning I shall dine with As‑Za'im because he has invited me to resume discussions on a larger scale. As‑Ze'im requested me"not to reveal anything and I request you to instruct the press and the Iraqi radio to support him as much as possible.   I expect your instructions to guide me  in my resumption of negotiations with as‑Za'im.  I ask you to telegraph to Beirut where I expect to stay three days.
         

 

 

IRAQIA

 

        After three days the following telegram arrived from Jamal Baban.

Foreign Affairs, Baghdad. Damascus 5/4/49.

The following to His Excellency the Prime Minister and copy to the Head of the Royal Diwan.

I left for Damascus immediately after receiving your telegram.  I contacted various strata of the people.  They were all happy with the coup at first.

The behaviour of as‑Za=im indicating the establishment of a dictatorship in the country, his dissolution of the Parliament, and his continued arresting of people without forming a Cabinet has caused a great reaction.  His monopoly of authority has caused    discontent amongst the army officers.   They all seek the help of Iraq to federate the two states provided that Trans‑Jordan shall not interfere. The people here are not expected to realize this aim at the present without the support of Iraq. Taha Hashimi called  on me and confirmed this point of view and requested that the opportunity should not be lost. Myself and our Minister had luncheon with as‑Za'im alone. We dealt with all the topics. I assured him about Iraq's readiness to help him.  I shall present the details upon my return. The opportunity is available from   all points of view to think of the subject seriously.   Aralan is hesitant to take part in spite of my insistence in your name that he should do so. He is shortly leaving with al‑Khouri for the United States.It is necessary that I should stay here until Thursday morning.  Please prepare a plane.

 

            Jamal Baban  

 

        From these telegrams I came to two basic conclusions. The first was that we should capitalize on the opportunity offered by the coup d'état to achieve Syrio‑Iraqi rapprochement.  The second was that Husni as‑Za'im seemed to be lacking balance and therefore reliability. The Prime Minister, Nuri as‑Sa'id, decided to send another official,  Awni Al‑Khalidi, with a personal letter from the Prime Minister to Faris Bey al‑Khouri in whose judgment we had confidence.  Awni ai‑Khalidiarrived in Damascus on the 12th of April and went immediately to see Faris al‑Khouri with whom he had a full discussion about the existing situation. 

In his written report dated April 14, 1949, Awni al‑Khalidi summarized Faris Bey's views as follows:

His Excellency believes that there is no crisis in Syria now.  The military coup has settled down  internally and the people gladly accepted it.  That is why there is no need for any external mediation  now. On the other hand, members of the Parliament or political parties cannot in the present circumstances stances put anything on paper in spite of the fact that some of them have some ideas and wishes.  As-Zai'im dissolved the Parliament and the member showed no resistance to that dissolution, and, after the resignation of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister the situation became legal. There is no House of Representatives since az‑Za'im himself has taken the legislative and executive authority into his own hands.

 

His Excellency 'al‑Khouri accepts the federation of Syria and Iraq under one crown and believes that the best method to achieve that would be through a military agreement or alliance which would gradually develop into a complete unity between the two states.   That is because it is difficult for azsZa'im to face the Republic with the federation at once, it being understood that the people, the army and the political parties are all ready and desirous to achieve unity.

 

         His Excellency had met as‑Za'im a few days before and tried to induce him to hasten an understanding with Iraq on the basis of unity. As‑Za'im expressed his desire for that and called the Iraqi Minister to Damascus with the purpose of initiating a military agreement. Faris al‑Khouri believes in the necessity of hastening this action before anything internal happens which might divide the word of the people, especially that now they are all unanimous in accepting mutual understanding and rapprochement of this kind with Iraq.

 

        His Excellency still continues to refuse his cooperation with the coup movement, but, at the present time he does not oppose it, but sees the necessity of its continuing, of directing it and of helping it.  He told me that he intends to leave for America after something like two weeks to resume his work in the United Nations.  Having found out that as‑Za'im was interested in a military agreement with Iraq I was very enthusiastic that Iraq should go ahead and enter such an agreement.  Prime Minister Nuri as‑Sa=id, however, was more cautious.   He decided to go to Damascus and meet as-Zai'im personally. On the morning or the 16th or April, Nuri Pasha as‑Sa=id, dressed in the attire or a high‑ranking General,   with all his military decorations, which put him on a much higher rooting than as‑Za'im, boarded a military plane  accompanied by Shakir al‑Wadi, the Minister of Defence,  General Saleh Saib, Chief of the Iraqi General Staff, Brigadier 'Abdul Muttalib al‑Ameen, Senator Jamel Baban and 'Awni al‑Khalidi.  They landed in Damascus where they were joined by our Minister to Syria, Ibhrahim >Akif al-Alousi.   Nuri Pasha told me that he first had a private meeting with as‑Za'im in which he discovered as‑Za'im's utter futility. It seems to me that Nuri must have scared as‑Za'im and given him a shock based on an inferiority complex.

 

           After the private meeting, there was an official meeting of the Iraqi delegation headed by Nuri Pasha with a Syrian delegation headed by as‑Za'im Husni as‑Za'im. The following is the text of the minutes of that meeting:

 

Very confidential.

Minutes of the meeting between the Heads of the two governments of Iraq and Syria held in Damascus, the  day of 16/4/1949.
        At 1 o'clock on the day of 16 April, 1949, the Heads of the two Governments of Iraq and Syria met in the Palace of the Presidency of the Republic in  Damascus. The Iraqi delegation was headed by His Excellency General Nuri Pasha as‑Sa'id.  His Excellency was accompanied by the following Iraqis: Their Excellencies, Shakir Pasha al‑Wadi, the Minister of Defence, Jamal Beg Baban, Brahim  'Aqif Beg al Alousi, Minister Plenipotentiary in Damascus, General Saleh Saib Pasha, Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Brigadier 'Abdul Muttali`al‑Ameen,Sayed 'Awni al‑Khalidi. There were, on the Syrian side, His Excellency Az‑Za'im Husni az‑Za'im, Head of the Delegation, Emir Adil Aralan, His Excellency Faidhi  Al‑Atasi, Brigadier 'Abdullah Lutfi.His Excellency the Prime Minister (of Iraq) opened the discussion by saying: Your Excellency, Mr President, I am very happy for the opportunity of meeting our brethren, the men of Syria and exchanging views with them and getting acquainted with the steps which our sister Syria has taken, for the concern of Iraq with his sister is among the primary matters which never leave our thoughts. We follow the news of dear Syria in full and we wish her all success and prosperity. We are happy to see our sister moving steadily towards stability. It has quickly formed a responsible Cabinet and is returning to normal conditions which will give reassurance to all of us. In this connection Syria does not need new recognition of its present political status from other states, for Syria is an independent country and what happened is something which is the concern of its own people. It is they who accept a certain rule and this situation does not require recognition for no state can whittle down the right of Syria to the independence and sovereignty which she now enjoys.


        Two weeks ago we heard movement of the Jews in Palestine who were intending to exploit the events in Syria, a matter which made us anxious in Baghdad and aroused all our concern. After that we received a telegram from Damascus requesting Iraqis military aid. That is why we thought of sending a military mission to understand the Syrian point of view and the nature and extent of the military aid required from Iraq against the Jewish aggression. That is why I came myself with the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the General Staff to avoid delays in communications and to assure you here that the Iraqi government will undertake to offer all necessary help in case of any aggression falling on the Syrian army. We do not consider this matter as a problem foreign to us. And we would be ready to render this help whether the Syrians asked us to do so or not, for we consider Jewish aggression on the Syrian army to be the same as an aggression on the Iraqi army.  That is why we must come and help. If the intention, however, has a broader meaning of military cooperation, like mutual defence, for example, we should like to know what your tendencies are on this subject, especially since the last Syrian delegation which came to Baghdad carried a long list of military material related to its needs. As is well known, Iraq is bound by a Treaty Alliance with Great Britain, and, although only a rew years remain till this treaty expires, we are still bound by its terms and articles. That is why, if we enter into a mutual defence agreement with Syria, we have to consult Britain in that respect, although I may say that the world is changing rapidly, and it is moving now with fast steps and it will shortly be possible to sign a pact which is larger than the alliance of two countries, a pact which may include all or most of the states of the Middle East and that pact will include matters of defence and all Arab states could join it.  In such conditions the pact will guarantee the conditions required for mutual defence against aggression.  I hope this will happen very shortly. The question of cooperation between Syria and Iraq has been occupying my mind for some time.   I did what I could do in this respect in 1946 when I tried, with the late Sa'adullah al‑Jabiri, Prime Minister at that time, to unify communications, customs, economic and trade matters and irrigation.  The late Jabiri agreed to this in principle, he and President Shukri al‑Quwatli, but they thought that undertaking such steps might arouse the suspicions of' Egypt and Saudi Arabia and said that it would require preparing the atmosphere.

 

            Four years have passed and the atmosphere has not been prepared. I must say that, in our desire to achieve cooperation between the two regions we did not forget Lebanon, for I spoke with Sami as-Sulh Prime Minister of Lebanon at that time, on the subject. The Lebanese Council of Ministers approved these suggestions,   but I did not wish to take such steps with Lebanon  without Syria. I told Sami as-Sulh that he should convince our Syrian brethren to go along with us together.   Then we would achieve what we had agreed on.  I am afraid that if Iraq were to come forward with a proposal or an opinion it might be accused of not having the genuine intention and sincere wish which we carry.   That is why it may be good to wait now for a time with regard to taking any actual steps toward unity. We will wait also until our sister finds that opportunity is at hand and request us to fulfill or study one of' these projects in this respect.   Then we shall look into every proposal of this kind with all concern and study it fully.  But the problem of mutual defence against the Zionists now is a matter which is an obvious one.   As for other problems it may be best to postpone them now.

     

            His Excellency as‑Zai'im:

 

I welcome you very graciously and thenk you very much for the nice words which you  were kind enough to utter. Syria and Iraq are not only two neighbours;  they are more than that, and I believe that we must cooperate to the utmost in matters or frontiers, matters of customs, military matters and others.   I am not familiar with the earlier proposals of Your Excellency.   If they are in the Ministry or Foreign affairs in Damascus we shall study them fully,   otherwise we shall request you to provide us with a copy thereof so that we may study them.  The Jews have now stopped attacking Syrian positions and we have come not to fear them.  I shall not hide from you that we are growing in strength. Some arms have arrived for us and more will arrive. These arms consist of tommy‑guns, cannons and armoured cars.   Any Jewish aggression, therefore, will be costly for them.  The only thing which we may need is the air weapons, end, probably in time of need, Iraq can help us with air force. 

 

With regard to our policy now, our policy towards you should be a policy of friendship and brotherhood,  and His Excellency Emir >Adil is studying all these problems now. Among the projects we should undertake is the establishment of a railroad from Homs to Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor.  This is of military importance, not only for the defence of Syria and Iraq, but also for the possibility or Turkey taking part in a project of defending this region.   We must also cooperate in combatting Communism.

 

After the Prime Minister's return to Iraq, the following statement was given to the press by the Iraqi Information Department:    

The Iraqi government has for some time been watching with concern the process of truce negotiations between the Zionists and the Syrian government, and,  since the Iraqi government is quite anxious that the Zionists should not exploit the Syrian coup and follow a hard line in negotiations or become aggressive on the Syrian borders, the Iraqi government felt that it was its duty to assure our Syrian brethren that Iraq is ready to come with all its force to the support of Syria if any Zionist aggression takes place on Syrian borders.   For this purpose His Excellency the Prime Minister himself left yesterday for Damascus by plane accompanied by His Excellency the Minister of Defence)  and the Chief of the General Staff of the Army to assure the Syrian government that Iraq would consider any Zionist aggression on the borders of Syria as aggression on Iraq itself, and that the Iraqi army would be ready at all times to respond to the call of brotherhood.  His Excellency the Prime Minister and his company returned to the capital today.

 

        Nuri's trip to Damascus bore no fruit.  It  immediately aroused King Farouq of Egypt, Azzam Pasha. the Secretary General of the Arab League, who was at that time the standard‑bearer of King Farouq and King 'Abdul 'Aziz of Saudi Arabia, rushed from Cairo to meet Husni as‑Za'im.  I do not doubt at all that he did his best to turn him away from Iraq. Besides, through Netheer Fansa, brother in‑law of as‑Za'im, King Farouq could influence as‑Za'im. King Farouq invited as‑Za'im to Cairo where he was entertained lavishly with pomp, gifts and decorations.  As‑Za'im began to suffer from megalomania.  He ordered a golden  baton from France and enjoyed the pomp and vanities of office.

 

On one occasion as‑Za'im sent Emir >Adil Aralan and Dr Farid Zeinuddin, to Baghdad. On talking with them I discovered that as‑Za'im was hopeless. He could not be relied upon.  Some months passed and conditions in Syria began to slip from nationalist hands.  On a visit to Lebanon I had a talk with Prime Minister Riyadh as‑Sulh which included a review of the situation in Syria I made the following record:

 

            Riyadh Beg emphasized what he had already previously explained in Iraq, that the situation in Syria was not normal and not stable. People are dispersing from around Husni az‑Za'im from day to day, and it seems that the army officers and the soldiers are not pleased with the government of as‑Za'im or with his coup d'état, but, naturally they will not oppose his rule with force unless something induces them to do so. As for the men of politics in general those who supported the previous regime, or those who opposed as‑Za'im, not to speak of helping him or cooperating with him. Very few exceptions could be made to this statement, and the only important man who is cooperating with him is Emir 'Adil Aralan.   As for the public it has waked up from the blow, for, when the public supported the coup at f'irst, it thought that the coup would lead to union with Iraq, but, when it appeared that it meant replacing Shukri al-Quwaitly by as‑Za'im, that did not please them. But none of' them dare oppose as‑Za'im for he has the power in his hands.   But they can do much if Iraq goes forward with a quick positive action before they get involved, because of fear or benefit,  in cooperation with as‑Za'im.

 

The Iraqi authorities had asked for petitions from some Syrian personalities or that some of' those personalities should come to Iraq asking for Iraq's help so that Iraq might have justification for interfering in Syria.  Although some of' the personalities are ready to make petitions or come to Iraq, they feel that Iraq does not need such a move on their part before intervening in the affairs of Syria. On the other hand, they are afraid lest as‑Za'im, if Iraq does not intervene immediately, may deal a crushing blow to them and their relatives.   That is why, if they are to come to Iraq, their stay must be very short.

 

 

         Then I concluded my report: Most of' the Syrian nationalists, and they are the elite and the leaders of public opinion in Syria and Lebanon, support Riyadh Beg=s view and they deem it necessary that the Iraqi government should make a decisive move to realize union with Syria, and they think this could be achieved in one of two ways.  The first is a quick one which would involve the Iraqi army's entering Syria and a guarantee that the Syrians would rise in support of the Iraqi army and that the Syrian army would show no resistance.   I'he  second is a slow method, namely, by providing a strong propaganda campaign centered in Damascus and Beirut, enlisting the Lebanese press, and making contacts with the tribes, the army and the political leaders or Syria, and by providing them with arms. It is advised that this should be done quickly before Za'im is elected as President or the Republic. I must say that the Iraqi government did not act in accordance with this advice.  The truth or the matter is that Prime Minister Nuri as‑Sa'id did not believe in Syrio‑Iraqi federation although much later he came to see the situation differently.

 

With all this going on, King 'Abdullah of Jordan was greatly enraged at Iraqi interference with Syria. He sent the Prime Minister or Jordan, Tawfiq Pasha Abul Huda, to Baghdad to express his great concern and worry about Iraq's interference in Syria which His Majesty looked upon  as his own domain.   Tawfiq Pasha told me that His Majesty was enraged to the extent of thinking of marching on Iraq (sic) if Iraq did not refrain from interfering with Syria.    I, as Minister of Foreign Affairs or Iraq, gave Tawfiq Pasha the true picture of the whole situation and told him to pay my respects to His Majesty and to assure him that Iraq would always be glad if His Majesty could achieve the unity of Syria and Jordan.  If, however, that could not happen at present, would His Majesty prefer that Syria should be estranged from both Iraq and Jordan?  Would not His Majesty prefer that Syria and Iraq should be closer together until an eventual unity of all three?

 

I said that I put myself at His Majesty's disposal for any policy which he might put forward on the subject, our aim and national objective being one and the same.   Tawfiq Pasha returned and conveyed my views to His Majesty and telephoned back saying, "His Majesty kisses your cheeks and has full confidence in your stand. Pursue your policy."

        

           While in Baghdad Tawfiq Pasha explained to me Jordan's policy of unifying the two sides of the Jordan river  by referendum on the West Bank and by providing access to the sea.  Of course the port of Aqaba was to be developed.  Egypt was opposed to unity of the two sides of the Jordan.  Tawfiq Pasha also told me that Jordan could not recognize Husni az‑Za'im until the constitutional problem had been settled. As for those Arab: governments who recognized as‑Za'im, they did so for self‑interest and with disregard for principles. He spoke about the interference in Syria of >Assam Pasha, the Secretary General of the Arab League, and about the question raised by Ibrahim Pasha 'Abdul Hadi, Prime Minister of Egypt, about Greater Syria and whether King 'Abdullah was still pursuing that policy.  Abul Huda thought that the situation in Syria was very unstable because the Syrians, although they thought at  first that as‑Za'im came as a saviour, soon discovered  that he was a dictator.  He himself told an Egyptian journalist, "I am a dictator."  They discovered that Shukri al‑Quwatli was far better and more honourable.   Besides,  as‑Za'im did not stand for the Cause of Arab nationalism. 


        In a talk with Abul Huda, Nuri Pasha said that our approach to Syria would be one of military alliance. He outlined the difficulties of recognition as well as the difficulties of interference. Any interference in the affairs of Syria, according to Nuri Pasha, might arouse the Zionists, the Turks, Egypt, Ibn Sa'ud, and, in the case of conflict, it would be the powerful who would gain, namely, the Zionists and the French. That is why Nuri thought that the Syrians should be left to their own devices and that no incident should be brought about which might be exploited. He said, "We will not interfere unless we are asked to do so in case of trouble inside Syria. We should let the Syrians express their own wish freely if they want any association with the Hashemites. We will not work against Sidi 'Abdullah (H.M. King Abdullah) nor carryon propaganda against him in Syria. Neither will we take any important step before informing Sidi 'Abdullah.    I shall quote here a section from a confidential report made by s trustworthy correspondent of Al Ahram, the well-known Egyptian newspaper, and given to the Iraqi Charge d'Affaires in Damascus. The report reveals a good deal about the intricacies of power politics in Syria and the Middle East at the time.


    2/8/1949. Terrorism prevails in Syria and men of the former regime crowd the prisons and detention centres. As-Za'im invents ways of torturing and abusing these people. That is why the public is fed up with his eccentricities and irresponsible behaviour. The following facts are submitted with caution for information only.
 

1)   It is now decisively proven that France completely dominates Syrian economy and that the French Minister Plenipotentiary and the Director of the National Bank of Syria‑Lebanon, who is French, are the two who conduct the economic and financial policy there.  They have succeeded in stopping the weaving factories in Aleppo and Damascus so that their manufactured goods shall not compete with French imports. The owners of these factories suffer from an acute financial crisis.   They try to get loans from the Bank of Syria‑Lebanon without success. Many, including al‑Hariri, the ex‑Minister of Finance, who is a well- known wealthy Aleppo man, are threatened with bankruptcy.

2)  Husni az‑Za'im provided facilities for the Syrian-Lebanese Bank to dominate farmers and landowners by passing a law authorizing the Syrian‑Lebanese Bank alone to give loans to farmers and landowners by passing authorizing the Syrian-Lebanese Bank alone to give loans to farmers and landowners with interest up to30%, and giving them the right to mortgage all the land and property of the debtors until the loan is repaid in full.

2) . All those who cooperated with the French Mandate were returned to their posts and a word from the French Minister or any member of the French Legation is not turned down in any government department.

            4). The French offered Husni as‑Za=im seven cargo ships laden with arms, and the Bank of Syria‑Lebanon pays him great sums every month for the services he renders to France and to France and to French entrepeneurs.  He intends to restore the system of advisors by calling them experts.

5). The French cooperate with the Americans and the Sa'udis to keep British influence out of' Syria. The Americans tolerate the extension of French influence now, for their aim is to strengthen the second line behind the Turkish front, and this is the reason behind the rapprochement between as‑Za'im and the Turks.

  6). It is reported from an authentic source that a plan is being organized to make a military coup in Iraq with two aims.   The first is to remove from authority    the elements that believe in the necessity of Arab British cooperation.   The second is to introduce American and French influence in Iraq.   Strong             propaganda  is being spread within the ranks of the army against Britain, His Royal Highness the Regent, and against the present Iraqi government.  The Iraqis who desire this coup have centres and cells in Syria and Lebanon and they receive financial aid and instructions from the French intelligence and from Husni as‑Za'im   .       

          Signed, Chargé d=Affaires of Iraq

 

   Relations between Syria and Iraq were deteriorating and the situation in Syria was going from bad to worse,  day by day.  I quote the following from an authoritative report:

 1). Husni az‑Za'im told some press men that he is obliged to fight on four fronts, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel... He asked them to attack the person of His Royal Highness the Regent of Iraq.

2. He calls merchants one at a time and imposes on them a certain levy in the name of the Army Tax which should be paid immediately otherwise they will be sentto AI‑Mezza prison or to Tedmur (Palmyra) where they will be tortured and degraded.

 3. Munir ar‑Rais, the well‑known Syrian journalist, privately revealed that az‑Za'im had asked him to carry on a strong campaign against Iraq and informed him that a million Syrian pounds had been allotted for propaganda and information in Iraq.
 4. Hashim‑Atasi tried to go to France to visit  his son but was prevented from doing so. He thinks that he and his like should go to Egypt and Saudi Arabia to call their attention to the harm done by their helping az‑Za'im.  He speaks of torture in prisons and extortion of money and the discontent that has started    in the ranks of the army.
 5. Muhsin al‑Barazi said that he came into the government to check the excesses in the actions of as‑Za'im. The truth is that they were both in agreement before  the coup.  This is the unanimous view of  the politicians.
6. The French influence is growing from day to day, and Barazi says that as‑Za'im is pushed into that whenever he feels threatened by the Hashemites.

7. Some members of the Nationalist party are showing some cooperation with as‑Za=im in order to spite the People's Party who have become his enemy no. 1 after they had been the closest to him.  The truth is that all nationalists, parties and politicians of various views are anti‑Za=im, even though they may appear otherwise, since they are all afraid of torture, degradation and imprisonment.

8. Muhsin al‑Barazi is the one who feeds the Egyptian papers with the help of Saudi money.

9. Riyadh as‑Sulh asked his friends, whether politicians or newspaper men,  to denounce the campaign against Iraq and some newspaper men stated that they did not know the facts about  Syria and that Iraq did not contact them to come to an understanding.

   10. Husni as‑Za=im instigated Antun Sa'ada, leader of the Syrian Nationalist Party, against Lebanon and provided him with arms. At the same time (as‑Za'im) made it a condition on Lebanon that Sa=ada would be captured on the way, that his trial would be held in secret, and that his execution would be quick so that he might not disgrace Husni as‑Za'im.  As‑Za=im's  action and his betrayal of Sa'ada enraged the Syrian Nationalist Party and others in Syria, especially the men of the army.        

11. Syria and Lebanon exchange plots against each other.  As‑Za=im instigates the Lebanese army and the Lebanese opposition to make President Bishara al Khouri and Prime Minister Riyadh as‑Sulh fall. These,  on their part, work against as‑Za'im although not so openly, and the situation in Lebanon is bad and the discontent is great.   The government fears an explosion.

12. The prevailing opinion here is that trouble in Syria will begin when schools open, for the students who supported the coup as a strong movement for liberation and reform have begun to feel that it is oriented towards French imperialism .and friendship with Turkey.  This makes all the elements ‑‑ Arab nationalists,  unite against as‑Za'im.

13. Shukri al‑Quwatli was disliked in the last days of his rule.   That is why, as far as the people are concerned, the coup had to happen. Even members of the nationalist bloc say that they remained the masters in their country from 1920 on, but that Shukri al As‑Za'im exploited this degradation and struck the blow.

14. People in Syria of the various groups and tendencies think that federation with Iraq is the only way out of this impasse. They take it as a matter of fact.  They differ in their estimation of the date of the downfall of Za=im rule.

            15. Nationalist Party journalists, Nejib ar‑Rais, owner of Al-Qabas and Nassooh Babeel, owner of Al-Ayam say that articles were personally imposed on them by as‑Za'im. Nejib ar‑Rais told me, "Nuri Pasha is the wisest and the most far‑sighted Arab politician today. History will be just to him, for the Arabs have not produced a statesman after Faisal the First more gifted than Nuri."

 

        As‑Za'im had definitely gone into the camp of Egypt and Saudi Arabia in Arab affairs, which meant no rapprochement with Iraq. Acting on this policy he had appointed Dr Muhsin al-Barazi, a highly educated Syrian young man of Kurdish descent, as Prime Minister.  Dr Mughsin was very close to ex ‑President Shukri al‑Quwatli. At one time he was Minister of Foreign Affairs. I had had close association with him when I represented Iraq in Egypt and Muhsin al-Barazi was Syrian Minister there in 1949.  Muhsin's memoirs, as revealed by Al‑Hayat newspaper or Beirut. contain a pledge. which he and to King 'Abdul 'Aziz Ibn.Sa'ud. not to unite Syria and Iraq.   Thus Egypt and Saudi Arabia had blocked the way to rapprochement between Syria and Iraq. 


            In the meantime. the People's Party or Syria had definitely declared the federation or Iraq and Syria as its aim. The influence or the People's Party in Syria was at its acme in those days.  They had many followers and sympathizers.  As‑Za'im's regime. by going anti‑Iraq developed many internal weaknesses. as‑Za'im's personal behaviour. his dictatorship and megalomania. as well as his close cooperation with France, revived the Francophobia. This led to the great dissatisfaction on many nationalists. some or whom had contact with the Syrian army.
 

          In the last days or July 1949 we received reports in Baghdad that Za'im's regime would be liquidated between the 11th and the 15th of August. Actually as‑Za=im and his Prime Minister were both shot in an army putch on August the 13th.  The leader of the putsch was as‑Za'im's Chief of Staf, General Sami Hannawi. who had family connections with Iraq. He was pro‑Iraq and worked in harmony with the People's Party who had included in their platform the federation of Syria with Iraq. The Nationalist Party at this time once more proclaimed their intention of federating with Iraq.
 

        After the putsch. Hashim al‑Atasi. the old and respected nationalist leader became President of the Syrian Republic and Dr Ma=aruf ad-Dawalbi of the People's Party became Prime Minister.  President Atasi himself had always been enthusiastic for Syrio‑Iraqi federation. Our Minister to Syria, Dr Ibrahim 'Aqif al‑Alousi, was quite active.  He was in close touch with General Hannawi.  His reports on the development toward federation were encouraging and optimistic.
At that time several Iraqi nationalists went to Syria to promote the cause of Syrio‑Iraqi federation. At the beginning of September I had to leave Baghdad for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. I left with some hope that the Syrio‑Iraqi federation was on the way.
 

During this period I was Foreign Minister without being a Member of Parliament. According to the Iraqi Constitution I could maintain that status for six months only. While I was at the United Nations, the six months came to an end.  I was immediately appointed Chief Representative of Iraq at the United Nations. My relations with Syrian affairs came to a standstill.   On the 19th of December, 1949, another coup d'état in Syria shattered our hopes.  Hannawi and all his colleagues were arrested. President Atasi was sent back to his native city of Homs.   The coup was headed by General Fawzi Selu.    General‑Hannawi was later released.  He went to live in Beirut, where, on the 30th of December, 1950,  he was shot dead while waiting to catch a tram. He was shot by: a nephew of Barazi in order to revenge the death of Dr Muhsin al-Barazi.


            Behind Selu was Colonel Adib ash‑Shishakli, the new dictator of Syria. Shishakli, a shrewd and capable man, ruled Syria for the next four years, achieving a good deal of construction and economic development, but he was anti‑Iraq and he was quite ruthless. During the first months of his rule I was at the  United Nations. Later on I returned to Iraq. In 1952 as Minister of Foreign Affairs again in the Cabinet of Mustapha al‑Omeri I found Colonel Shishakli very active in attacking Iraq and its governing regime. I found that diplomatic relations between the two countries were very tense.   The Syrian Ambassador in Baghdad was not invited to official Iraqi functions.  Confidential instructions had been given to Iraqi consulates and embassies in the Arab world to restrict very severely the admission of Syrians into Iraq.  One of the first things I did was to invite the Syrian Ambassador, Khalil Msrdam Beg, a well‑known Arab poet, to my house and to tell him that he should always feel at home in my house and that he should come to my home or office without protocol.  I also sent a confidential message to the Ministry of Interior and all our embassies and consulates telling them to remove all restrictions for entry into Iraq of Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians.  In a note dated July 20, 1952, I told the Ministry of Interior that Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians were not foreigners in Iraq.  The word 'foreigner' should not be applied to them.  They should simply be termed non Iraqi. I expressed a protest about the fact that there were restrictions for the entry into Iraq of Arabs from sister countries and great ease for the entry of foreign artists.  The following is an extract from the text:
  
        Iraq, which is well known for its pro‑Arab policy cannot harmonize between its call for federation and the severities laid on visas for the sons or Arab sister states.   At a time when visas between France and Britain have been removed. and Italian and German labour is rarely exchangeable in western Europe and when we see western European countries moving toward economic and political unity. we think that the restrictions which you have promulgated represent a reactionary policy which we cannot uphold.   In view or what we have said. we request you to reconsider the matter and provide us with your views et the earliest possible date.

 

          I invited the Syrian Ambassador to visit me and I informed him about the new facilities which I had arranged for Syrians to enter Iraq.  I told him I did not mind if thousands and hundreds of thousands or Syrians poured into Iraq.   They should feel that Iraq is their country  just as an Iraqi should feel at home in Syria.   This move of mine bewildered Shishakli. and he began to be very apprehensive about the intentions behind it.   What I actually intended was to win the Syrian people for Iraq in spite of Shishakli's hostility.  In that I succeeded to some extent.

 

 

         In the same summer. 1952, after the Egyptian revolution, I attended the Arab League meeting. I also went to Alexandria where ex‑President Quwatli was living.   The Iraqi Ambassador, Nejib ar‑Rawi. and I spent the day with him.  He spoke to me at length denouncing Shishakli's policies and cruelties.  He told me that it was the duty of' responsible Arab lel1ders to save Syria from the cruel dictatorship of' that man.    In the fall I again went as Head of' the Iraqi delegation to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations. While I was there the Iraqi Cabinet of Mustapha al‑Omari had to resign because of' a local anti‑American uprising in Baghdad.    General Nureddin Mahmoud formed the new Cabinet. I retained my office as Minister of' Foreign Affairs in his Cabinet. The House of' Parliament was dissolved.  New elections were held and I was again elected as Member of' Parliament from Diwaniyah.   I was also elected as Speaker of' the House of' Representatives.  I was no longer Minister of' Foreign Affairs, but my interest in Syria continued.   I was the Speaker for two successive sessions of' the House. During this period His Majesty King Faisal the Second came of' age (18 years) and Jamil‑al-Madfai formed the Cabinet which organized the coronation ceremonies.   Elder statesmen were included as members of' the Cabinet;  'Ali Jawdat al‑Ayoubi   was Vice‑Premier, Nuri Pasha, Minister of Defence, and Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi, Minister of Foreign Af'fairs.
.

        During this period the Syrian elder statesmen were approaching Iraq asking her to come and save Syria from its dictator.   I saw a note from ex‑President Hashim al-Atasi in his own handwriting, given to 'Ali Jawdat al-Ayoubi, who was married to a charming gracious lady from Aleppo, and who had been Military Governor of Aleppo in the days when King Faisal  ruled Syria in the 1920's.   In the note ex‑President al‑Atasi specified the financial help required to promote a movement in Syria to overthrow  Shishakli.  The Cabinet at the time did not act in response to that request.   In the autumn of 1953 it was my lot to be the first Prime Minister of the newly crowned King Faisal the Second of Iraq. One evening in the first week of' my Premiership I was called to Qusr ar‑Rihab, the residence of His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Ilah. I went there and found Nuri Pasha with the Prince.   Nuri Pasha had received a letter from Dr Ma=aruf' ad‑Dawalibi, ex‑Prime Minister of Syria, asking for Iraq's help  to remove the dictator of Syria.   After some discussion, we decided that we should invite Dr Dawalibi to come to Baghdad.  His arrival and presence in Baghdad was to be kept a complete secret.  I  had to make personal arrangements with my friend, 'Abdul Hadi Chalabi, to have at my disposal a beautiful villa of his outside Baghdad.    That villa happened to be surrounded by gardens and quite out  of the way of wayfarers. We made arrangements for Dr Dawalibi to come and stay in that villa and to be our guest. We arranged for meetings between Dr Dawalibi, Prince 'Abdul Ilah and Saleh Jabr.  The latter, a former Prime Minister of Iraq, and a close friend of mine, had Arab nationalism and Arab unity deep at heart.    I won his support and cooperation in the affairs of Syria.


        It was Dr Dawalibi' s argument ‑ that he was the legitimate and constitutional Prime Minister of Syria. He had been deposed and jailed unconstitutionally by Shishakli, and he wanted help from Iraq so that he might enter Syria and fight Shishakli in order to restore the legitimate government of' Syria. He, suggested that, if any volunteer from the Iraqi army were available, they showed up in Syrian uniform.   They and some Syrian volunteers would be under Dawalibi's command and they would bring a downfall of' Shishakli.   Prince 'Abdul Ilah asked Dawalibi for a written request stating that he wanted Iraqi help to save Syria from its dictator.  Dr Dawalibi would not give such a document After over a month's study of' the situation and consultation with General Rafiq Arif, Chief of' the Iraqi General Staff', the Iraqi army found it was not ready to undertake the adventure proposed by Dr Dawalibi.  He returned to Beirut with the hope of future cooperation.   

 

 

I  was amazed, at the time of  my trial by the special High Military Tribunal in 1958, to hear read out in Court a letter addressed to the Court by Dr Dawalibi. In the letter he stated that be had been held under duress by Prince 'Abdul llah pending his signature of a document asking for Iraq's help. Besides, he claimed in his letter that he had known about the Iraqi Revolution of' July 14, 1958, twenty months before it took place, and that he had been an unknown soldier who had worked to bring it about.  He said that he knew the leaders of the Revolution and that he prided himself on the downfall of Nuri as-Sa=id and Prince 'Abdul Ilah, the man whose support he had requested to bring about the downfall of Shishakli. He also expressed his pride in the downfall of Shishakli which led to the liberation of Syria and its movement in the path of' unity with Egypt.
 

Dr Dawalibi, however, soon turned against the unity with Egypt and against President Nasir's policies in Syria. This shows the political instability and lack of consistency on the part of some political leaders such as Dr Dawalibi.  This was a problem which I had not sufficiently taken into account in dealing with the question of Syrio‑Iraqi federation.   After Dawelibi's departure from Baghdad our contacts with the Syrian nationalists who had Syrio‑Iraqi federation at heart were multiplied.  We had some fine Syrian emissaries who kept us well informed of what was going on in different parts of Syria such as Damascus, Aleppo and Jabal ad‑Druze.  We also had contacts with some prominent Syrian leaders like Hashim al‑Atasi and Sultan al‑Atrash, Faris al‑Khouri etc.

 

 Syria's discontent with Shishakli was growing from day to day.  He put in jail most of the active politicians,  many of whom, when released, sought refuge in Lebanon.  The leaders of the Nationalist Party, the People's Party, the Baath Socialist Party and the Syrian Nationalists were all to be found in Beirut, either in hiding or in the open   I remember that, on one of my visits to Beirut, I saw Akram Hourani, Salaluddin al‑Bitar and Michel 'Aflaq in out‑of‑the‑way  apartments. They express ed their fervent hope that the downfall of Shishskli might be achieved soon. It was at that time that Dr Constantin Zureiq, formerly President of the Syrian University, and a close friend of mine since student days in the American University of Beirut, came to consult me about accepting the portfolio of Foreign Affairs in the Syrian government. He had been asked by Shishakhli to accept the position. Dr Zuraiq told me that, if he undertook the responsibility, Syria's policy towards Iraq would certainly undergo a fundamental change, and rapprochement could be expected.  I advised him against taking the position saying that it was too late, since Syrian political opinion was already anti‑Shishakli. and that there was no hope for a reversal.  I think Dr Zuraiq acted on my advice.  It seems to me that  Shishakli must have known of my close friendship with Dr Zuraiq and thought that he, being a prominent scholar and Arab nationalist, might be the man to smooth Syrio‑Iraqi relations.

 

         Early in January 1954 I was still Prime Minister of Iraq when I led the Iraqi delegation to the Arab League Council meeting.  There I presented my project for an inter‑Arab federation. Before presenting it to the League Council, however, I discussed it at length with President Mohammed  Nagib and the Prime Minister Abdul Nasser at a private dinner which I had at President Mohammed Nagib=s home.  The Egyptian papers at government inspiration came out in support of the project.  It seemed that my arguments for the federation appealed to Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser who later on adopted the idea of pan‑Arab unity as his own.    

 

 

 My plan envisaged the federation of any Arab states that were close to each other geographically and that were ready to move in the path of federation by taking constitutional measures. The immediate objective of my plan aimed at Iraq's federation with Syria and Jordan. Syria's chief delegate to the Arab League, Minister of Agriculture, Abdul Rahman al‑Henaidi, could see that the plan aimed at the union of Syria and Iraq.   He frankly told me in private that Shishakli was against Iraq and any federation with it.   My plan was referred by the Arab League Council to the member states for study.

 

         Conditions in Syria were going from bad to worse. In Damascus Iraq had a very active and devoted military attache, Colonel Salih Mehdi as-Samarra'a, who kept us well informed about what was going on within the Syrian army.   Shishakli, feeling restless, declared Colonel Samarra'a persona non grata, so he had to leave Damascus and restrict his activities to our Embassy in Beirut.   Shishakli had already bombarded Jabal ed‑Druze.   The Syrian army, representing the various political elements of the country was beginning to show signs of unease.  The Syrian political leaders, especially those of the Nationalist Party and the People's Party were insistent that Iraq must come to help.

 

On my return to Baghdad from Cairo I had a serious meeting about Syria with Prince Abdul Ilah in the presence of the of the Minister of Finance,   Abdul Kareem al-Uzeri. After a long discussion we decided to ask ex-Premier Saleh Jabr to  go to Beirut with full powers from the Iraqi government to help the Syrian leaders achieve their political objective.   Around midnight Prince 'Abdul Ilah, 'Abdul Kareem al‑Uzri and I went to Saleh Jabr's house.  Saleh had gone to bed.  We woke him up and discussed his departure for Beirut and informed him about the mission which he was to undertake.   With the agreement or 'Abdul Kareem al‑Uzri,  Minister or Finance, we told him that 100,000 Iraqi dinars would be sent to our Embassy in Beirut to be put at his disposal. 

 

At 7 o'clock in the morning Saleh Jabr took off for Beirut. He left on the declared mission or negotiating with the Lebanese government the transfer from Murraq to Sidon of the oil pipeline which extends from Murraq to Haifa.   The Kirkuk‑Haifa pipeline had been closed since the establishment or Israel. and Iraq had been losing annually as much income as this pipeline had formerly produced.  His other mission was to contact the Syrian political figures in Beirut who were working for the downfall of Shishakli and to render them any moral or material help that Iraq could give.   Iraq's help took the shape or providing some finances for the political leaders so that they could carry on their struggle against Shishakli. These political leaders were backed by some publicity in the Beirut press and they themselves were in direct contact with army units inside Syria as well as with the tribal organizations that were all anti‑Shishakli.

 

 

            On one occasion a messenger came to Baghdad to report a plot to assassinate Shishakli. I immediately revolted and answered in sharp words that my government would cooperate in no way with any red‑handed movement.  Shishakli must be made to leave the country peacefully.  In his last days Shishakli arrested some nation leaders.  He also put under restricted residence  the Druze leader, Sultan Pasha al‑Atrash, with whom we had been in contact.  I received the following telegram from our Military Attache in Amman. 

 

The army arrested Sultan Pasha al‑Atrash and held him in its barracks.  Yesterday he and his group were transferred to Medowara, south of Ma=an, and made to live there under army supervision.   His messenger did not reach us;    the army arrested him on his way to us. Nawwaf al‑Atrash, the cousin and confident of Sultan is in hiding. He asked to be dispatched to Baghdad secretly to meet you. Do you agree?  Inform us.

 

             One evening there was an official function in the Municipal Hall of Baghdad attended by H.M. the King and H.R.H. the Prince.  There was a very joyful atmosphere.  While we were listening to some music I was called to the telephone to be told that Shishakli had fallen, and that he had left Damascus for Beirut.  That was a very comforting moment for us.   But his departure for Beirut gave us no assurance that he would not make a manoeuvre to return.  He sought refuge in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Beirut.  The Lebanese government was alerted and they put pressure on the Saudi Arabian Embassy so that Shishakli should not sojourn in Beirut.  Our Military Attache sent the following telegram:

 

I am assured that Shishakli is still hiding in the Saudi Embassy in Beirut in spite of the insistence of the Lebanese government that he should leave.   President Sham Shishakli has had contact, during the day, with some of his Lebanese followers and I believe that if Shishakli stays long he will encourage an army uprising in Damascus.   I explained this to our Ambassador who in turn explained it to President Sham'un who concurred in our opinion. Some Lebanese Druzes held meetings and that might bring about some danger to Shishakli's life  The Lebanese government decided today to expel him if he did not leave the country voluntarily.

 

Later we had the following telegram from our Military Attache in Beirut.

 

The Chief of the General Staff of the Lebanese army informed me today that he had met Shishakli who insisted on getting permission to return to Damascus to expand the movement of Shehad‑the foundation of which he had laid down before leaving Damascus. Arter consulting his government, the Chief of the General Staff rejected. the request.  He confirmed Shishakli 's departure on a plane that was watched until it went  out of sight.  The plane carried him to Saudi Arabia.  From there he went to Paris and then on to Latin America.

 

As for the recent events which had led to the downfall of Shishakli 's we had the following telegram from our embassy in Damascus: 

 

            From a reliable source we learned the following details as to how the movement happened.   The leader  of the anti‑Shishakli movement was Brigadier Faisal al‑Atasi who was thought to be one of the supporters of the Baath Party.   He started his move by arresting Brigadier 'Omar Tamr Khan chief of Aleppo region.  He also sent Captain Mustapha Hamdun  who is a Socialist Leftist, to occupy Aleppo broadcasting station. Around noon the Chief of the Deir ez‑Zor region joined the movement.  Then the Chief' of Homs and Hama joined.   In the afternoon the Chief of Latikiya region joined.   Shishakli dispatched a force of armoured cars to the north, but that force refused to attack Syrian citizens.  Shishakli sent some intermediaries to settle the matter peacefully. The group included 'Abdu‑Henaidi, Minister of Interior, and As'ad Harun, Minister of Justice,   with some civilians and some army officers.   Their intervention was unsuccessful.  Around seven o'clock in the evening a meeting was held in Shishakli's home which was attended by some personalities including the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, the Lord Mayor of the city, the president of the House of Parliament and others.  They discussed the critical situation. Around eight o'clock the Chief of the General Staff  informed Shishakli that he had just received a report that Major Rasmi el‑Muqdisi, Chief of the region of Jabal ed‑Druze, and Colonel Talib ed‑Daghestani,  Chief of the Qunattra region, both expressed their unreadiness to combat their brethren from the Syrian army. When Shishakli found that the majority of the army was against him and that none remained with him but the unit of Damascus, he tendered his resignation   to the Parliament and left by plane at 10 o'clock P.M. With him left Brigadier Qasim Khalil. Chief of the Damascus unit, and his brother, Captain Salah Shishakli, who had been running the Syriana Cabaret, and Captain Asif al‑Qabban  The Parliament is still meeting to decide on a future policy and form of government. It is expected to abrogate the present constitution and to revert to the Constitution of Hannawi or that of Quwatli.  Well informed circles expect the election of His Excellency Hashim al-Atasi to the Presidency of the republic until the time for the new elections both for the new Parliament and the new presidency

 

Another telegram from our Military Attache in Beirut said:

We congratulated Dawalibi yesterday.  This morning he left for Damascus and was followed by all the Syrian leaders who had been in Beirut. Snowfall prevented them from reaching Damascus so they went via Homs to meet with Hashim al‑Atasi who was still there.  I am  still waiting for our messenger and we will inform you of. what. follows.  I am ending a messenger to our Embassy in Damascus and I will send you the information before going to Damascus myself.  Our Ambassador in Beirut thinks I should postpone my trip to Damascus until we contact Dawalibi.  We will convey to him Premier Jamali=s congratulations

 

From our Embassy‑in Damascus, 26 February, 1954:

There has been no agreement on the form of government until now.  The politicians disagree among themselves, and the army officers are disagreeing.  Fifty-two of the members of Parliament attended out of the eighty members, and they still defend the Shishakli regime with the incitement of their retired Captain  'Abdul Haqq Shehada who is trying, it seems, to take the place or Shishakli. He has surrounded himself with a number or army officers.  The result is that Members of Parliament have maintained the stand that the President or the Parliament shall be acting‑President or the Republic in accordance with the present Constitution as was broadcast from the Damascus station in a statement made by the new acting‑President. It was decided that Parliament should meet tomorrow to elect the President of the Republic. The Chiefs of the army units who refused to fight for Shishakli refuse to right now to support the revolution. The Ministers met in the Ministry or Foreign Affairs and could not agree on a thing. The Chief of the General Staff is unable to control matters.  Conditions in Damascus are  apparently quiet, but the political situation is very much disturbed with unknown consequences.  Please instruct Beirut to contact us by wireless for urgent reasons.  We expect shortly to convey to you important matters.

 

Syria had been saved from one dictator, but it had not yet round peace or stability. After the downfall of Shishakli I received, through military code, the following telegram from Nabih Beg al‑'Azmeh.   It was addressed to me as Prime Minister.

 

Today the country will enter a new phase and a new role.  We require speed, wisdom, determination and emphatic, sure directives. We wish to let you know the difficulties or steering and governing by the heterogeneous combination or elements who are united today in the political opposition front. When we know the connection of the united elements ‑ officers and junior generals ‑‑ to the various political parties and that they are influenced by the parties to a great extent; and when we know also that the strongest active element in the united political rrant today, whether officers, students, youth or workers,  are relat.ed to Akram al‑Haurani and Michel 'Aflaq , (when we know these things), we shall be able to appreciate the difriculty of the situation and the dirficulty of organizing the set‑up.


            Moreover, if we carefully study the statement broadcast yesterday from the radio station in Aleppo, we rind that the statement embodies the spirit of Akram al‑Haurani.  The statement broadcast today from the Damascus radio station by Shawkat Shuqair, who remained to direct the situation and correct the deviations of Shishakli, describes the position of the army and its function to defend the independence of the country but makes no reference to a return to the barracks. In contrast was the broadcast by the commanders of the northern districts yesterday saying that the army would return to the barracks.  Then there is the invitation to Shishakli from King Sa'ud. Taking all these tbings into account we realize what possible  complications the new era is racing.  That is why I deem it necessary to return quickly to Damascus to serve and stabilize and direct as much as possible. Please expedite material assistance before I leave Beirut.

 

 The telegram of Nabih al‑'Azmeh and the one before it from our Embassy contain an accurate and objective description of the situation we raced after the fall of Shishakli.  The fall of the anti‑Iraq dictator did not bring an end to the obstacles in the path of Syrio‑Iraqi federation. Efforts had to continue.   A faithful Iraqi unionist who was enthusiastically active in those days was Dr Sa'id Hadba'y, a doctor from Mosul.   Dr Hadba'y had his medical education in Damascus.  He knew Syria well and he orten came to see me to express  readiness to help and to bring me information from Syrian quarters which he knew.  He had meetings with Fahmi al-Muhelry, owner of Al‑Hadhara newspaper,, Ahmad Sharabati,  a former Minister of Defence, Kamil Hananu from Aleppo, and Nabih al‑Ghazzi.   They were all ready to work for the union of Syria and Iraq.  They were supported by a large number of the nationalist youth of  the League of National Action (Al‑Osbawy) which was founded by a group of Arabs from various countries who met in 1932, and who took on themselves to work or the liberation and unity of the Arab world.  I shall refer to some points in a report Dr Hadba'y sent me after a trip to Damascus in the month of May, 1954.  sked me to join them in their meetings and convey their ideas to the responsible people in Baghdad.  They are joined in that by the present Minister of Education of Syria, Dr Munir i al‑'Ajlani (Professor in the College of Law in the Syrian University). The activity of the Students Union of the Syrian University. This Union includes all the students from all the colleges of the University whose number is no less than 3000 from various parts of the Arab world.  The Union fully dominates the University and its members are liked by all.  They have undertaken to work for Syrio‑Iraqi unity all the way.

 

Some of the most prominent members of this Union, are Ahmad Aziz, the Secretary of the Union, Ridha Altunjy, Director of the Union=s club. And Malik al-Husini, one of the prominent members from the Law College and at the same time a journalist.  He is the author of the article, 'Say it frankly', the article which moved the various Damascene circles, for it was the most courageous thing written on the subject of federation.  He will continue to publish such articles which will carry the same title.   If we provide the Students Union with money their activity may increase. The results of their activities are already seen by the leaning of the majority of independent students and the nationalists and part of the Baathists to the side of the idea.  They all speak openly about the federation although formerly, either from fear or from lack of conviction, no one spoke about it.


        One of the most outstanding demonstrations of their activity is the telegram sent to Shukri alQuwatli (who was living in Alexandria, Egypt) telling him not to think of returning.  That telegram had a far‑reaching effect. It strengthened the position of the government and was a great blow to the Saudis.  The telegram was published in the newspaper Al‑Sarkha (The Cry), issue no. 49, on Tuesday, 6 April, 1954,   and this is the text: 'The man who directed a blow to the heart of the homeland shall not return.  The one who let Palestine go shall not return.   No return for him who let corruption, chaos and tyranny prevail. No return for Shukri al‑Quwatli, perpetrator of shameful and ludicrous things.   The students of the Syrian University, male and  female insist no return for him who was rejected by the nation forever.

 

This is the telegram, the like of which was never before expressed in such language.  It shook to the core all those who work against Syrio‑Iraqi federation.   The report also referred to the importance of Sami Kabbara, a well‑known and popular Damascene personality who should be won to our side.   He happened to be a friend of Dr Hadba=y who said of him, AHe is the only man who enables us to deal with Akram al‑Haurani."

 

Dr Hadba'y had met with the Minister of 'Ali Boozoo and the report continued:

           

I am related to him through friendship of student days when we were both members in the Higher Committee. This is what he told me with great enthusiasm. 'It is established with us with certainty that whoever fights the federation or carries on propaganda against it must be either a Zionist spy or an imperialist agent.'  The reports we had from various quarters convinced me more and more that was the general wish of the Syrian people themselves. The goal was clear, and genuine Arab Nationalists had no hesitation or equivocation about it.  But obstacles consisting of foreign machinations and internal personal jealousy, greed and dissension stood in the way of moving towards the achievement of our national aspirations.  I refused to give up.  I refused to be discouraged by the many opposing forces from within and without.  I continued to work for the national aim.

 

A new chapter in Syrio‑Iraqi politics began.   Personally I continued to exert effort from 1954 to 56 to bring about a Syrio‑Iraqi federation in a democratic and constitutional way.  It was my hope and my objective that a constitutional government in Syria would proceed in a democratic way to ask for a Syrio‑Iraqi federation.  

 

After the fall of Shishakli, a conference of Syrian leaders was held in Homs and a transitional government was formed with former President Atasi at the head. Dr Dawalibi was Minister of Defence.  The army began to play politics.  The new government was not homogeneous.   It was weak and wavering.  It could take no great decisions.  We started to work with the leed6rs of the Nationalist Party, especially Sabri al‑'Asali, Mikhail Ilian, and with the People's Party, especially with Dr 'Adnan al‑Atasi, the son of President Hashim al‑Atasi.  Actually we had contacts with many leading politicians of those parties as well as others who were independent or who belonged to other parties, Nabih al-Azmeh, Husni al‑Barezi, Jalal as‑Sayyid, Faris a l‑Khouri, Hasan al‑Hakim, Faidhi al- Atasi, 'Abdur Rahman al‑'Azim,  Majeddin al‑Jabiri. Sami al‑Khayyali and others.   It was my intention to go ahead with a strong Syrio‑Iraqi campaign.  Ten thousand copies of a brochure on unity containing articles by Sati' al‑Haari, Akram Zusiter and Kamil Muruwa was prepared in Beirut by Kamil Muruwa, owner of Al‑Hayat, a very influential Beirut daily newspaper.

 

While Iraq's effort for the promotion of federation with Syria was going on, opposing forces, such as the generous financing of the adversaries by Saudi Arabia, and Egyptian propaganda, revealed that a struggle for power in Syria was going on between Iraq on the one hand and Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the other.  Major Salah Salem, Egyptian Minister of National Guidance, went to Syria and Lebanon to carry on a campaign against Iraqi policies.  Still the overwhelming majority of the Syrians were in favour of federation.

 

Enthusiastic men like Sabri al‑>Asali and his colleagues were urging the Iraqi government to do its best to push the project of federation by allotting the money required which would not exceed a quarter of a million dinars (pounds sterling) to carry out an electioneering campaign to bring about a National Assembly which would demand federation wi th Iraq.

 

            As Prime Minister of Iraq I had to get new legislation through the Iraqi Parliament to allot the amount because it did not exist in the budget.  The parliamentary majority consisted of members of Nuri as-Sa=id=s party  and Nuri was not enthusiastic about the federation of Iraq and Syria at that time.  When he beard of my intention to go ahead with the federation project he sent me word through Mohammed >Ali Mahmoud, my Minister of Justice,  expressing his opposition.   I had already spent 100,000 Iraqi dinars before getting parliamentary authorisation, and, in the face of Nuri's opposition I decided that I could not carry the responsibility of the government since I would be unable to get parliamentary support for even the modest amount of money required for a noble and important project.  

 

I went to the Royal Palace and expressed my desire to resign. I had two things, however, to achieve before my resignation.   The first was to ensure that the 100,000 dinars already allocated to be spent be authorized, and the second was to conclude my negotiations with the American government on the Military Aid Agreement.  His Majesty and his uncle both sympathized with my stand, and I stayed in office until I had taken care of the above‑mentioned items.

 

The Lower House of Parliament passed the legislation authorizing the 100,000 dinars, but, in the Senate,  former Prime Minister Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi, who was chairman of the Finance committee, raised an objection and tried to obstruct the authorization of the amount.  I asked that the Committee should have a short recess and I invited Tawflq as‑Suwadi to a side room. There I told him that he had better expedite the business or I would be forced  to divulge a secret, namely, the fact that the amount of 250,000 had been proposed by the late Syrian president, . Hashim al‑Atasi, to free Syria from Shishakli, and Suwaidi, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the previous Cabinet had not been informed about it.  I had seen Atasi's handwritten paper with the former Prime Minister, 'Ali Jawdat al‑Ayoubi, who was Vice‑Premier in the Cabinet of Jamil al-Madfai.  The divulgence of this secret would have caused Suwaidi embarrassment, for it would have indicated that his own Cabinet lacked confidence in him.  After this conversation we went back to the Committee which then passed the legislation.

 

Having finished this matter and having signed the Military Aid Agreement, I tendered my resignation.  The disagreement on the question of unity with Syria was, therefore, the main cause of the fall of my Cabinet in 1954.  On April 19, I tendered my resignation, and His Majesty celled on Nuri as‑Sa'id to form a new Cabinet.   The next morning I was called to the Royal Palace to meet H.R.H. the Crown Prince and Nuri Pasha. Nuri asked me to join his Cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs. I declined the offer.   When Nuri argued that I had promised to cooperate with him when he came to power, I replied that my promise was conditional on his coming to an understanding with Saleh Jabr, and now the issue of Syria and the obstruction created to it through parliamentary noncoperation made it impossible for me to join his Cabinet and to face the same Parliament. My refusal was final.   At the same time Nuri invited Ahmed Mukhtar Baban, who was Vice‑Premier in my Cabinet, and 'Ali Mumtaz, who was Minister of Finance in my Cabinet, to join him. They also declined the offer.  The refusal of all three of us made Nuri think that we were acting with royal approval.


    Soon after that I collapsed one day in my office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Medical examination with X‑rays revealed an ulcer in the duodenum for which I needed immediate hospitalization.  I decided to go to the hospital of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.  While I was in Beirut, Syrian statesmen and friends began to frequent my room in the hospital urging action on Syrio‑Iraqi relations.  My physical condition did not permit me to undertake long discussions and serious considerations so I telegraphed the Prime Minister in Baghdad asking him to request Saleh Jabr to come to Lebanon to take care of the problem. I depended on Saleh Jabr in the matter for he was as convinced as I was of its necessity and urgency both for Iraq and the Arab cause.   For reasons unknown to me Saleh Jebr could not come to Lebanon,  so Ahmad Mukhtar Baban was deputized instead.  After leaving the hospital I went for convalescence to Hotel Mont Vert in Broummana,   a well‑known mountain resort.  It was there that the Syrian politicians and statesmen, enthusiastic about unity, began to visit me frequently and some serious talks about unity were held.

 

           The following ere two letters which I addressed to the Prime Minister, Arshad al-'Omeri, summarizing the situation.

 

Personal and confidential

Mont Vert Hotel, Broummana, 3 May, 1954

Excellency Brother Abu Isam                    

Greetings and hearty affection!

 

I always think of your heavy duties and ask God to grant you success for the good of the country. I have already wired about the possibility of my meeting with a Syrian delegation. Last night in a private way I had the following gentlemen: Prime Minister Sabri al‑>Asali, Minister of Finance 'Abdur Rahman al‑Azm,   Husni al‑Barazi and 'Adnan al‑Atasi.  We met together until midnight.  We surveyed the present conditions in Syria and the difficulties that beset and obstruct the Syrio‑Iraqi federation, and the means by which they could be overcome.

1. Conditions in Syria are unsettled because of lack of discipline in the army and the fact that the army is divided among five parties at least. Although the situation does not provide the Saudis with an opportunity for immediate action, the situation is dangerous in any case.  This is the important question raised:  Is Iraq ready to send power if a section of the Syrian army rises in mutiny?  This would be after an official  request by the Syrian government had been made as from now, so that Iraq might intervene if the Syrian army brings about a coup d'état. No doubt the possibility of calling in the Iraqi army is remote, especially if the Syrian government groups together its loyal officers and wins some others with money.  They are all united on the idea that the entry of the Iraqi army into Syria,   whether to stem a movement of mutiny or to face Israeli aggression is the greatest guarantee for the federation,

 2. Reviewing the process of federation generally it was found to require the coming to an understanding with the two great western powers, the United States and Great Britain.   I promised to undertake that mission.  As for France, there is no hope that it will consent, nor will Saudi Arabia or Israel. Then, we need the consent of the Iraqi government and Iraqi public opinion.   As for Syrian public opinion, it is easy to win its consent.  Although  most of the political leaders are champions of the federation, they are afraid to say so openly. If they see that the Syrian government is moving ahead with the project, they will all move with it, or at least most of them.

 3. It was agreed that 'Adnan al‑Atasi should prepare a federation project and present it to us after two weeks.   It is my view that Messrs. 'Abdullah Bakr, Yusuf  al‑Gailani, aided by 'Abdul Majeed 'Abbas or 'Abdul Kareem al‑Uzri, should prepare a similar project.

4. The two persons most enthusiastic for the federation are Messrs. Sabri al‑>Asali and Husni al‑Barazi. It was agreed that a confidential committee should be formed of prominent personalities to pursue the matter.

 5. Both Messrs. Sabri al‑'Asali and Barazi expect Iraq to put the necessary amounts at their disposal for the following purposes:      

a) to control the army

b) to prepare for the election of a new parliament

c) to influence public opinion (propaganda).

I  wired asking for 5000 dinars as a preliminary amount to be given to Husni al‑Barazi.

 

 

This is a summary of the situation. There are many details which I do not wish to mention. It seems to me that the question requires time and continued efforts, but, in my view, it deserves all attention, for it represents the corner‑stone in restoring the dignity of the Arab world and saving the honour of the Arabs. The military attache, Colonel Saleh Mehdi, is coming to you. I hope you will provide me through him with whatever ideas you have. He will explain the situation to you in full.

Signed: Your brother Fadhel Jamali

 

Personal and confidential

            Mont Vert Hotel, 9 May, 1954

Excellency, Honourable Brother Abu >Isam,

Greetings and affection!

Last night, Monday, 8/6/54, I had with me Sayed Sabri al‑>Asali, Prime Minister of Syria, and Sayed Mikhail Ilian. Ahmad Mukhtar Pasha Baban was also present. The meeting lasted until one in the morning. I herewith summarize for Your Excellency the situation as it was revealed.

1. The Syrian army is the source of instability and the extreme weakness of the government makes the army master of the situation.

2. The Syrian army includes elements which are afraid of the federation. They think that the federation would deprive the army officers of their prestige.

3. The present Syrian Cabinet is weak and not harmonious. It is hoped that it will be strengthened before the next elections unless something unforeseen happens.

4. The Saudis are preparing a plot for a coup d'etat and for bringing Shukri al‑Quwatli to Syria. (He was living in Egypt at that time.)

5. Sabri al‑Asali criticizes Iraq's policy in the past for relying on the People's Party. He also criticizes Iraq's reliance on Sheikh Ma=aruf ad‑Dawalibi and other personalities. He thinks that if Iraq is serious in the matter it should rely on himself and on Mikhail Ilian for their faith in the union and their devotion to it is the best guarantee. Even at that he does not guarantee immediate success, but he is ready to devote his life and his efforts for the realization of his national aims. Although his relations with Quwatli are good, he does not agree with him on his pro‑Saudi policy and on his stand in relation to the Syrio‑Iraqi federation.

 

How to deal with the situation?    Wereviewed the possibility of sending the Iraqi army to Syria, and we found that it was not possible. There is no agreement between Syria and Iraq for the coming of the Iraqi army to keep internal order in Syria, and there is no majority in the Cabinet which dares sign such an agreement even if it were secret. Besides, Atasi, President of the Republic, for his part, is afraid of signing a request for the Iraqi army, and there is no possibility at the present of the armies of Syria and Iraq coming together for purposes of training and manoeuvres. One cannot exploit Israeli aggression on Syria because that might lead to an international struggle in which Israel might be the winner. That is why sending the Iraqi army to protect Syria from Israel must wait until a serious Israeli aggression occurs.

 

 

In the light of these facts, our Syrian friends leave the matter to us if we ever find a way for sending the Iraqi army they think that would be the best and the quickest way to achieve the Syrio‑Iraqi federation.   If, however, the Iraqi army could not be sent, efforts should be exerted to win the Syrian army and rally it to the side of the Syrian government. That is why Sayed Sabri al‑'Asali expects financial help. Moreover, an election campaign for the federation should be undertaken so as to attain our goal through the parliamentary process.    Sayed Sabri al‑'Asali asks that we should depend on him alone and that we should not disperse our money and efforts here and there. We do concur that we should trust Sabri al‑'Asali and consider him as the centre of gravity for the movement. This does not preclude our contacts with others provided the efforts are harmonized and that Sabri is informed of the efforts we exert.

 

Before the meeting ended I told Sabri I wanted to be clear on what we mean by the federation. He said, 'Federation in military, political and economic affairs.' I said, 'But the presidency of the federation is very important as far as we are concerned. We cannot afford to enter a federation which is not presided over by the King of Iraq, otherwise the instability which afflicts the Syrian republican system may affect Iraq, and this would cause exceedingly serious harm to the Arab interests. 'He agreed that the King of Iraq would be the head of the federation.  H.E. Sayed Ahmad Mukhtar Baban closed the meeting by saying that to us it is important to strengthen the present government in Syria and to support al‑'Asali in every way possible. Thus 'Asali has to come forward with his requests and suggestions. We are always ready to render what help we can.

 

Signed: Your brother Fadhel Jamali

 

           As had been decided, Dr 'Adnan al‑Atasi prepared two drafts for Syrio‑Iraqi federation, one providing for loose unity, and the other for a close form of federation. I have the original drafts in his own handwriting. The translated texts of the drafts are included in the appendices.

 

After my return to Iraq, Sabri al‑Asali continued to communicate with me through two trustworthy messengers whom he authorized to convey to me what he wished to say. One was Mohammed Shuqair, a young Muslim from Beirut who had an excellent record as an Arab nationalist. He was a graduate of the American University of Beirut, and he had taught in Iraq. At a later date I had a very sour letter from him criticizing the Iraqi government for enlisting the cooperation of the Syrian Nationalist Party which he considered anti‑Arab. Mohammed Shuqair was a loyal friend of Riyadh as‑Sulh, the Lebanese prime Minister, a well‑known Arab nationalist who was assassinated by the Syrian Nationalist Party.

           The second messenger was 'Abdul Hadi al‑Ma=sarani, a Syrian merchant who devoted his time and money to the nationalist cause. Shuqair and Ma=sarani sometimes came to Baghdad to inform us about what was going on in Syria and to convey to us the views of Sabri al‑>Asali.  During the summer of 1954 I received the following personal message from Dr Kayyali, chairman of the Nationalist Party in Aleppo:

The Nationalist Party did not deviate from the line of unity, but it was Shukri al‑Quwatli who deviated. In order to enable the Nationalist Party to enter the fight and oppose the propaganda and the help that comes to the Communists and the Independents who are benefitting from the influence of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it is expected that the Iraqi government will render material help so that the Nationalist Party will be able to oppose the Parties and newspapers that work to alienate Syria from unity. That is in case the Iraqi government is able to do it and is concerned about the success of the affair.

 

Ihsan al‑Jabiri, another prominent member of the Nationalist Party, associated himself with the above statement. Another of the letters I received was from Dr As'ad Talas
 

                       Damascus, 6 May, 1954.

     Sir, (After greetings)                     

I went to Damascus after resting a little in Aleppo and I contacted the following people: Hashim Beg, Sabri Beg and Rushdi Beg. I am certain of their sincerity and their firmness in all undertakings, especially that revered old man, Hashim Beg (President of the Syrian Republic) who sends you his greetings and requests you to act on his behalf in presenting expressions of his thanks and prayers for His Majesty, our Lord, and His Royal Highness, our Prince, may God preserve their leadership and protect them as pillars of Arabism and Islam. He told me, 'Tell them that I continue to stand firm on the Covenant and on what I dedicated myself to, and that I ask God to help us realize soon our hope of unity, and we ask God to make us this time more determined and more prudent and deeper in thought and study.' Then he told me, 'Meet with Sabri Beg and 'Adnan my son, and study the matter together and act with wisdom, quietness and secrecy until God brings victory.'

    

 

I met with brothers 'Adnan and Sabri Beg and we studied together what should be done, and they settled on the idea that Sayed Mikhail Ilian, the Secretary of the Nationalist party in Aleppo, should join us and prepare a plan and organize the work. When we have agreed on something I shall send you the details.

The Saudis exert great efforts against Syrio‑Iraqi unity, and so do the French. But the danger from the latter is smaller. Brother Kamil Muruwa told me yesterday in Damascus in the presence of Brother Akram Zu'aiter, who came to us for a short visit before returning to Nablus where his wife is about to give birth, that two of Shishakli's men, Nazih al‑Hakeem and Ahmed Assa, and they are two of the three persons who drafted the Shishakli Constitution and who lately began to publish a daily called Ar‑Ray Al‑Am which is a Saudi‑Shishakli paper, Kamil told me that these two persons negotiated with him to buy Al‑Hayat press for an enticing sum on condition that the press be moved to Damascus. He rejected the offer and ridiculed them. The Saudis are using many means by which they buy people's conscience. It 1s essential that we should face them with some strength and I hope that Ahmad Pasha ar‑Rawi (Iraqi Ambassador to Lebanon) on his return will be provided with adequate means to face this frightening current, especially during the electoral campaign.
 

I met Sultan Pasha for a lengthy meeting. He presents his greetings to you. He told me that he had received your last message and that he intentionally did not send the answer because the bearer knew what the message was.  'That is why I showed him that I didn’t want to answer at that time and that he should never reveal what that message contained.' He asked me to request you to send a man whom you trust, either by way or Amman or by way of Damascus to come to an understanding with him, and I suggest that the messenger should come to Damascus so that we may agree on the plan.
 

Sultan requests that this matter should be confidential between you and him, and I suggest that you send Shaqrani to Damascus or any other whom you trust so that I may come to an understanding with him before his going to Suweida.   The condition of the army, although not very good, does not call for pessimism. The group or Akram (Haurani) has begun to dwindle and we hope that the Army Law will soon be legislated in the Parliament so that the Minister or Defence will be able to control the army.

 

(After complimentary closing sentences)

                                    As’ad

 

          I was planning on my return to Iraq to go to the United States for a medical check‑up, to receive an honorary degree from my alma mater, Columbia University, and to have talks with President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. The Syrians, hearing of my plan, asked me to raise the issue of Syrio‑Iraqi federation both in London and Washington and to make sure that the West would not permit Israel to attack Syria in case she federated with Iraq. (Israel had been attacking her neighbours every now and then on one pretext or another.)
 

In the first week of July 1954, I took off for London and the United States. In London I had a meeting with Mr Selwyn Lloyd, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. One of the important topics we discussed was the Syrio‑Iraqi federation. I asked him what the attitude would be of Her Majesty Government toward a Syrio‑Iraqi federation. He said:

"As far as I can see, the British government would welcome such an event and advise you to include Jordan also. This is my personal view. But to make the matter formal, I will submit the question to the Cabinet and give you Her Majesty’s Government’s point of view when you return from the United States.”
 

      In Washington, D.C. on two successive days I had lengthy meetings with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. At those meetings we discussed Iraqi‑American relations, Arab affairs, and the international situation. The question of Syrio‑Iraqi federation was one of the major topics we discussed. When I asked Mr Dulles about the United States' attitude regarding the federation and whether the U.S. could insure that no Israeli attack on Syria would ensue, he frankly answered that he could not support such a federation at that juncture nor could he assure that Israel would not attack Syria.  He stated:

"The United States has just signed an Arms Agreement with Iraq which has aroused the friends of Israel in the Congress, and, if the United States supports Syrio‑Iraqi federation, it will be taken that the United States is helping to endanger Israel's existence. On the other hand, if Iraq joins the Northern Tier and then federates with Syria, we can then say that the federation is formed against Communism and not against Israel."
 

      Mr Dulles's advice was, accordingly, to postpone Syrio‑Iraqi federation until after Iraq had joined the Northern Tier arrangement which eventually developed into the Baghdad Pact. It was this line of thinking that prompted me to be very enthusiastic for Iraqi participation in the Northern Tier. Besides, it was my belief that Iraq should be an active member in the free world and in promoting international peace and cooperation.     While I was absent from Iraq, the Cabinet of Arshad al‑'Omari, in which I was the Minister or Foreign Affairs, resigned and Nuri Pasha was called upon to form a new Cabinet.   O:n my return to Iraq I was surprised to find that the relatively small amount of money which was in the budget (150,000 Iraqi dinars) and which I had planned should be used for promoting the cause or Syria‑Iraqi federation, had been channeled to Jordan without my knowledge and without previous discussion. This action was taken by Prime Minister Arshad al=Omari who was acting Foreign Minister during my absence.
 

     Soon after reaching Baghdad I went to Sirsank, the summer resort of H.M. the King. I went to pay my respects and to report to the King on my discussions in London and Washington. I was his guest, and, in the hotel I found myself staying in the room next to Nuri Pasha's.   Nuri had been deeply hurt by my refusal to join him in the Cabinet he had tried to form after my resignation as Prime Minister. He said. "I thought I could always depend on you and I never expected you to let me down." I replied, "The issue or Syria is so significant in my political thought that I am not ready to compromise on it." He said, "Fadhel, I want you to know that the Syrio‑Iraqi federation can never take place unless France is convinced. Besides, the poor Iraqis have been waiting so long to enjoy the fruits of the oil production and now you want the Syrians to share this little fruit with them. The Syrians are so clever in economic affairs that they might exploit the poor Iraqis."
 

      I did not share either of his fears. I did not think that Syrio‑Iraqi federation really depended on the consent of France, nor did I think that the benefits from the oil need be an obstacle to the federation.     After a hot debate, Nuri, in his customary charming and obliging manner, embraced me and said, "I will always depend on you as a loyal friend and I want your continued support in foreign affairs. I would like you to lead the Iraqi delegation to the United Nations as usual."
 

      Although not a member of the government, I continued my contacts with the Syrians as well as with H.R.H. the Crown Prince and H.M. the King on the subject of Syria. Some meetings were held in the royal palace to study the situation in Syria, and I was invited to attend.   Early in 1955 president Adnan Menderes came to Baghdad and signed the Pact of Turkish‑Iraqi‑Mutual Cooperation which later on developed into the Baghdad Pact. I was very enthusiastic in promoting and supporting the Pact because, in my view, it was essential both for security and interest of Iraq, and because it might pave the way for an eventual Syria‑Iraqi federation. In chapter on the Baghdad Pact I describe Egypt's strong reaction against the Pact and how the Egyptian wished to arouse' Arab public opinion against it. This led Egypt to dispatch its vociferous Minister of National Guidance, Major Salah Salem to Syria to incite the Syrian government and people against the fact. The visit was intended to draw the Syrian government away from Iraq and to combat any idea of Syria’s joining the Baghdad Pact. The statement runs as follows:
 

 Messers Sabri al‑'Asali; President or the Council of Ministers, and Khalid al‑'Azm, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Acting Minister of Defence, on the Syrian side, and Major Salah Salem, Minister of National Guidance, from the Egyptian side, met in Damascus from the 26th of February to the 2nd of March, and, since agreement between the Egyptian and Syrian governments was complete, the two parties held consultations about the Arab situation in the actual circumstances then existing. They exchanged views about means leading to the strengthening of the Arab unity, politically, militarily and economically, and they found that the following principles guarantee the realization of those aims:

 

1. Not to join the Turkish‑Iraqi Alliance or any other alliance.

2. To establish an Arab organization for mutual defence and economic cooperation based on the following principles: 

            a. To mutually undertake to ward off an aggression against any of the joining states

 b. To set up one permanent, common Command with permanent headquarters which will supervise the training of the military forces put by each Arab state at the disposal of the command. It shall also deal with arming, organizing and distributing these forces in accordance with the common defence plan.

c. No state, member of this organization, shall enter any international military or political agreement without the consent of the other member of the organization.

d. To strengthen economic cooperation between the members of the organization in preparation for the realization of economic unity between them, the two parties undertake the following matters:

i. To establish an Arab bank which will issue Arab currency and to establish a technical committee to lay down the foundation of this project and prepare it for approval.

ii. To revise the present system of inter‑Arab commercial exchange which is in operation now with the intention of strengthening and fortifying this cooperation by exempting local produce and manufactured goods from customs duties or by reducing these duties to the lowest possible limit.

  iii. To encourage the formation of companies representing common Arab shares and capital which will undertake vast agricultural and industrial projects and   establish common air and naval transport, insurance activities, etc.

iv. To establish an Arab economic council to direct economic activity and supervise it.

3. To contact Arab governments in order to present the principles and foundations mentioned in this statement and to invite the Arab states to accept them and to meet in a conference which will lay down the texts with their details, to ratify them and execute them as soon as they ere sanctioned. This conference should be held during the month of March and it should include the Heads of Governments, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Defence and Finance, and the Chiefs of the General Staff of the Armies.

              Sabri al‑'Asali

                         Khalid al‑'Azm

                         Salah Salem

 

            From reading the statement one can easily deduce that the talk about a military and economic alliance was being used as camouflage and propaganda to make setting for Articles 1 and 2 and paragraph C which were Iraq and Iraq's policy of joining the Baghdad Pact.    Khalid al-Agm had hopes of becoming the next president of the Syrian republic with the help of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, the Leftists and the Army. He paid a visit to Riyadh, Amman and Beirut. After a meeting which I had in Beirut with President Camille Shamoun and the Syrian nationalist Mikhail Ilian, it, was suggested that Khalid al‑'Azm should be invited by the Iraqi government to visit Iraq and that he should be, treated in a very friendly and hospitable manner. I conveyed the idea to Baghdad, and soon after that Khalid al‑'Azm did visit Baghdad. While there we had very frank talks about Iraq's policy of joining the Baghdad pact and we emphasized to him the fact that the Baghdad Pact served Iraqi and Arab security and did not in any way interfere with the Arab Mutual Defence Pact. There was no discussion of federation between us, but we talked at length about Syrio‑Iraqi cooperation. To my mind that visit had no concrete results, but it was useful as a counter‑measure to Egyptian and Saudi propaganda in Syria.

 

      I met Khalid al‑'Azm on more than one occasion in Damascus and I found that he had no intention of letting Syria federate with any part of the Arab world. At one time he frankly told me that he would not make any move unless all the Arab states decided to move together. He said,

"The Arab states should move together at all and any cost."

I asked, "If one Arab state does not want to move, should we all remain static? Or, if the Arab states are heading for an abyss, should we all follow?   He answered in the affirmative. He believed in closer cooperation between the Arab states and he sided with the Arab state that provided him with political and material support. Iraq was not the first in that category.
 

      This, to my mind, represents a true picture of Khalid al‑'Azm's Arab policy. It was reasonable and realistic as far as it went, but it divided the Arab world into two camps with Syria and Iraq on opposite sides, a principle which I could not accept.
 

      During the Asian‑African Conference in Bandung in April 1955, a meeting was held in the residence of Prime Minister Gamal 'Abdul Nasir which was attended by President Gamal and Salah Salem of Egypt, Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and Khalid al‑'Azm and Ahmad Shuqairi of Syria. This tri‑partite meeting was probably held to counteract the policy of joining the Baghdad Pact and to ward against any potential Syrio‑Iraqi federation. I was informed that they had agreed among themselves on the following plan for the three states, a plan which was never put into effect:

 

1. A permanent council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to coordinate foreign policy and unify diplomatic representation. Political treaties undertaken collectively.

2. A council of Ministers of Defence to plan for defence in times of war and peace with a unified Command whose headquarters should be in Damascus and would have under its command units from the armies of the three states. A common financial pool representing the ratio of 10% of the budget of each state to be spent for common defence.

3. An economic council to unify the economic legislation and economic policy for the member states. Removal of the customs barriers between the states, considering these states as one common market with free movement of money, persons and goods, and a unified monetary system.
 

     In February 1955 the Iraqi government received the following report from its Embassy in Damascus:

 

                Confidential, personal and very urgent.

 

His Excellency the President of the Syrian Republic (Hashim al‑Atasi) believes that the political situation in Syria is very serious and should receive the greatest attention from Iraq, for the friends of Iraq and Syria are fighting not only the adversaries of Iraq among the Syrians, but foreign powers hidden behind them. France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are exerting all their efforts and powers in order to draw Syria to a line inimical to Iraq. Although the purpose of each of these states is different and their policies are varied, they all consciously or unconsciously work to serve the Communists of Syria.  There is nothing on the other side to face the situation with a decisive action which could check these currents. The parties and groups known as inimical to Iraq and its politics, foremost of whom is Khalid al‑'Azm and his group, and Akram al‑Haurani and his supporters, receive help from these three states. Besides, the Communist party, due to its activity and the help it receives, is increasing the number of its supporters. On the other side, the members of the People's Party, which fundamentally believes in the policy of Iraq and federation with it, have been afflicted with a great deal of despair and disgust in addition to the timidity which characterizes them. They cannot, in their present condition, undertake any active role while they see their colleagues, members of the Nationalist Party; betray them at the most critical times.
 

The President of the Republic spoke to the American Ambassador in his meeting yesterday and told him, “Your allies and your money combat the genuine wish of the Syrian people and combat your own interests. Your ally, France, with the pillars she has in the Syrian army, and with the money which she spends, cooperates with Saudi money and Egypt to push Syria against the United States. ' He spoke to him about the federation with Iraq and told him that 80% Syrians support the federation with Iraq because it’s the only path for saving Syria from the chaos into which it has fallen and from the danger which will threaten it in the future. But the Syrian people cannot express this will of theirs because or the collusion or the forces of the army with the states opposing the idea or the federation, and because the Americans, the British and the Turks stand as onlookers if they do not also prevent federation under Israeli pressure or for other purposes.”
 

     When the American Ambassador asked the President of the Republic for material proof showing French interference, the President showed him a report from the Ambassador of Syria in Egypt in which he says, “The French Ambassador in Egypt told him, in a tone of warning, that France cannot stand with folded arms vis‑α‑vis the alignment of Syria with Iraq. It also resists Syria's entry into the Turkish‑Iraqi agreement (Baghdad Pact).”

 

The President of the Republic informed some of his intimates that he is considering resigning so as not to bear responsibility nor events which might happen to Syria in the future due to it’s moving towards Communism. Syria will declare its enmity to Iraq if elements inimical to Iraq's policy take over the government by the collusion of Khalid al‑'Azm, Akram al‑Haurani and the Chief of the General Staff of the Army to bring in a new government. The Nationalist Party is leaning toward them.

 

 

     Those close to him told him that the Constitutional provisions do not permit him now to relinquish authority or to refrain from asking the man, nominated by the majority of the Parliament, to form the Government. He may, however, resign after forming a new Cabinet if it follows a policy which he does not approve. The President of the Republic believes that Iraq, for its on safety, for the future of the Arab cause, and for the future of Syria, must exert its efforts in order to avert the danger. There are two measures ‑‑ external and internal. Externally, Iraq should urge its friends and allies, Turkey, Britain and the United States to support its plan for Syria and to support the confederation. Internally Iraq should provide counter propaganda in Syria, for Syrian public opinion is naive and they believe the falsehoods which are repeated over and over by newspapers bought by the French, Saudis and Egyptians. Reports presented to him from respective departments emphasize that the Saudis alone have spent the amount of one million dollars to cause noise about changing the Cabinet and the deviation of Syria away from Iraq. This is besides what other parties have spent in other quarters, for they have bought the majority of the press, and they have bought many officers, members of parliament and prominent political personalities. He believes that the opportunity is open for Iraq to work if Iraq combines its international efforts with some propaganda which will cost nothing but a small ratio of what it costs others. He is afraid that, if Iraq does not move to avert the danger, other states, Turkey for example, may undertake some decisive action. Turkey's Charge d'Affaires here has notified the Prime Minister that his Government cannot stand with folded arms if a Cabinet should come dominated by Akram Haurani and the Leftists, for that would provide a danger to Turkey's life. The President is afraid lest the Turkish Government take this as a pretext to occupy al‑Jezira and Aleppo, and the President believes that Iraq is more capable than any other to win Syria to its side before the time has passed.
 

     It was in the spring of 1955, at the Bandung Conference, that I had a frank talk about Syria with President Nasir of Egypt. During one of the recesses of the Conference meetings President Nasir and I had a chat together about Iraqi‑Egyptian relations. Iraq had already signed the Baghdad Pact and a radio war had ensued between Egypt and Iraq. After reaching an agreement that an end should be put to this radio war, President Nasir told me, "Dr Jamali, hands off Syria."
 

     I replied, "I think it is I who should tell you, hands off Syria. As for Iraq and Syria, there are no natural boundaries between them. The Euphrates unites them. Iraq's access to the Mediterranean is through Syria. Syria's economy complements Iraqis. It is natural that the two states should confederate. If they do not confederate they should develop close cooperation. If they do not actively cooperate they should at least be friendly toward each other. Anything less than that would lead to trouble in the area. That is why I beg you to stop the anti‑Iraq campaign in Syria if you have national Arab interests at heart." That was the last of our political talks, and I never had the opportunity of talking to President Nasir after Bandung.

 

 

     On my return to Iraq the Syrian affair was reviewed a few times at the royal palace. In the spring of 1955 a Syrian parliamentary delegation of prominent Syrians was invited to Iraq on the occasion of Iraqis Development Week. It was Iraq's intention to show our Syrian brethren some of the achievements of the Development Board. They were also taken to Habbaniyeh to see the former British airbase which had been handed over to Iraq after the signing of the Baghdad Pact.
 

     A meeting was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where Syrio‑Iraqi relations and cooperation were discussed. Those present from the Syrian side included, Jihad al‑Hawwash, Mohammed al‑æAish, Elias Nowfal, Majdeddin al‑Jabiri, Salahuddin al‑Bitar, æAdnan al‑Atasi, Ihsan al‑Jabiri, Faidhi al‑Atasi and Akram al‑Haurani.    From the Iraqi side those present included, Prime Minister Nuri as‑Sa lid, and the following former Prime Ministers: Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi, Saleh Jabr, Noureddin Mahmoud, Mustapha al‑‘Omari, Arshad al‑‘Omari, Jamil al‑Madfa’i and Fadhel Jamali.  Two main topics of conversation were discussed at length and various points of view considered. The first topic was Arab relations to the West. Akram al‑Haurani defended the idea of positive neutrality. He said, "Positive neutrality does not permit alliance with the West." He asked that the West should rectify the injustice they had dealt to the Palestine Arabs, but he admitted that it would be better for the Arabs to be armed from whatever source than to remain unarmed.
 

     Elias Nowfal expressed his disappointment with the West and said, "It is the unfairness of Western policy that is making us lean to the East, and that is way our cooperation with the West should be conditional."       Nuri Pasha, the Prime Minister, was very frank and clear about Arab relations to the west. He flatly rejected the idea of positive neutrality and maintained that the Arabs had to choose either the Eastern camp or the Western camp. "As far as Iraq is concerned we have chosen the Western camp because our economic, political and defence interests are with the West. Our oil goes to the west and we are receiving military help from them."
 

     I maintained that Iraq and the West were in the same boat. Our efforts should be exerted to come to an understanding with the West on the basis of mutual respect, fairness, justice and cooperation. We must make the west see and appreciate Arab rights and realize for its own interests, as well as the interests of the Arab world, that all Arab rights should be respected everywhere in the Arab world and in Palestine in particular. I said t hat any political machinations and pressures that undermine our good relations with the west are not in the interests of the Arab world. "We have freed ourselves from Western political domination. We must seek western help and friendship in facing the dangers of Zionism and Communism."
 

The second topic discussed was inter‑Arab politics Akram al‑Haurani said that any idea of Arab unity required the freezing of the Baghdad Pact. He was vigourously told that the Baghdad Pact would never stand in the way of Iraq's strengthening its relationship with other Arab states. It was meant to be a shield protecting Iraq and hence protecting all the Arab world. It did not reduce Iraq's responsibility or interest in the affairs of the Arab world. On the contrary, Iraq would always use the Baghdad pact meetings to defend Arab rights to freedom and justice everywhere.

 

 

     In that meeting Iraq's stand on inter‑Arab relations was summarized as follows:

     1. Iraq will not encourage or force any Arab state to join the Baghdad Pact. Other Arab states may join if they choose to do so.

     2. Iraq seeks to strengthen the Arab Collective Security and Military Cooperation Pact with the intention of restoring Arab rights to Palestine.

     3. Iraq will always take a positive attitude towards unity and federation of the Arab states which should be entered freely and with good will.

     Thus the Syrians got a very clear idea of where Iraq stood in world affairs as well as in Arab affairs.
 

     After an evening dinner given in honour of the Syrian delegation in the Municipal Hall of Baghdad I asked the well‑known Syrian politicians, Akram al‑Haurani and Salhuddin al‑Bitar, to come to my house. Those two men represented the Baath socialist Party at that time, abd, although they had welcome Iraqi’s help in eliminating the dictatorship of Shishakli from Syria, they were not enthusiastic about Syrio‑Iraqi federation at this time. We had a lengthy debate together which lasted until the early hours of the morning. Salahuddin al‑Bitar's argument was that Syria could not federate with Iraq while Iraq was being run by Nuri as‑Sa'id and while British influence prevailed on him.
 

    I argued that the question of Syrio‑Iraqi federation should be dealt with irrespective of personalities and passing political conditions. Iraq was no longer under British domination as propaganda had made it out to be, and Nuri as‑Sa'id was not always in the saddle in Iraqi politics, nor would he last forever. "Besides, if you think that Iraq's political situation is not healthy and not favourable to the Arab cause, why don't you join and help improve its conditions?"
 

     To this argument Akram al‑Haurani concurred, but I could see very well that anti‑Iraq propaganda, both from Arab sources and Communist‑Zionist sources had made a great impression on some so‑called Socialist Syrians.  It was during the summer of 1955 that the Royal Palace took up the Syrian issue again since Syria was headed towards a presidential election, and Iraq was concerned that the President to be elected should be a friend of Iraq and one sympathetic to rapprochement. Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi and I were invited to go to Sirsank to meet with His Majesty the King and His Royal Highness the Prince Regent. We were asked to go to Lebanon to watch conditions in Syria and to try to encourage candidates friendly to us.

The candidate most favoured by Iraq was Rushdi al‑Kikhia, the head of the People's Party. Other candidates favoured by Iraq were Lutfi al‑Haffar and Sabri a1‑'Asali of the Nationalist Party. Three other candidates were Khalid as‑'Azm, a Syrian statesman who was pro‑Russian, Shukri al‑Quwatli, an Arab nationalist who was pro‑Saudi and pro‑Egypt, and Akram al‑Haurani, a Socialist. Quwatli had returned to Syria in the summer of 1955 in time for the elections.

 

 

     The most popular and the strongest of the six possible candidates was Rushdi al‑Kikhia. He was a clean, respectable and scrupulous man. But Rushdi al‑Kikhia declined to nominate himself is spite of his being encouraged by many people. Iraq thus lost its favourite candidate. The reason for al‑Kikhia's reluctance to become a candidate was that he thought that the Syrian army had become addicted to politics and that he would not like to become a puppet president at the mercy of the army.


    While in Lebanon I attended a meeting in Suq al‑Gharb in the house of Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi with Tawfiq himself, Jamil 'Abdul Wahab, the Iraqi Ambassador to Lebanon, 'Abdul Jalil ar‑Rawi, the Iraqi Charge d'Affaires in Damascus and Colonel Salih Samarra'i, the Iraqi military Attache to Syria and Lebanon. We reviewed the Syrian situation and it was decided that 'Abdul Jalil ar‑Rawi should go to Damascus and arrange a meeting between me and Shawkat Shuqair, Chief of the General Staff of the Syrian army. The meeting should be held at night and should not be publicized. The meeting was arranged, and at night I went to Damascus in the official car of our Military Attache. The car was not stopped for inspection either for customs or passport. I reached Damascus at 10 o'clock at night and went from the Iraqi Embassy to the house of Natheer Fansa without letting anybody know about my arrival. There I met General Shawkat Shuqair and for two hours we talked over the political situation of Syria. I left Damascus after midnight and reached Souq al‑Gharb about 3 o'clock in the morning. Only three persons attended the discussions, Shuqair, Fansa and myself. Herewith I give the translation of some excerpts from the memorandum that I wrote after that meeting.
 

    Shuqair complains of the worsening of the political situation in Syria and the intense activity of foreign ambassadors and their intervention in the internal affairs of Syria. The interference of these ambassadors in Syrian affairs reminds one of similar interference in the affairs of the Ottoman Empire 'The Sick Man of Europe', before and after World War I.
 

   Syrian political parties wish to exploit the Syrian army and to depend on it to cover their own weakness. He advised the army to avoid political parties and he thought that the army itself should be its own party.
 

    He said that he wanted a respectable, stable government for Syria, a government which would be friendly and cooperative with Iraq. I said that Iraq's objective was that Syria should have a stable, constitutional government which would cooperate with Iraq and come to an understanding with the Iraqi government to the extent the Syrians themselves might deem desirable. 'We are ready to move with any Arab country to the extent which that Arab country desires. We have no policy which we want to impose on anybody.'
 

    We discussed in detail the question of the Tripartite Pact between Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and I told him that the Pact was futile and absurd.

'We all know that it won't work and that it will bring no benefit to anybody. We would not have cared about it were it not intended as an offence to Iraq and as a move to isolate Iraq from her Arab sisters.

    He said,  “Far be it from Syria that she should intend to offend Iraq!”

    “But”, I said, “that is the motive of the Egyptians;  and the Saudis, and the recent statement of King Ibn Sa'ua about isolating Iraq is a proof of what I say.”

    He said that he regretted that statement.

 

    I said, “No, on the contrary. I am happy for it because I prefer that facts should appear and their motive be known rather than hidden and covered.”

    He tried to find a way out of this Tri‑partite impasse. I told him, “There is no way out except by the Arab states agreeing to amend the Covenant of the Arab League and the Mutual Defence Pact, or by Syria putting some conditions in the Tri‑partite Pact which would make their acceptance difficult for the Saudis and the Egyptians. I feel that this is what could happen and that they would relieve themselves of signing the Pact.”

    He said that he wanted to come to an understanding with the United States, it being understood that he could not join the Turkish‑Iraqi Pact, for, even though he was convinced of its wisdom, for his own personal interest and public security he could not make this fact public, for the people do not like Britain and America. America should show its goodwill towards Syria. The oil companies should be more lenient and increase what they pay to Syria, and Ambassador Eric Johnston, special representative of President Eisenhower, should be called to be fair to the Arabs in the distribution of waters.

    We discussed the Communist danger in Syria and he affirmed that he had started combatting Communism. We reviewed the Communist danger in the Syrian army and Foreign Service. We discussed the Baath Party. He said the Party wanted cooperation with Iraq. We also discussed his cooperation with the People's Party. said that he was inclined to believe that Nazim al Qudsi of the People's party would win the election. He also said that there was small hope for Quwatli or 'Azm to succeed. He said that he was going to arrange for a meeting with Rushdi al‑Kikhia. He said that he greatly respected the President of the Republic, Hashim al‑Atasi, but that he had no confidence in his son 'Adnan.’ I asked, 'Why don't the two parties, the People's Party and the Nationalist party, cooperate with each other?'   He said, 'The People's Party uses intrigues and clever methods and they want their party alone to rule although they don't have a majority in the Parliament.'
 

I learnt from him that the relations of France with Syria and with Khalid al'Azm were strained and that France had stopped providing them with arms, and that was why they wanted arms from the United States.  I repeated to him that Iraq desired a stable, constitutional government for Syria, one respected by the Syrian people, friendly to Iraq, and considering Iraq as the first brother. He confirmed the necessity that Iraq should occupy first place in relation to Syria, and that Egypt and Saudi Arabia should in no way replace Iraq, for Saudi Arabia could not replace Iraq militarily, and Egypt could not replace Iraq economically.
 

    I explained to him, 'Iraq is strong and is getting stronger and richer. Any Syrian policy which does not move in the line of fraternity with Iraq would be a mistaken policy. Iraq believes in federation (ittihad), but that should be attained by the wish of the people with complete liberty and by constitutional methods. We harbour no specific plan and we have no specific policy which we wish to impose on Syria. False propaganda is being made against Iraq, namely, that Iraq wishes to join Syria in order to disband its army and dominate it. I know of no responsible Iraqi who would consider such a policy. We want Syria to be an independent state, brotherly to Iraq. Any cooperation, rapprochement, or federation must issue from the will of the Syrians themselves and not from invitations from Iraq, or intrigues, or coup d'etats. If the hearts are not united, there is no good in any political unity.
 

    He spoke about the mistakes of Iraqi politics in Syria during the last 10 years. I answered that the mistakes started with Syria at the hands of Quwatli who forgot what Iraq had done for Syria's independence and after that mutual mistakes began to follow one after the other.

    We reviewed the policy of Syria, Iraq and Egypt in the Arab League and in the international field, and I proved to him that Iraq's policy had been realistic and stable. Experience had proved its validity. 'Our brethren in Cairo are not realistic. They lack experience in the international field.' He agreed that the Egyptians talk a lot but in practice are not realistic.

    We separated with the hope of meeting again on another occasion, and I promised him that Iraq was ready to render any service for the good of Syria, and that I, personally, was ready to cooperate with the Syrians.

    In conclusion, I find that the Chief of the General Staff has a new outlook towards Iraq and the United States. I do not know whether that is temporary or permanent. Anyway, we must profit from this new trend. As for the Presidency, so long as the army thinks that neither Quwatli nor 'Azm might succeed, I see no big difference among the rest, especially since Sabri al 'Asali, Nazim al‑Qudsi and Lutfi al‑Raffar all have good sentiments toward Iraq.

    Dring the summer of 1955, while staying at Mont Vert Hotel in Broummana, I had lengthy discussions with several Syrian visitors.from both the Nationalist Party and the people's party one was Jalal as‑Sayyid,a very interesting serious nationalist who was a sincere unionist. He was a strong pillar of the Ba'ath Party. He came from Deir ez‑Zor, the part of Syria on the Euphrates adjacent to Iraq where the people are related by family and tribal ties to the northern part of Iraq. It has often been considered as a natural part of Iraq.

 

In Broummana I also had two lengthy meetings with the ideologist of the Baath Party, Michel 'Aflaq, who summered in a house just below my hotel. I called on him one evening and we had a long talk about Arab and world affairs. I invited him the next evening to have dinner with me and Dr Constantin Zuraiq. I found Michel 'Aflaq to be a theoretician with very little understanding of the realities of the Arab world. He did not impress me much and I thought that he did not provide the type of leadership which the Arab youth needed. He used slogans, some of which were high‑sounding and noble in words but he had no practical programme in deeds. Besides, his preaching of secularism or laicism would rob the Arab nation of its soul and its message to the world ‑‑ the message of faith in one God, human brotherhood, justice and equality for all mankind. His attitude toward Syrio‑Iraqi rapprochement was theoretical and non‑realistic as well. 'Aflaq's later role in Syrio‑Iraq politics confirmed my first impression. His recent ideological message has been a call for a rapprochement between the Baath Party and the Communist Party!
 

    Another very interesting personality summering in Broulnmano was Colonel Ghassan al‑Jadid, an ardent member of the Syrian Nationalist Party who was later assassinated in Beirut by the Syrian army. I saw him a couple of times through arrangements made by the Iraqi Military Attache. Ghassan al‑Jadid, who was from the Alawite district of Syria, played a role in the downfall of Shishakli. He had to quit Syria after the assassination of 'Adnan al‑Malki by a member of the Syrian Nationalist Party. Ghassan al‑Jadid, a brilliant, courageous, vigourous army officer, was very enthusiastic for the Syrio‑Iraqi federation. He was ready to play any role which would lead to that objective. His Party believed in the unity of the Fertile Crescent ‑‑ Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine ‑‑ and that the people of these countries formed one nation which had its distinct characteristics, and which formed a part of the Arab world. They were not part of one Arab nation, for, to them, the Arabs are not one nation, but several nations. This ideological distinction made the Party seem heretical in the sight of the Arab nationalists who considered the people of the whole Arab world to be one nation.


    The Syrian Nationalist Party had its Para‑military organization whose members were well disciplined, courageous and adventuresome. That is why the founder of the Party, Antun Sa'ada had a clash with the Lebanese government which led to a good deal of bloodshed. Sa'ada went to Syria where he was betrayed by Husni az‑Za'im who handed him over to the Lebanese government headed by the great Arab nationalist, Prime Minister Riyadh as‑Sulh. Ryadh had him tried and shot, Soon after, while visiting Jordan, Ryadh himself was shot dead by the Party.
 

    I met several other members or the Syrian Nationalist Party including George 'Abdul Messih, Asad al‑Ashqar, Moneer Ba'alebeki, Adeeb Qaddura, and most important, as far as I was concerned, my old friend and classmate, Sai'id Taqiyiddin, a graduate of the American University of Beirut, whose literary genius, charm and devotion I had always admired.
 

    I was fully convinced of the sincerity or this group in their desire to achieve Syrio‑Iraqi rapprochement. I worked hard to convince them that their ideology needed revision as rar as the Arab world went. They later changed the name or their party from the Syrian Nationalist Party to the National Socialist Party. My contacts with this party, in spite of our ideological divergence, continued to be friendly and cooperative until the downfall of the Iraqi royal regime in 1958.

 

 

    Shukri al‑Quwatli was carrying on his electoral campaign with Saudi money which was lavishly provided. A telegram from our Military Attache in Amman gave us an indication of what was happening. He stated:

            A new propaganda activity on behalf of Quwatli and against unity (Syrio‑Iraqi) has appeared recently from the Mufti (Haji        Ameen al‑Husaini) and from the members of the Syrian Deuxieme Bureau (lntelligence) who are still in Jordan. Behind all that is Saudi  gold. All these and the Press are anti‑Iraq.
 

            Before the election I sent a message to Rushdi al‑Kikhia charging him with a great historical responsibility for evading the duty of leading the country in the path of our common ideals.
 

    At the end of the summer of 1955 Shukri al‑Quwatli was elected President of Syria. I sent him a telegram of congratulations and best wishes. His answer to my telegram ran as follows: "I received with thanks and appreciation your fine congratulations and I reciprocate with you your good wishes for the Arab nation and the attainment of its goals in unity and strength."

    With the coming of Quwatli a new chapter of alienation from Iraq started. From then on Syrian politics began to move in a direction away from Iraq and two new forces prevailed in Syria. One was the growth of army influence in Syrian politics, and the second was the growth of Communist and BaÆth influence.
 

    Instead of turning to Iraq for help and cooperation, Syrian politics, with strong Egyptian Arab propaganda, turned towards Egypt. The BaÆath Socialist Party grew in influence and importance and Akram al‑Haurani, its most prominent politician became Head of the National Assembly and 'Afif al‑Bizri, a confirmed Communist, took over the army and became Chief of the General Staff.
 

    It may be interesting to add to this report the translation of a letter which I received from Natheer Fansa, a well‑known Syrian journalist and a brother‑in‑law of the first dictator of Syria, Husni as‑Za'im.

   

                                     October, 1956

   

You have undoubtedly heard the latest news from Syria and to what extent it has gone to the Left, especially after the recent statements of Sayed Sabri al‑'Asali to the press in which he expressed the necessity of marching in company with the communist states and warning and threatening anyone who goes contrary to this trend. And I believe you may have read our strong reactions to his statement and our ridicule of his stand and his latest trend. But what is the use, dear Sir, while Syria has been overwhelmed by this sweeping Communist propaganda, especially after the Western stand on the question of the Suez Canal and on arming the Arabs?

I do not want to make long statements for the subject should leave the realm of words, but I want to repeat what I told your Excellency some days ago in the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut, namely, the disease is known and the remedy available...

 

 

The Minister of Defence is your friend. The Chief of the General Staff is on your side, and some great officers are still loyal to you. Then there are some great political men like Rushdi Kikhia, Michail Ilian, 'Adnan al‑Atasi, Faidhi al‑Atasi and His Excellency Hashim Beg (Ex‑President of the Syrian Republic) all are with you and their hearts bleed for the present situation and for the recent trend.

Dear Excellency, the danger is not limited to Syria alone. It is now more serious than you think and more difficult than you imagine. I am afraid lest this danger will approach you and I have exact information to confirm this... I am very much afraid, very much, dear Sir.

Conditions have reached a stage when it is not permissible at all that Iraq should take such a passive stand and I‑told‑you‑so attitude. You may be entitled and have the full right just to look on and laugh at us, but I repeat that the situation is serious and the condition is dangerous. 'Your friend is he who tells you the truth and not he who says Yes to you.' Some friends asked me to go to Baghdad to explain to you the seriousness of the situation, but I thought that I had better write to you before coming. If you are ready 'to listen' I am at your disposal.

            Please, Sir, accept my sincerest respect.

    

During the 1956 assault of Israel, Britain and France on Egypt, one of the first things the anti‑Iraq forces in Syria did was to blow up the pumping stations of the Iraqi Petroleum Company near Homs. The flow of oil from Iraq to the Mediterranean was cut for several months. Iraq lost something like 50 million pounds sterling of its revenue that year.   It was at this juncture that Nuri as‑Sa’id began to feel how vital Syria was to Iraq and he began to think about the matter seriously. It was then that he started to work for the overthrow of the Syrian regime. I was at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City when I heard about the failure of a plot in Syria against the Syrian government. Nuri, without my knowledge, had contacted Colonel Shishakli, who had been overthrown by Iraq. Shishakli had come to Beirut and asked for 30,000 Iraqi dinars, 10,000 of which he received in advance from General Ghazi ad‑Daghistani. After having entered Syria incognito and having studied the situation with his army friends, Shishakli found that he was unable to arrange a coup and left the Middle East definitively.   The meetings which had been held in Beirut between Shishakli and Daghistani and some prominent Syrians included an agent who went and reported to the Syrian government, and some prominent Syrians had to suffer as a result. I must put on record here that I knew nothing about that movement until the news became public.
 

     After my return from the United States Nuri told me all about the plot and said, "Thank God that it did not succeed, for, had it succeeded, they might have considered it as part of the Israeli, French, British aggression."       In the summer of 1957 I was the guest of the Turkish government for a month. During this period I was in touch with my Syrian brethren, especially Mikhail Ilian, a prominent member of the Syrian Nationalist Party who was living in Hilton Hotel, Istambul, where I was staying. His Majesty the King of Iraq and his uncle were summering on the King's private yacht in the Bosphorus. One afternoon His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Ilah, Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi, who was also a guest of the Turkish government, and I were taking tea with Mikhail Ilian in his suite at the Hilton. The issue of the Communist takeover of the Syrian army was discussed with the possible repercussion of such a move on Iraq. Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi suggested contacting the Turkish government and seeking its advice on the situation.
 

     A few days later I had a telephone call from the Iraqi Ambassador, Nejib ar‑Rawi, asking me to attend, before noon, at the Yeldiz Palace. H. M. the King, H. R. R. Prince 'Abdul Ilah, H.E. the President of the Turkish Republic, Jalal Bayyar, Premier 'Adnan Menderis, Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi, the Iraqi Ambassador, some Turkish officials and I were there. We discussed the situation and then had lunch together. It was confirmed by the Turks that the Communist danger was growing in Syria and that the danger would affect the whole area of the Middle East. Mr Menderes suggested that both Iraq and Turkey should approach the United States.
 

     At that time Iraq had 'Ali Jawdat al‑Ayoubi as Prime Minister. 'Ali Jawdat wished to get along with the Syrian regime as it stood. He did not seem to be concerned or worried about the Communist danger so he had nothing to tell the United States. Turkey, on the other hand, immediately contacted the United States, and within a few days Mr Loy Henderson came to Istanbul to discuss the situation with us. In the meeting Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi had left Istanbul.
 

     A few days after his departure I was called again to attend at Yeldiz Palace. This time Mr Loy Henderson was present at the meeting. He confirmed the growth of the Communist influence in Syria, but he said that the United States did not wish to intervene and left the matter to the states in the area. If the states in the area were involved in any trouble, then America was bound to come to the aid of her allies and the Sixth Fleet might be called upon. Turkey said, "We do not wish to intervene in Syria. We leave it to Iraq. It is an inter‑Arab problem, but, if Iraq is threatened and involved, we are ready to help Iraq." The Iraqi government, headed by Premier 'Ali Jawdat, saw no danger coming from Communism in Syria.
 

     Mr Henderson, in a private meeting with me, asked if Iraq was really going to move and do something about Syria. I answered frankly that, considering 'Ali Jawdat's present mood, I foresaw no such possibility.  In Syria the Ba’ath Party and the Communists were competing for power, and the communists were successful in some municipal elections. That scared the Ba’ath and other Syrian nationalists. Some thought that the best way to save the situation would be to throw Syria into the lap of Nasir. The Syrian parliament, by an overwhelming majority, voted for the union with Egypt, and a Syrian delegation went to Cairo and offered Syria to Nasir unconditionally on a golden tray.

 

 

     At that time I was in Ankara with Nuri as‑Sa'id attending a Baghdad Pact meeting. I immediately wrote an article for my daily newspaper, AI‑'Amal, which was appearing in Baghdad. The article was entitled, "Defiance or Unity" (Tahaddi Em Ittihad). That article aroused a storm of opposition against me. How could Fadhel Jamali condemn Arab unity! In truth I was not against Arab unity, but I was against the unnatural, illogical step taken in uniting Syria with Egypt before Syrian unity with Iraq. I would not have objected to Syrio‑Iraqi unity with Egypt. Besides I do not believe in Egyptian domination over any other Arab state. I believe in a federation based on equality and brotherhood, but not in amalgamation.   My article raised a storm, and after that a political war ensued between me and President Nasir. Addressing one of the greatest rallies ever held in the Marja Square of Damascus, President Nasir spoke to the masses telling them: "AI‑Jamali‑‑ and you all know who al‑Jamali is ‑‑ al‑Jamali is an agent of imperialism and his paper is financed by the imperialists."   In an article answering President Nasir I said, "I do not blame H.E. the President for what he said about Jamali, for he may not know him well enough personally, but I do blame his Egyptian and Syrian aides who know Jamali's services to the cause of Arab independence and freedom and who may not have told him the truth. Besides, my paper was financed by a mere thousand dinars put up half and half myself and my colleague, Dr 'Abdul Majeed 'Abbas, with no financial help from any outside source If the imperialists should ever provide me with any money I would put it on a silver tray and present it to H.E. President Nasir."
 

     After the Syrian‑Egyptian union in l958, Syria became a source of danger to the regimes of Arab neighbours. Syrians were mobilized to penetrate Lebanon and create a civil war inside Lebanon. The Syrians in the Deuxieme Bureau, led by Colonel 'Abdul Hameed as‑Sarraj, were active in Jordan and Iraq. Iraq had had two short‑lived Cabinets, one led by 'Ali Jawdat al‑Ayoubi, and the other by 'Abdul Wahab Mirjan, both of which were not alert to the struggle with the anti‑Iraq forces in the Middle East.
 

     After the Syrian‑Egyptian amalgamation, I was active in trying to convince the Palace of the urgent need for the Iraqi‑Jordanian federation. Once the principle was accepted, a new Iraqi Cabinet was formed under Nuri Pasha in 1958 in which I entered as Minister of Foreign Affairs. That Cabinet was to be a transitional one:‑

‑ to implement the Arab Union comprising Jordan and Iraq.

‑ to revise the Iraqi Constitution accordingly.    

‑ to request the United States to furnish Iraq with 80 planes

‑through the Military Aid Plan. This item was never provided because of America procrastination

 

 

The fact remains that Syria was and is divided by many political parties, provincial interests, and various stages of culture as well as by varieties of religions and religious sects. Although Syria presents the most vocal aspects of Arab nationalism, it is so divided ideologically and politically that its free democratic regime was badly abused and the parties encouraged the army to enter politics. The army discovered that playing politics pays. But successive coup d'etats and assassinations deprived the country of some of its best army officers, and, by engaging almost exclusively in politics, the army neglected its technical advancement. Foreign powers found ample opportunity to fish in the muddy waters of Syria. My conversation with the Chief of the General Staff, Shuqair, showed that many states were meddling in Syrian affairs. Saudi Arabia had oil money flowing there. Egypt sent one of its most active men, Mahmoud Riadh, as Ambassador. Israel had spies like Eli Cohen. Turkey was ever alert to see what was happening to Syria. Jordan wanted Syria to be a Hashemite state. Iraq worked for a federation with Syria. France considered Syria as one of its zones of influence. Britain was playing with some political parties and groups. The Druzes are traditionally known to depend on Britain. The United states had its Central Intelligence Agency and its cultural and missionary work in Syria. The Soviet Union had the Communist Party headed by Khalid Baqdash. The prominent nationalist, Shukri al‑Quwatli, and the capitalist, Khalid al‑' Azm were both invited to Moscow. Thus Syria was divided from within and was never left in peace from without. In my opinion Syria's highest interest would be best served by a genuinely democratic nationalist government which would core for and harmonize all its diverse elements and which would federate with a nationalist democratic government in Iraq which integrated all the elements of the Iraqi people. Both Syria and Iraq represent a rich variety of human elements, but all these elements should feel loyalty to the state and should have their voice and interests represented in the state.
 

     I worked hard and spent much time and energy to promote Syrio‑Iraqi federation. I convinced my friend, the Turkish Premier, 'Adnan Menderis, that Turkey should withdraw its objection to such a federation. I worked hard with the British and the American for the same objective. I had tea with the French Ambassador in Beirut and tried to convince him that such a federation would not undermine Lebanese independence, and that unity would not harm the intersects of French culture in the Middle East. I had a lengthy meeting with the Maronite al‑Kataib Party in Lebanon assuring them that Iraq would always respect Lebanese integrity. The only three powers which Iraq could not overcome in Syria were Saudi Arabian generosity, Egyptian propaganda and Israeli intrigues. Saudi Arabian and Israeli influence in the United States both affected the United States attitude on the question or Syrio‑Iraqi federation. Nevertheless I was working hard to win American acquiescence to Iraq's policy of Syrio‑Iraqi federation.
 

     Of course the Soviet Union profited most from the condition of chaos and division. The Arab themselves and the Western powers, having no positive constructive policy for the Middle East, opened the way for Russia to easily exploit the situation. My approach to the Syrian problem was always guided by the following principles:

     1. Support for the return to a constitutional system of government in Syria.

      2. Readiness to move with Syria by constitutional means towards a confederation headed by H.M King Faisal II of Iraq.

       3. Readiness to offer help to the Syrian government provided the request came from the legal representative body.

       4. Readiness to respond to any request for help in case of internal disorder in Syria.

       5. Desire that the Syrians themselves should govern Syria without any external interference.

       6. Encouragement for non‑governmental, economic and personal contacts as well as enlightenment of the public on the principles of confederation through all mass media.

 

 

       I must express my deep respect and appreciation for the efforts and encouragement of Crown Prince 'Abdul Ilah whose genuine faith in Syrio‑Iraqi federation was an expression of honest national sentiment. It is most unfair to accept the propaganda directed against him after his death which said that he was working primarily to secure a throne for himself in Syria. I have two proofs to support my view that this insinuation was untrue. The first is that, in discussions and arrangements with the Syrian leaders in 1955, it was understood that King Faisal II of Iraq was to be the head of the federation. That was Prince 'Abdul Ilah's own view. The second was that, in 1955, when Tawfiq as‑Suwaidi and I met with him in the presence of H. M. the King at Sarsang he bluntly told us, "Tell the Syrians that, if the Iraqi throne stands in the way of Syrio‑Iraqi unity, we are ready to leave the throne of Iraq if that will serve Arab national interest." I think that was an expression of readiness to sacrifice self‑interest for national interest. A man who makes such a statement is not working selfishly to get a throne for himself.
 

       Until his death, my friend and colleague, former Prime Minister of Iraq, Saleh Jabr worked with faith and devotion for the Arab cause everywhere and especially for the federation of Syria and Iraq. He never failed to render all the encouragement, advice and help that I asked for in my endeavour for Syrio‑Iraqi federation.
 

       I wish also to put on record my appreciation and esteem for Colonel Saleh Mahdi as‑Samarra'i who was our military attache in Beirut and Damascus until the downfall of the royal regime. He was also working with faith and devotion for the national cause.
 

       I should like to thank the late Riyadh as‑Sulh, former Prime Minister of Lebanon, whose help and guidance I shall never forget. He was a great Arab nationalist who had Syrio‑Iraqi federation at heart. I well remember that he arranged a meeting between Nazim al‑Qudsi and me in Shtawra. He took me in his car from Beirut to Shtawra, a point midway between Beirut and Damascus, while Nazim al‑Qudsi came from Damascus. We talked about federating Iraq and Syria. Nazim Beg was not interested in the union of Iraq and Syria alone. He wanted all the Arab world to unite at one and the same time. In other words, he held an all‑or‑nothing policy which would result in nothing. My reaction was to cite a Persian proverb which I had learnt at school. Sanga buzurg 'alamata nazadanist. "To lift too big a stone is a sign (there will be) no hitting." Riyadh was on my side and he worked hard to convince Nazim Beg, but to no avail. This was only one example of Riyadh as‑Sulh's genuine efforts.
 

       President Camille Sham’un of Lebanon is a true Arab nationalist and a sincere friend of Iraq. He had Syrio‑Iraqi Federation close to his heart and he rendered all the help and advice Lebanon could offer to the cause. I often had meetings with him when we discussed the question of Syrio‑Iraqi federation and reviewed the whole situation. I benefited by listening to his comments and advice.
 

       I have no words to express my gratitude for my friend and brother, Kamil Muruwa, for his devotion and enthusiasm for the cause of Arab unity. Kamil put his influential paper, Al‑Hayat, at the service of the sacred cause and exerted all the effort he could muster in studying the situation and reporting on developments. He went ahead with preparing and publishing a Monograph on Unity of which he distributed 10,000 copies in Syria.   Another brother whose services and enthusiasm I must acknowledge is Professor Akram Zu'aiter whose eloquence and charming style in the speeches he gave and the articles he wrote for the national cause provided a big unifying force. Professor Sati' al‑Hasri, Kamil Muruwa and Akram Zu’aiter together wrote the Monograph on Unity.   


         In spite of everything I still think that Syrio-Iraqi federation is a living issue which will continue to be important. The federation of Syria and Iraq is a step in the path of an all-Arab federation-which remains to be achieved. Past mistake s should be avoided and obstacles, whether Arab or foreign, should be overcome. It is incumbent on those who have the destiny of the Arab nation in hand to carry the torch of unity and move forward. Syrio-Iraqi unity has to be realized soon if the Arab world is to fulfill its national aspirations.

 

 

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Kuwait

 

IRAQ AND LEBANON

 

       The relations between Iraq and Lebanon have been educational, economic and political at the same time. Lebanon is a great centre of modern learning which provides a meeting place for Western and Arab cultures.
 

       Over fifty years ego, in 1921, when the Kingdom of Iraq was established and King Faisal the First was enthroned, I was among six students chosen by the Iraqi Ministry of Education to study at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. We want by the sea route which took us via Basrah, Karachi, Bombay, Aden and Suez to Haifa. From there we took the train to Damascus and Beirut. The other members of the group were, Mohammed Deshti, Khalil Feddoo, Hasan Jwad, Muhyiddin Yusuf and Yusuf Zainal. The trip took us 39 days. Two years later the desert route was opened, and people began to cross the desert by automobile And bus, a journey which took some 24 hours. Today the trip by jet plane takes less than one hour.
 

       In 1924 we suddenly and unexpectedly found that we had become Lebanese citizens. This happened when Turkey and the Allies signed the Lausanne Treaty, for it stated that all subjects of the old Ottoman territories would become citizens of the territory in which they were at the time of signing. This provision of the Treaty made us Lebanese citizens. We had to go through the process of re-establishing our Iraqi citizenship based on the fact that we were in Lebanon on an Iraqi government educational mission.
 

       At the American University I majored in Education and minored in Natural Sciences. In addition to my academic education, I practised and lived inter-Arab unity. In the student society of 'Urwat al-Wuthqa, Arab students met together -- Iraqis, Syriens, Lebanese, Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Sudanese -- and we all worked together for our national aims, namely, the liberation and union of the Arab nation. Besides, in the Brotherhood society, we learnt to practice tolerance in inter-religious relationships. Muslims, Christians, Jews and Druzes used to meet to learn to understand and respect each other. Beirut was a great centre for education in Arab nationalism And religious tolerance.
 

       After the arrival of our group in Beirut the flow of students from Iraq increased, from year to year. Hundreds of students from Iraq, men and women, went to the American University of Beirut for their university education or for a year or two as a preparation for going to other universities-in the United States. Very soon Iraqi graduates of the A. U. B. began to occupy responsible positions in the various Ministries of the Iraqi government.
 

       After my graduation in 1927 I returned to Iraq and started teaching at the Teacher Training College of Baghdad. In those days Iraq needed teachers for its educational development, and Beirut was an important center for recruiting teachers. Since I often spent my summer vacations in Lebanon, I was Asked by the Ministry of Education to take pert with the American University in the selection and recruitment of teachers for Iraq. The teachers were usually graduates of the A.U.B. and included Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanians and Palestinians.
 

       When crossing the desert became easy due to better mean of transportation, Iraqis began to spend the summer months in Lebanon where they could escape the heat of Baghdad and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery of the mountains of Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea. Thus Iraqi-Lebanese educational and economic relations become well established over the years, and those of us who had been educated in Beirut felt quite at home in Lebanon. In 1929 I went to the United States for my post-graduate studies in Education. On my return in 1932 up until the end of l942, I occupied administrative posts in the Ministry of Education, progressing from Supervisor General to Director General of Education. One of my functions in Education was the recruitment of Lebanese teacher and the sending of Iraqi students to the American University of Beirut. The numbers continued to increase with the development of Iraq up till the Second World War. Beirut continues to be an important educational centre attracting students from all over the Middle East.


            During World War II, I was transferred from the Ministry of Education to take up the post of Director General of Foreign Affairs. It was at this time that the Lebanese national leaders, side by side with the Syrian national leaders, began to struggle for the termination of the French Mandate and for the independence of Lebanon. In Beirut Iraq had an accomplished Consul General, Tahseen Qadri, of Syrian descent. He later became the Minister at the head of the Iraqi diplomatic mission to Syria and Lebanon. He was well known to the early Arab nationalist for he had been aide-de- camp to King Faisal I. He had the friendship of the Lebanese political leaders and he reported their views and problems faithfully. At the same time he had the cooperation and confidence of both General Edward Spears, the British representative, and Mr George Wadsworth, the American government's representative in Beirut. It was Iraqis role to plead for the termination of the French Mandate and for the recognition of Lebanon as an independent state.


       When the Lebanese leaders, including Bishara al-Khuri, Riyadh as-Sulh, Camille Sham’un, Saleem Taqla, 'Abdul Hameed Karami, 'Adil 'Usayran and others, were arrested by the French I wrote a few strong article for the Iraqi press defending the cause of Lebanon. Being Director General of Foreign Affairs at the time I could not sign my own name to what I wrote and so I used a pen name. Fortunately the United Kingdom and the United States both stood by Lebanon and defence the cause of its independence. Iraq, then did its best to see to it that Lebanon and Syria were both invited to the United Nations Conference in San Francisco 1954.

 
      At San Francisco the Iraqi delegation worked hand in hand with the four other Arab delegations, namely, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. I established Friendly relations with Lebanese delegates, Wadi’ Na'im, Josef Salem and ‘Abdullah al-Yafi. Dr Charles Malik, another member of the delegation was already an old friend and classmate of mine. We thus had fine team work in San Francisco.


       I was on the Trusteeship Committee that drafted Article 78 of the United Nation Charter which put a legal end to the French Mandate over Syria and Lebanon  and assured them of achieving political independence.   The Article stated that "The Trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality."


     Before the United Nations Conference in San Francisco, Lebanon had already taken part in the establishment of the League of the Arab States and from then on Iraq's cooperation with Lebanon on a new political dimension. The Iraqi delegation which I used to lead to the United Nations cooperated fully and harmoniously with the delegation of Lebanon. Our policies in the world body were very close although Iraq usually was more forward, sharp and direct in stating them.

 
    In the autumn of 1946 the British government called for an Arab Conference in London. As Foreign Minister I led the Iraqi delegation to that Conference. It was there that I came to know Camille Sham’un for the first-time. He was the Lebanese Minister to Great Britain and he headed the Lebanese delegation to the Conference. I came to appreciate his fine qualities and his zeal in defending the Arab cause. Later on we worked together in the United Nations fighting against the partition of Palestine And the establishment of Israel. Camille Sham’un was brilliant speaker and a charming states man. Our friendship and cooperation continued when he became President of the Lebanese Republic.

 
        Riyadh as-Sulh, a well-known Arab nationalist, who became the first Prime Minister of Lebanon, was a loyal friend to Iraq, and we could cooperate with him in all matters and situations arising in the Arab League. The Arab League was often divided about the way to handle the Palestine problem and about matters arising from differences in points or view where Iraq was on one side, and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt on the other. Riyadh as-Sulh acted as an intermediary and harmonizer. Before going to the Arab League, we often had a preparatory meeting in Beirut which included representatives or Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Unfortunately my Syrian and Lebanese colleagues sometimes came to one decision in Beirut and then had to reverse it in the meeting in Cairo when they found Egypt or Saudi Arabia in determined opposition. Syria and Lebanon felt that the Arab League structure was not yet strong and homogeneous and that it was important to hold all the members together.

 
    Riyadh's zeal and work for Syrio-Iraqi unity and inter-Arab harmony was genuine and memorable. I shall never forget his efforts in the last days of his life to bring me together with Nazim a1-Qudsi of Syria in Shtawra

(See Syria,129 ).

 

     Side by side with Riyadh as-Sulh I should like to remember with appreciation the wise and respected Foreign Minister of Lebanon, Hameed Franjia, who played a constructive role in handling Lebanese relations with sister Arab states. Lebanon was deprived of a highly qualified man when he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and fell ill.  In succeeding years at the United Nations I continued to cooperate with leaders of the Lebanese delegation –- Philip Taqla, Charles Helou, Fuad Ammun, and most of all, Dr Charles Malik. We usually consulted on all matters affecting our policies. We were united in defending the Arab cause, standing by the liberation movements in Asia and Africa, and following an anti-Communist line. This same policy was followed by Iraq and Lebanon in the Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955, where Dr Charles Malik was the embodiment of Lebanese policies and the Lebanese delegation was the closest one to the delegation of Iraq.

     Lebanon, although a small Arab state, had a great advantage in international affairs because of its Christian-Muslim character and because it represented a meeting place for the occident and orient, culturally and politically. In 1952 the government of Pakistan proposed a summit meeting for the heads of Muslim states. Teheran was suggested as the place of meeting. I went to Karachi to discuss the matter with the Governor-General, my friend Ghulam Mohammed. From Karachi I flew straight to Beirut where I had a meeting with President Bishara al-Khouri, a Maronite Christian and a broadminded, wise statesman. I put before him the idea of the Islamic summit conference and suggested that Lebanon should certainly take part, for the presence of Lebanon would serve the cause of Christian-Islamic brotherhood and mutual understanding. Furthermore, the presence of Lebanon would ally any suspicious or misunderstanding in the West towards the Islamic conference. I emphasized the importance of Lebanon’s role as a connecting link and a symbol of brotherhood between Islam and Christianity. Sheikh Bishara listened very carefully and responded very generously. Unfortunately the summit conference was never realized -- not because of Lebanon, but mainly because Egypt and Turkey for the moment showed no interest in the project. 
                             

     At the time of my Premiership, 1953-54, Beirut was the meeting place of Syrian Arab nationalists who had sought refuge there from the dictatorship of Shishakli. Since Shishakli's policy was anti-Iraq in those days, we contacted the Syrian leaders and helped them in their efforts to rid Syria of Shishakli. My friend, ex-Premier Saleh Jabr, was requested to go to Lebanon to achieve two purposes. The overt one was to study with the Lebanese government the possibility of diverting the oil pipeline which used to run from Kirkuk to Haifa to make it run from Mafraq in Jordan to a port in Lebanon. At the same time he was authorized to contact the Syrians and render them all the help they needed.
 

     I myself made occasional trips to Beirut and contacted personalities there like Sheikh Ma’aruf Dawalibi, 'Adnan al-Atasi, Salahuddin al-Bitar and Michel 'Aflaq, and others. Besides, the Lebanese press, and especially Al-Hayat, owned by my friend Kamil Muruwa, volunteered to serve the cause of Syrio-Iraqi federation. President Sham’un was aware of Iraq's intentions and policies with which he was quite sympathetic. He often gave valuable advice.
 

     One of the big obstacles to Syrio-Iraqi unity was the Lebanese Christian fear of Muslim domination. That fear had some historical roots from the Ottoman days and it was nurtured by old French colonial policies. France used to consider herself as the protector of the Christians of Lebanon. Christian-Muslim feelings have been largely harmonized in modern times and a sense of national unity and brotherhood prevails today in Syria and Lebanon and religious tolerance has become the order of the day, but there will always be some residue of the past in the subconscious.
 

     Fortunately, on account of Iraq's record of amity and understanding of the Lebanese situation, the Christians of Lebanon harboured confidence in her good intentions towards Lebanon in the case of federation between Iraq and Syria. To emphasize this fact and to assure my Christian brethren in Lebanon that Iraq would always stand by them and appreciate their point of view, I had a lengthy session at the headquarters of Al-Kataib, the Maronite Christian Party and Organization, with the leaders of the movement headed by Sheikh Pierre al-Jumayyil. Accompanied by my friend, Muhsin Saleem, a well-known lawyer, I also had an excellent session with His Eminence the Maronite Patriarch Maoushi with whom I had a very friendly and frank talk about Muslim-Christian brotherhood and the need for checking the tide of materialism and moral disintegration in modern times. Patriarch Maoushi is a man of high standing in statesmanship and religious affairs. He is one of those who see the value of Lebanese-Arab unity and harmony. The important thing to the Christians of Lebanon is to preserve the unity and identity of Lebanon and to see to it that Lebanon is not swallowed by or amalgamated with its Arab neighbours. This wish I was ready to support.
 

     Lebanon is the home of another movement which was started by a Christian but which has adopted a laic philosophy and a concept of nationalism much more restricted than Arabism. It is the Syrian Nationalist Party founded by Antun Sa'ada in the 30's of this century. This party holds that the people of the Fertile Crescent, which includes Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine, form one nation. The star or the Crescent will be Cyprus. This militant party had its own cult and rigid discipline .

    I had rather contradictory with the leaders of this party. Knowing my genuine desire for Syrio-Iraqi federation and my faith in unity, they approached me through the dynamic Iraqi military attach6, Colonel Salih Mehdi Samarra'i, who himself was devoted to the cause or Syrio-Iraq federation. They offered their help for the cause of unity and asked Iraq for material support. For my part I was appreciative or their zeal and readiness for sacrifice, but I continued to preach a broader Arab nationalism to them. I did, to some extent, accept cooperation with them on the understanding that any federation in the Fertile Crescent would be a station on the way to greater Arab unity. I had meetings with Georges 'Abdul Massih, one of their leaders who was later dropped by the Party. Asad al-Ashqar, Ghassan al-Jedid, Adeeb Qaddure and Sa’id Taqiyiddin. The latter a great Lebanese literary figure was my friend and classmate in U.A.B. I had great faith in his sincerity and devotion. He sacrificed all his possessions in serving the cause in which he believed.


    Realizing the important role which France could play in Lebanese politics, I accepted an invitation to tea from the French Ambassador to Lebanon, H.E. Mr Balayc whom I knew personally since he had previously been stationed in Baghdad. On this occasion I explained to him exactly my idea or the Syrio-Iraqi federation which I hoped would be realized through free democratic processes and would serve both countries. I assured the Ambassador that such a federation would in no way be harmful or inimical to any Arab state and this would be especially true for Lebanon whose independence and special character Iraq appreciated and respected. Moreover such a federation would surely promote Syrio-Iraqi friendship and cooperation with France. Mr Balayc showed complete understanding and expressed sympathy and approval of the effort.   My purpose was mainly to allay French and Lebanese Christian fears of such a federation.     My friend Kamil Muruwa, appreciating the role of France and the French language in Lebanese politics, often advised that Iraq should purchase a French language newspaper in Beirut. This idea, however, could not be swallowed by Iraqi politicians. Nuri as-Sa’id once told me, "Syrio-Iraqi federation requires the agreement of France." But he did not, at the time, put much faith in the use of mass media and propaganda machinery for achieving political ends.

    Beirut, besides being a center for cooking Syrio-Iraqi federation, also became a battle ground on which the cold war over the Baghdad Pact was waged by the press. Egypt and Saudi Arabia both had press and propaganda media in Lebanon. Iraq and its pro-Western friends defended the cause of the Baghdad Pact. Lebanese foreign policy had much in common with Iraqi foreign policy as far as relations with the West was concerned.

    President Camille Sham’un was kept fully informed on Iraq's moves in the Baghdad Pact affair and his counsel and point of view were well appreciated by Iraq. The pact in its early stages, was called the Pact of Mutual Cooperation between turkey and Iraq. After Great Britain, Iran and Pakistan had joined, it became known as the Baghdad Pact. When President Gamal 'Abdul Nasir called for a meeting of the Arab Prime Ministers in Cairo in order to unite them against Iraq's entry into the Pact of Mutual Cooperation, I was in Lebanon. I had a lengthy meeting with President Sham'un in which he advised that Iraq should be represented at the meeting in order to present and defend its point of view. He thought that, if Prime Minister Nuri did not wish to be present himself, he might nominate me to represent Iraq. That is what actually happened for I led the Iraqi delegation to the meeting of the Arab Prime Ministers.

    But while Lebanese foreign policy, as represented by the President, was on the side of Iraq, the Lebanese Prime Minister, the popular Sami as-Sulh, held views similar to those of Egypt and took Egypt's side although he tried to maintain a show of complete neutrality. When I suggested at the Prime Ministers' meeting that a delegation should be sent to Baghdad to talk over the question of the Pact of Mutual Cooperation, Sami as-Sulh was nominated to head the delegation. While he was in Baghdad his Iraqi chauffeur report to Nuri as-Sa'id a conversation between Sami as-Sulh and Salah Salem. Sami stated that he was against Iraq's policy and in full accord with Egypt.

    When the tension between Iraq and Egypt began to increase, President Sham'un suggested to President Nasir that a meeting of heads of Arab stats should be held in Beirut to bring about understanding and harmony among the sister Arab states, but there were no positive results and the cold war continued between Iraq and Egypt.

    After Iraq’s entry into the Pact of Mutual Cooperation between Turkey and Iraq, later called the Baghdad Pact and Egypt’s negative stand, hops of having Lebanon join the Pact began to diminish. The same was true in the case of Jordan and Syria. The masses were aroused against the Pact by propaganda in the mass media. In spite of Lebanon's friendship and affinity with Iraq and Turkey, it was not practical for her to join. President Sham’un was a sincere friend of Iraq, so, when the cold war between Egypt and Iraq became intense, the anti-Iraq propaganda machinery in Beirut mobilized a section of the Lebanese community to be anti-Sham’un. In 1958 an attempt was being made to amend the Lebanese Constitution so that President Sham’un could be reelected. The anti Sham’unites, helped by Egypt and the Syrian Deuxieme Bureau, started politically inspired strikes which led to sanguine incidents inside Lebanon. Syrian elements, said to be directed by President 'Abdul Nasir's regime in Syria, began to infiltrate into Lebanon and add fuel to the fire. Lebanon considered this to be an interference in its internal affairs and took the case to the Council of the League of Arab States and then to the Security Council of the United Nations, accusing Egypt of interfering in the internal affairs of Lebanon and jeopardizing its safety and security. Iraq sympathized wi:h President Sham-un. I was asked-by H.M. King Faisal II to defend the cause of Lebanon at the security council of which Iraq was a member at the time. Accordingly I went to New York and delivered a speech in defence of Lebanon. My speech contained a definition or Nasirism and explained that it meant the domination by President Nasir or the Arab world and the opening of doors for Communism to penetrate the Arab world. That speech cost me a sentence or 20 years imprisonment passed on me in December, 1958, by the Special High Military Tribunal or Iraq. A special Article had been inserted in the Criminal Law prepared by the Iraqi revolutionaries against the old regime. The article stipulated that who ever delivered a speech in an international body against the head or an Arab state should be sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. All such revolutionary laws were applied retroactively. I was the only person accused under that Article.

    While attending the Security Council in the spring of 1958, my efforts were not limited to work in the United Nations. I cooperated with Dr Charles Malik, the Lebanese Foreign Minister, to think or ways and means by which peace and harmony could be restored to Lebanon. I thought at the time that Iraq could playa significant role to that effect, and that Lebanon should and could rely on Iraq for help in getting out or her predicament. I conveyed a message to President Sham'un through Dr Charles Malik suggesting that Lebanon might consider possible ways of associating herself with Iraq and or getting Iraqi support in restoring peace and resisting external infiltration and aggression. Lebanon might: join the Arab Union which federated Jordan and Iraq, or, enter a treaty relationship with Iraq like the one which I had signed on behalf or Iraq with Jordan in 1947, according to which either state could call on the other for help in case of internal mutiny or disorder, or, sign a military pact with Iraq.

    When informed by Lebanon about the various proposals, Nuri as-Sa'id, Prime Minister of the Ar9b Union, approved of them. At first President Shamoun thought that the second possibility might be considered, but, in the end, he did not act on any of the proposals because he questioned the reliability of the Iraqi army. I myself had no knowledge or information about the political and cross currents inside the Iraqi military establishment.

    In Washington, Lebanese Foreign Minister Charles Malik and I had tea with Under Secretary of State Christian Herter. Mr Rockwell, a State Department official, was present also .During the course of the conversation we discussed ways and means of restoring peace to Lebanon and ways in which America could help. I made a proposal, namely, that America should provide Ir9q with twenty army transport planes to carry Iraqi troops via Turkey to the Mediterranean and land them in Beirut. The Iraqi military force would stand between the two sides in the fighting as a bulwark of peace and prevent a continuation of the fighting while law and order was restored. Mr Rockwell asked me in passing, "Are you sure of your army” No decision was reached at this meeting.

    Soon after that I returned to Iraq and conveyed Mr Rockwell's remark about the Iraqi army to Foreign Minister of the Arab Union Tawfiq as-Suwaidi who passed it on to the Prime Minister of the Arab Union, Nuri as-Sa'id. Tawfiq as-Suwaidi told me later that Nuri pasha called American Ambassador Gallman and furiously protested the imputation concerning the Iraqi army. A few days later, July 14, 19se, the downfall of the royal regime was effected by the Iraqi army. The situation in Lebanon became more complicated as a result, and America landed troops in the country. In Iraq many members of the royal regime, including myself, were arrested and put in prison to stand trial on various accusations.

    My cultural and ideological relations with Lebanon will always remain as long as I live. I love Lebanon and its mountains. I have walked on foot from village to village from north to south and I have climbed all the highest mountain peaks. Besides, I have often gone to Lebanon to take part in cultural activities, giving lectures on Iraq, Middle Eastern politics and Education. From time to time some of my writings have appeared in the Lebanese press, especially in AI-Hayat daily newspaper, and several of my books in Arabic have been published in Beirut. I continue to cherish the friendship of many Lebanese nationalists and intellectuals, just as I value highly the spirit of brotherhood and harmony between races and sects on which Lebanon is founded. I think that the Lebanese ideals of freedom and tolerance are much needed in the Arab world today. 


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IRAQ AND JORDAN

Towards the end of the First World War, when Emir Faisal, the third son of King Husain of Hejaz, entered Syria at the head of. the Arab army and was enthroned as the King of Syria. Iraq nationalists called for Emir Abdullah the second son of King Husain, to become king of Iraq. Very soon, however. the French evicted King Faisal from Syria and a campaign started for him to become King of Iraq. Emir Abdullah always felt that he was the legitimate King of Iraq, and he never forgot that his brother replaced him on the throne which was to have been his. After losing the chance of becoming the King of Iraq, he became the Emir of the barren land of Transjordan lying east of the Jordan River, a country which was mainly tribal and not economically viable. Transjordan, like Iraq and Palestine, was put under British Mandate by the League of Nations.                                               

       Emir Abdullah's relations with Iraq. a country which was also poor at the time, rested mainly on family ties which made the younger brother, Faisal. act as generously as possible towards his elder brother. But Transjordan depended mainly on British subsidies for maintaining its army and administration.  Transjordant’s importance to Iraq was partly due to the oil pipeline which ran from Kirkuk in Iraq and across Trans-Jordan before reaching the port of Haifa in Palestine. The much-spoken-of Baghdad-Haifa railway which was to have given Iraq access to the Mediterranean, would also have  had to pass through Transjordan. The idea of the railway was not pursued after the desert route to Beirut was opened to motor transport. The use of the pipeline was stopped after the 1948 occupation of Haifa by Israel.

       Emir 'Abdullah paid occasional visits to Iraq, and it was during one of those visits in the 30' s that I first went to pay my respects to His Royal Highness Emir ‘Abdullah an impressive Arab personality, well cultivated in Arab tradition and literature. He was more conservative than his younger brother Faisal.  I also had the pleasure or meeting Emir 'Abdullah's eldest son, Emir Talal, who paid occasional visits to Baghdad. He was a very polite and subdued Arab nationalist.

 

       In the 30's, After having achieved independence, Iraq had a succession or internal troubles -- the Assyrian problem, the death or King Faisal the First, tribal upheavals, the Bekr Sidqi coup d'etat, the killing of the Minister of Defence, Ja’afar al-Askeri, the killing of the Minister of Finance, Rustam Haidar, the death of young King Ghazi in a car accident in 1939. During these years there was not much give and take between Iraq and Transjordan, but the family ties among the members of the ruling house were always alive.

       King Ghazi was succeeded by his son, King Faisal the Second, who was a baby at the time. His uncle, Prince 'Abdul Ilah son of King ‘Ali, the eldest son of King Husain of Hejaz, acted on his behalf as Regent. Prince 'Abdul Ilah was the brother of Queen 'Alia, who was the mother of King Faisal the Second. The prince was very considerate and respectful towards his uncle, Emir 'Abdullah, whom he considered as the head of the royal Hashemite family.

       When Prince 'Abdul Ilah had to flee Iraq at the time of the clash between the Rasheed 'Ali Gailani government and the British in 1941, Prince 'Abdul Ilah and a small team of Iraqi statesmen sought refuge in Transjordan. They returned to Iraq at the head of the Transjordanian army and entered Baghdad as seviours. From then on, Iraq's ties with Transjordan became more vital. Emir 'Abdullah's visits to Baghdad and Prince 'Abdul Ilah's visits to Amman became more frequent during the Second World War.  In 1945 the Arab League was formed with both Iraq and Transjordan among the founding members. The year 1946 saw the termination of the British Mandate over Transjordan and the declaration of its independence, at which time Emir 'Abdullah became King 'Abdullah and Transjordsn 'became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
 

       Immediately after independence King ‘Abdullah sought complete cooperation with Iraq in political, economic, military and cultural. fields. In Februery 1946 Prince 'Abdul Ilah led a delegation consisting of the Minister of Finance, Saleh Jabr, the Minister of Justice, Ahmad Mukhtar Baban, and the Minister of Defence, Isma'il Namuq, to a meeting in Shuna, Jordan. Topics discussed included ways and means for Iraqi- Jordanian cooperation in achieving the aims of the Arab national revolution and in fulfilling the objectives of the Pact of the League of Arab States. A joint declaration was issued regarding what was called the Shuna Conference. While returning from Jordan there was a car accident in which my friend, Saleh Jabr suffered severe injuries to his right arm. He was taken to England for treatment.
 

       In 1946 the Syrian government complained to the Arab League Council about King 'Abdullah's interference in the affairs of Syria by propagating printed material inviting Syrians to unite with Jordan. I was instrumental in preventing the League Council from condemning King 'Abdullah for his activities. (See Syria, PP.)   On the 14th of April, 1947, as Foreign Minister in the Cabinet of my friend Saleh Jabr, I signed a Treaty of Alliance and Brotherhood between the Kingdom of Iraq and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Preamble of the Treaty expressed the fraternal ties and national unity which exists between Iraq and Jordan and the desire of the two parties for complete mutual understanding and cooperation in fulfilling national objectives as expressed in Article 9 of the Covenant of the Arab League.

 

       Article 4 provided agreement for common defence in the face of a third-party aggressor.

       Article 6 provided for cooperation in dealing with internal troubles or conspiracy.

       Article 7 provided for the unification of the military system and exchange of military mission.            

       Article 8 provided for one country to represent the other when one party did not have a diplomatic mission in a certain country.

       Article 9 provided for setting up permanent committees representing the two parties to deal with matters enumerated in Article 2 of the Covenant of the Arab League and those included economic and financial matters, communication, culture, questions of nationality, passports, visas and extradition of criminals, social affairs and health.
 

       A big debate took place in the Iraqi parliament and specific objections were raised concerning Article 6 which provided for cooperation in dealing with internal troubles, for that might mean that the Jordanian army. which was British led, could interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq. In the end, the Treaty was ratified by the Iraqi parliament.
 

       Although the Treaty was never fully implemented, its spirit prevailed and influenced events during the lifetime of King 'Abdullah. Jordan was not a member of the United Nations, but, acting in accordance with Article 8 of the Treaty, Iraq presented Jordan's point of view in the United Nations in particular cases. I recall that one time, while debating with Aba Eban of Israel, I got up from the Iraqi chair where I had presented Iraq's point of view, and went to Jordan's choir to answer Eben after he had attacked the representative of Iraq.
 

       In 1948 the first War of Palestine was going on, and the Egyptian army was beseiged in Falouga. I was then a minister plenipotentiary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prime Minister Muzahim al-Pachachi asked me to go to Cairo to talk over the situation with my friend, Naqrashi Pasha, the Egyptian Prime Minister. (See Egypt pp.) I was accompanied on this mission by General Isma’il Safwat Pasha.    On the way we stopped at Amman and I had an audience with H. M. King 'Abdullah. He opened his heart to me and told me that, while he had been appointed by. the Arab League as Commander-in-Chief of all Arab armies in Palestine, he had no knowledge of what was going on along the Egyptian front. The Egyptians had not arranged for him to visit their front nor did they answer his inquiries about their needs and difficulties. He told me th3t Egypt had already confiscated a shipload of arms intended for the Jordanian army. He told me that his army, which was British led and subsidized, was not his own. It was a British army in Jordan, but those who criticized Jordan and its military achievements should rather pay for the army and make it an Arab army. Actually no other army saved as much of Palestinian territory as did the Jordanian army, although it has been established that Glubb Pasha, who commanded the Arab Legion, never occupied Palestinian territory which had been allotted to Israel according to the United Nations plan of partition.
 

       In 1949 Husni az-Za'im carried out his coup in Damascus and dismissed President Shukri al-Quwatli. Iraq responed to overtures by az-Za'im and there was an exchange of delegations between Damascus and Baghdad. This worried three Arab countries, namely, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. King 'Abdullah of Jordan thought that Iraq's rapprochement with Syria might cause him to lose the opportunity of becoming King of Greater Syria. Egypt and Saudi Arabia did not wish to see a power made up of a federated Syria and Iraq.

       One day Jordanian Prime minister Tawfiq Pash Abdul Huda was sent to Baghdad by H. M. King 'Abdullah to convey a very frank message to me as Foreign Minister of Iraq. He told me that His Majesty was enraged by the Iraqi activities concerning Syria and that he was even threatening to invade Iraq. I laughed and said that Iraq would certainly welcome His Majesty and the Jordanian army. I asked Tawfiq Pasha to pay my respects to His Majesty and tell him that Iraq was ready to keep hands off Syria and to let His Majesty take it over. If, however, that should not be possible, what would His Majesty command? Would it be better for the Arab nation that Iraq and Syria remain apart, or would it be better for Arab states should eventually join them? I, as Foreign Minister would be delighted to get some high national guidance from His Majesty.
 

       Tewfiq-pasha returned to Jordan, and, after presenting my point of view to King 'Abdullah, the Pasha telephoned me from Amman to tell me, "His Majesty kisses your cheeks and says that he was full confidence in your policy towards Syria."   In the United Nations I continued to work on behalf of Jordan. I defended the Arab character of Jerusalem and opposed the United Nations plan for internationalization. That was King 'Abdullah's policy. But, when I found that all the other Arab states were backing the internationalization or Jerusalem, and that Israel was the main opponent or the scheme, I could not continue opposing internationalization. I joined the ranks of the other Arab states and the overwhelming majority or the members of the UN who stood for internationalization. Again this enraged King 'Abdullah who made a special trip to Baghdad to quarrel with Prime Minister Nuri as-Sa'id over the stand I had taken on the question of Jerusalem.
 

       The Trusteeship Council of the UN met in Geneva to draft a constitution for an internationalized Jerusalem. Iraq was a member of the Council at the time, and I was the representative of Iraq at that session. Jordan sent its Consul General in Paris, Hafiz 'Abdul Hadi to be an observer at the Council's meetings. Through him I received a message from His Majesty to the effect that the internationalization of Jerusalem meant its destruction as a holy city, and that the Arabs would never rise unless all Syria was united and federated with Iraq. I assured His Majesty through Hafiz 'Abdul Hadi that, in spite of our best efforts to draft a good constitution for an internationalized Jerusalem, such internationalization would never be implemented so long as Israel and Jordan both resisted it.(see Palestine, pp.)
 

       At the United Nations I worked for Jordan to be admitted as a member. Jordan was one of several states whose admission to the UN was blocked at the time by the Soviet veto in the Security Council.    In Florence at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization conference in 1950, I worked for the admission of Jordan as a member of that body. To my regret the Egyptian delegation, led by Dr Taha Husain, voted against the admission of Jordan, the reason being that relations between King Farouq and King 'Abdullah were strained during that period. I tried to convince Dr Taha Husain to change his mind and give a positive vote, but without success. Jordan was admitted to UNESCO, but Egypt and Israel were conspicuous by voting against it.

       I had a few opportunities of visiting Amman and talking tête-â-tête with H. M. King ‘Abdullah. As head of the Hashemite family he had to tackle some family problems in which his views differed from those of Prince 'Abdul Ilah. King 'Abdullah had' a much more liberal outlook on family problems than did Prince 'Abdul Ilah, and His Majesty asked me to do my best to influence Prince 'Abdul Ilah to be more tolerant and merciful.
 

       King ‘Abdullah was also determined to see that the Iraqi and Jordanian thrones were united. He confided to me that neither of his sons was qualified to carry the burden.
 

       Twice I was honoured by receiving Jordanian decorations. The First Order of al Istiqlal (Independence), and the First Order of an-Nahdha (Renaissance) were bestowed on me. Actually I felt the complete unity of interest and policy of both Jordan and Iraq. I never thought of Jordan as another state, but felt that it was a part of a Greater Syria which was a part of a greater Arab homeland.   At the beginning of July 1951, a meeting was held in the mountain village of Sarsang in the north of Iraq where there was a royal summer residence. Present were several Iraqi statesmen including myself as President of the Chamber of Deputies and Tawfiq as-Suwaidi as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Prince 'Abdul Ilah presided at the meeting which discussed a draft agreement for the unity of the throne of Jordan and Iraq which had been prepared by King 'Abdullah in his own handwriting.
 

       Article 1 of the document stated, "The two kingdoms of Iraq and Jordan shall be united (federated) in accordance with conditions agreed upon." A Council of the Union was to be formed which would meet annually and alternately in one capital or the other, and which would be presided over by the King of the country in which the Council met.

       Article 10 stated, "The two united (federated) kingdoms shall have one foreign policy and shall be represented by the sister state in any foreign country in case of one of them does not have a representative in that foreign country.

       Article 12 stated that “The ruling family in the two kingdoms is considered to have the same right in the two countries in such a way that, if the King dies without en heir, the heir to the throne shall be a suitable personality from the off spring of the Greet Saviour, Al-Husain Ibn 'Ali." (King Husain of Hejes, father of King 'Abdullah of Jordan and King Faisal I of Iraq)
 

       The meeting approved the principle of union and asked Foreign Minister Tawfiq -suwaidi to go to Amman to negotiate the draft agreement with H. M. King 'Abdullah. The handwritten draft prepared by King 'Abdullah remained in the pocket of the Foreign Minister who, on returning to Baghdad, resigned his post over a disagreement with the cabinet concerning the appointment of his brother as President of the High Court of Appeal. While ministerial squabbles were taking place in Baghdad, King 'Abdullah was assassinated in Jerusalem on July 20, 1951.

       Prince Abdul Ilah accompanied by Nuri as-Said and Saleh Jabr, took King 'Abdullah's handwritten document and went to Amman to attend the funeral and to present the document to the Jordanian government. Some young Iraqi nationalists also went to Jordan to help build up public opinion in favour of Iraqi-Jordanian unity. The Jordanian Prime Minister, Tawfiq Pasha Abul Huda, prompted by the Saudi Arabians and the British in Jordan, especially Glubb Pasha and Sir Alec Kirkbride, British Ambassador to Jordan, worked together to install King 'Abdullah's eldest son. Talal, as King of Jordan.
 

       The Iraqis returned disappointed, but wishing Jordan and its new King all the best. Cooperation between Iraq and Jordan continued as before, although, from that time on, Saudi machinations along with those of Egypt began to, influence Jordan's policy vis-a-vis Iraq.  The attitude of the British officials in Jordan rather puzzled me, for I had more than once discussed the eventual federation of Iraq, Syria and Jordan with the Foreign Office in London and I had had no negative response. This shows that, either there was no unified policy between London and Amman, or that my friends in London had not been frank about their real intentions.
 

       King Talal could not carry the burden of the kingdom for long. He had to retire and R.M. King Husain Ibn Talal ascended the throne of Jordan. King Husain is a brave Arab nationalist who is, at the same time, a political realist. His relations with the Royal House of Iraq was cordial and correct, but he tried to be friendly with conflicting Arab sides, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He tried to keep a balance between Iraq where his heart would be inclined, and Saudi Arabia and Egypt where other forces were involved. Jordan's politicians were also divided. Some, like Sulaiman Tuqan and Hezza’a al-Majali were known to be inclined to Iraq, and others, like Tawfiq Pasha Abul Ruda and Waleed Salah, were on the Saudi and Egyptian side.
 

       I became Prime Minister of Iraq in September of 1953. At that time there was a Jordanian delegation headed by Hikmet al-Misri negotiating 3 million dinar loan for Jordan and other financial and economic help. The negotiations were concluded, and, on the 1st of October the following communiqué was issued:

     Negotiations between the Jordanian delegation and the representatives of the Iraqi government took place in Baghdad .from the 21st till the 30th of September with a genuine brotherly spirit. The Iraqi side .fully realized the situation in our sister state and the heavy burden it carries after the tragedy of Palestine -- a situation which requires every Arab state to take part in protecting Jordan from the dangers that threaten it. The negotiations led to a trade agreement between the two states, and the Iraqi government offered financial help amounting to 150 thousand dinars to the front villages. This amount will include the 80 thousand dinars which is Iraq's share of help designated by the League of the Arab states. The Iraqi government also decided to take measures to open branches in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for both the Iraqi Industrial and Agricultural Banks. In order to complete the studies the two parties agreed to leave the door open for further negotiations regarding the loan and other economic projects.
 

       Soon after, Israeli forces invaded Jordan and attacked the village of Qibiya killing men, women and children. On hearing the news I immediately flew to Amman to attend the meeting of the Political Committee of the Arab League which was called to study the situation. I went to Qibiya where I saw the extent of the destruction. I was deeply touched by seeing the village school which had been bombarded and destroyed. I had a meeting with the Jordanian authorities and discussed measures to be taken to defend Jordan and to present the case of Qibiya and its innocent victims to the world. On behalf of the Iraqi government I announced the donation of 10,000 Iraqi

diners for rebuilding the Qibiya school and asked that it be named the Faisal-Husain school.
 

       In January 1954 I went to Cairo to attend the Council of the Arab League and presented the Council with a project for Arab unity. (See Egypt pp. ) It seems that by presenting that project without previous consultation with Jordan I had unintentionally been negligent concerning our brotherly ties, and H. M. King Husain was displeased.  
   

       After returning to Baghdad it was reported to me that King Husain had been told that Jamali had dedicated 100,000 Iraqi dinars for a plot against His Majesty and that Iraqi troops were ready to move into and take over Jordan when the time came. I was stunned by that fabrication. I went to King Faisal II, informed him of the malicious story and told him that I thought I must go to Amman personally to talk over the matter with H. M. King Husain. On the 11th of February I took a small military plane to Amman from where I went Straight to the King’s palace. After embracing his Majesty I set down and discussed the false rumours. I told His Majesty, "There are no 100,000 dinars in the Iraqi budget for your assassination and there are no Iraqi forces on the border with Jordan." I told him I have always cherished loyalty to the Hashemite House and I make no distinction between the Hashemite House in Jordan and the Hashemite House in Iraq, for in my view it is one House. I believe in the unity of the Hashemite House and Your Majesty has a home in Baghdad just as you have a home in Amman. For my part I am always ready to receive your direct commands by telephone. Mischief-makers should not be given a chance to intervene between Iraq and Jordan, or between Your Majesty and myself."

       King Husain was deeply impressed by my coming personally to see him to dispel the false rumours and to demonstrate the spirit of unity and loyalty which I cherished. He expressed his regret for the time that had, elapsed with no contact with Iraq. He had been expecting a word from H.M. King Faisal since a letter from him had indicated that he intended to visit Amman and Jordan. At one time King Husain had almost reached the border of Iraq and had wished to continue on to Baghdad, but he had held back on account of having had no word from Faisal.

       His Majesty wished to know something about our aims concerning Arab federation. He was frank to tell me that my going to the Council of the Arab League with the project of Arab unity had aroused his suspicions. He did not know what our plans were, and he asked why we had not come to an understanding with him before going to the League of Arab States.

       My answer was, "Any work towards unity is only a fulfillment of the message of your great grandfather, King Husain of Hejaz, and we all carry that message with equal zeal." I continued with a history of the concept of Arab unity and the stand of his grandfather on the unity of Syria and the negative attitude taken by the Arab League on the subject. I said, "Iraq has no specific plan to offer to a specific country, but Iraq has approached the Arab states with new thinking -- thinking which realizes the difficulty of implementing complete Arab unity now. At the same time it is not satisfied with what the Arab League is achieving for the Arabs. The history of the Arab League shows that it has been very slow in moving, for it moves at the pace of the weakest and slowest of its members. Besides, the League is being hampered by the political blocs among its members. Syria's attitude toward federation is being vitiated by Saudi gold and foreign influences. Saudi fears of federation have no justification. Our attitude towards the Saudis is brotherly and correct. We do not know what the Saudis are worried about." I touched on Nuri Pasha's project for Syria and Iraq and how it was turned down by Sa’adallah al-Jabiri who thought that the Arab League should provide all the measures for unifying the Arab states.

       Then I spoke about the role of the Hashemite House in promoting the Arab cause and the need for cooperation between Amman and Baghdad. There was a mutual Faisal Husain responsibility for achieving the mission of the Hashemite House and its unity. I said, "There should be no barriers and no formalities between Baghdad and Amman. Mutual visits and consultations between the two capitals should continue informally in the manner set by H.M. King 'Abdullah. We must combat foreign intrigues between us. “The welfare of Jordan is the welfare of Iraq, but the welfare of some other countries may not be the welfare of Jordan." I touched on the readiness of the Iraqi government to offer any help she could to the Jordanian government.

       Then I touched on the attacks which Colonel Shishakli was addressing to Iraq. I described his policy and intentions. His Majesty said that he wished we could be in constant communication so that Jordan would not remain silent vis-a-vis the Shishakli campaign.

       We touched on Egypt and the questions or defence, neutrality and pacts. We agreed on the necessity for a continued exchange or visits and readiness for continued cooperation and consultation. I said that the Arab states are more bound together than the states of the Benelux. We live in a world or blocs and groupings. I emphasized our respect for the independence or Jordan and the throne of Jordan. The cooperation and unity which we sought did not mean the eradication or political entities as envisaged by the Syrian Constitution. Rather we would start with the integration or economic, military, educational and foreign policy while retaining our political entity.

       I expressed my view on the role or the Hashemite family in cementing the unity or the people, something I thought a republican regime could not guarantee. This required, however, that the monarchical regimes should provide honest constitutional governments.

       His Majesty sent greetings and deep thanks to King Faisal and his thanks and affection to Crown Prince 'Abdul Ilah and expressed the wish to visit Iraq before going to Egypt.

       Having achieved the purpose or my visit I intended to return to Baghdad in the afternoon of the same day. His Majesty objected to my quick return and insisted that I should pass the night in Amman and spend the next day also in Jordan. He kindly offered his personal plane to take me to visit Petra where I had a most delightful experience. Sa'id Pasha al-Mufti, President of the Senate, accompanied me on the visit.

       I returned to Amman and spent a second night there. His Majesty would not permit me to leave Jordan the next morning for he had arranged an official luncheon in my honour at the royal palace. It was only in the afternoon of that day that I could return to Baghdad with our relations with Jordan most cordial and clear.

       Two weeks after my return H.M. King Husain arrived in Baghdad to visit King Faisal. He also visited Basrah which was having an industrial fair. On the 2nd of March I had an audience with him in the presence of H.M. King Faisal on the royal yacht, Queen 'Alia. We discussed the project of federation which I had presented to the Arab League. King Husain stated that the way in which the project had been presented to the Arab League had embarrassed Jordan for there had been no previous consultation with them. I answered that Iraq had not presented a concrete project but a general invitation for a federation which should be followed by consultations and preparations on the part of those who accepted the principle of federation. I said that Iraq was always ready to initiate discussion on the subject with Jordan however the Jordanian government was ready for such a move. King Husain expressed the existence of a desire on the part of the Jordanian government to enter such negotiations for a federation with Iraq. I mentioned that Iraq's invitation for a federation with Jordan could imply three basic principles:

       1) The unity of the army. I expressed Iraq's wish to achieve unity on condition that there should be no foreign command at the head of the Jordanian army.

       2) Integration of financial matters. In this respect Iraq would be ready to offer the financial help and economic cooperation required for the interest of the two countries.

       3) Unity of foreign policy. I said that Iraq would be ready to represent Jordan in any country where Jordan had no representation, but the important thing was not representation but complete understanding on the objectives and lines of foreign policy. Iraq's foreign policy, for example, was inclined to the west. Iraq's relations with Syria were vital, for the Euphrates united the two states. Iraq's oil and commerce had to pass through Syria, and Iraq provided a big market for Syrian products. Jordan, like Syria, had to turn to Iraq for economic development. Saudi Arabia should be convinced that such cooperation, which should lead to a federation, would in no way be contrary to her interests. It was on matters like these that our foreign policy should be clear and unified.

       After King Husain's return to Jordan Israel attacked Jordan again in the village of Nahaleen, another act of destruction and loss of Arab life. I was Prime Minister and acting Foreign Minister of Iraq. We sent asking what we could do and I received the following message from the Jordanian Legation in Baghdad.

       In response to your telegram of the 24th of March. Present H. E. Jamali with the thanks of the Jordanian government for what was contained in your telegram. Inform him the details of the incident at the Nahaleen village and ask His Excellency to order the sending of one military expert or more to discuss with the Jordanian military authorities the readiness of the Iraqi army and air force to help Jordan to fill the vacuum in the necessary means of defending the country. Inform us about results immediately.

       I received a telegram dated the 30th of March to the same effect from our Legation in Amman. It stated that H. M. King Husain had called the Iraqi representative and the Military Attache and expressed to them his fear that the Israelis might undertake an attack greater than that at Nahaleen and on a large scale. His Majesty wished to know what military help Iraq could render. I immediately answered:

“Iraqia, Amman.

 

Iraq is ready to send all that is within its military capacity. An officer of the General staff is coming to you to study the situation and estimate the quantity and quality of help in accordance with our potentiality.

 

Foreign Affairs.

 

       These telegrams coincided with an unusually severe flood that threatened to wipe out the city of Baghdad. The 29th of March was the worst night.   On the 19th of April I resigned as Prime Minister for reasons that had nothing to do with Jordan or the flood. (See Syria pp.)

       The next Iraqi Cabinet was formed by Arshad al-Omari and I accepted the post of Foreign Minister. We had an amount of 150,000 dinars in the budget which was intended to be spent for promoting the cause of Syrio-Iraqi federation. This amount was diverted to Jordan by the Prime Minister as a financial aid.

       In 1955 apolitical tug-of-war took place in Jordan between Iraq on the one hand and Egypt-Saudi Arabia on the other. The rift between Iraq and Egypt over the Baghdad Pact and over cooperation with the West had its effect on Jordan's politics. This was shown during the meeting of the Prime Ministers in Cairo when President Nasir called on the Arab states to pass a resolution against Iraq's joining the Baghdad Pact. Prime Minister Nuri as-Sa'id did not attend that meeting and I was asked to represent Iraq on his behalf as Head of the Iraqi delegation. I joined the meeting on the 27th January 1955. (See Egypt and Baghdad)

       At that meeting the Jordanian delegation consisting of Prime Minister Tawfiq Pasha Abul Huda and Foreign Minister Waleed Salah, did not support the Iraqi stand. As a matter of feet, Waleed Salah openly took the Egyptian side. He joined the committee sent by the meeting to Baghdad. The committee, headed by Prime Minister Sami as-Sulh of Lebanon, included Faidhi al-Atasi, Foreign Minister of Syria and colonel Salah Salem, Minister of National Guidance of Egypt. Waleed Salah acted in unison with Colonel Salah Salem and supported his point of view.          

       The same Jordanian personalities had shown no cooperation with the Iraqi delegation at Bandung, but thanks to Hezza'a al-Majali, a member of the Jordanian delegation, there had been no conflict between the two delegations at that conference.    Hezza’a al-Majali, a noble Arab character, believed in the unity of the destiny and interests of Iraq and Jordan. He was a devout Muslim who had no tolerance for Communist infiltration and domination. At Bandung I discovered him to be a sincere friend and companion. Hezza'a al-Majali later became Prime Minister of Jordan and his government tried to have Jordan join Iraq in the Baghdad Pact. Egyptian propaganda and machinations, however, were strong enough in Jordan to prevent its joining the Baghdad pact, some time later al-Majali was killed by a bomb explosion in his office.

       The incidents at the Asian-African Conference in Bandung and those concerning the Baghdad Pact proved that Arab disunity, especially between Iraq and Egypt, had its effects on Jordan’s politics, for the Jordanians were sometimes the victims of the tug-of-war.    Another Jordanian who demonstrated the will for cooperation and unity was Wasfi at-Tell. In 1958 I had a letter from Wasfi at-Tell, who was Jordanian Charge d’Affaires at Teheran at the time,  commenting on the Algerian war and regretting the great losses of life which the Algerians were suffering. Wasfi, who had been trained as an officer, thought that the Algerians needed special training in guerilla warfare, an art of war which had special methods and techniques with which he was familiar. He suggested that Iraq and Jordan together should provide up to 1000 volunteers whom he would train and lead in Algeria. (See Algeria pp. 54)
 

       Relationships between President Nasir and King Husain fluctuated. There were times of friendship and cooperation and times of propaganda war in which President Nasir himself and the Egyptian radio station, Sawt ul-Arab. Voice of the Arab, would direct abusive language to King Husain and the Hashemite family. At such times Jordan would be closer to Iraq, for Iraq was already getting its share of the abusive propaganda.   It was in such an atmosphere that the Egyptian-Syrian unity took place in the form of Egyptian annexation and domination of Syria. When that happened, I rushed to the royal palace in Baghdad and said, "Unless Iraqi-Jordanian federation is announced at once, we are headed for trouble in the Arab world." King Faisal and Prince 'Abdul Ilah both shared my point of view and they called on Prime Minister 'Abdul Wahab Mirjan to send a delegation to Amman to discuss the federation of the two countries. ‘Abdul Wahab's Cabinet initiated the process in 1958 but had to resign. Nuri as-Sa'id formed his last Iraqi cabinet.   I had the post of Foreign Minister. We negotiated the Arab Union of Iraq and Jordan and revised the Iraqi Constitution to facilitate the implementation of the Arab Union.
 

       Nuri as-Sa'id was not enthusiastic for that union. He did not wish to make Iraq carry the financial burdens of Jordan which was receiving financial aid from both Britain and America. I had a different outlook. To me Jordan was a part of my nation. It was an Arab state which should be supported by its sister Arab states. Its army was an Arab army which should be supported by Arab money. No needy Arab state should depend on foreign support while sister Arab states could come to its aid. To alleviate Nuri's worries about the financial burden I suggested that efforts should be exerted to invite Kuwait to join the Arab Union in which case Kuwait and Iraq together would shoulder the Jordanian financial burden.
 

        From then on Nuri worked hard to have Kuwait join the Union, but Kuwait was still under British protection at the time, and Britain did not seem ready to make a move to grant Kuwait independence and have it join the Arab Union. I even suggested to Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd, who passed through Baghdad coming back from a SEATO meeting on his way to London, that the Sheikh of Kuwait should be recognized as the King of Kuwait and that an independent Kuwait might join the Arab Union. If that had happened and the money of Kuwait and Iraq had come to Jordan's support, Jordan would have become strong and fortified to face the Zionist danger.   I always felt as much concern for Jordan as for Iraq. I never believed in the political frontiers. I believed that we were one people, one nation with one royal family and one destiny.   When going from Baghdad to Jordan I rarely carried my passport with me.     

        When the Arab Union between Iraq and Jordan was formed in March 1958, I was appointed as one of the five to seven members to be nominated by the King of Iraq to the Arab Union Council. From then on there were two Cabinets - the Iraqi Cabinet and t he Cabinet of the Union. King Faisal of Iraq was the head of the Arab Union and King Husain was Vice-President. Nuri as-Sa'id was the first Prime Minister 'of the Arab Union.    In May 1958, King Faisal, the Crown Prince, Prime Minister Nuri as-Sa'id and the Arab Union Cabinet Ministers and Members of the Council all went to Amman for the opening session of the Arab Union Council. We attended an official dinner given by H.M. King Husain that night. The next morning I had to leave urgently for New York at the insistence of H.M. King Faisal. I had to go to the Security Council where Iraq was a member and defend Lebanon which had lodged a complaint against President Nasir's interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon. This caused me to miss the opening session of the Arab union council. The Union between Iraq and Jordan ceased to exist after the downfall of the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq in July 1958.

 
 

            When I came out from prison in 1961 H. M. King Husain was gracious enough to delegate Wasfi at-Tell, Jordanian Ambassador to Iraq, to inquire about me and to convey His Majesty's good wishes. When I left Iraq in 1962 on account of poor health, the Jordanian government invited me to go to Amman to help establish the new University of Jordan. Unfortunately my health did not permit me to accept the kind invitation. 

 

IRAQ AND PALESTINE

  'Ibn il-Iraq’

 

No one problem has ever occupied time, energy and thought in my life equal to the Palestine problem. As a student, as a teacher, as a member or national and social organizations, I have always sympathized with my brethren, the Arabs of Palestine, in their suffering due to the grafting onto the Arab world of a foreign body which has so far been most poisoning to the health and vitality or the Arab nation.    In 1944 I was appointed as Director General in the Ministry or Foreign Affairs or Iraq. In that post I had access to Zionist material coming to us from the United States. I could watch the increasing Zionist activity and machinations aimed at achieving the goal or creating a Jewish state in Palestine.   I began to publish articles in the Iraqi daily press telling the public of the potential Zionist danger to the Arab world. I could not sign my name in my official capacity, so I chose a pen-name, 'Ibn il-Iraq', Son of Iraq. Immediately after the Second World War those articles were published in Arabic in a booklet in Cairo, Egypt, entitled, The Zionist Danger, by 'Ibn il-Iraq'.

 

Second World War

 

At the beginning of the Second World War there were only four more or less independent Arab states, namely, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Arab states, notably Iraq, joined the Second World War on the side of the Allies, just as they had done under King Husain of Hejaz in the First World War, to achieve the liberation and independence of their Arab brethren everywhere, including those of Palestine.    During the Second World War the Zionists expressed their determination to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. The Biltmore Resolution passed in New York City in 1942 was the first open official declaration by the Zionists of their intention to establish a state in Palestine. The Zionists began to exert their political influence in American elections. They worked on the two major American parties in such a way that the parties began to compete with each other in pouring out promises for the Zionists. The bidding between the Republican Party, headed by Thomas Dewey, and the Democratic Party, headed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in support of Zionist ambitions is well known.   When the Arabs saw the enthusiasm of American politicians to win Zionist favour, the Arab states, especially Iraq and Saudi Arabia, made one protest after another, warning the American government of the international consequences.
 

In 1944, during the War, I became Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq. Arshad al-‘Omari, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, was firm and forceful in his defence of Arab rights in Palestine. Hamdi al-Pachachi, the Prime Minister, and Saleh Jabr, The Minister of Finance, were both enthusiastic in support of the Palestine cause. The American Minister to Iraq, Mr Loy Henderson, faithfully transmitted to his own government the honest and frank views and sentiments of the Iraqi government.
 

Probably the most outstanding diplomatic acts in defence of Palestine during the War were personal letters written by King 'Abdul 'Aziz Ibn Sa'ud of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince 'Abdul Ilah (in the name of the King of Iraq) to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States. The texts of the two letters were alike as far as I can recall. I was responsible for rendering the Iraqi letter into English. The letter reminded President Roosevelt of Arab friendship and referred to the Covenant of the Calipha Omar Ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him!) to the Arab army which undertook the conquest of Palestine in early Islamic history. That great Calipha commanded the conquering army to treat the Christians in a just and humanitarian manner. The letter further reminded the President that Palestine having passed through so many historical developments belongs to its legal inhabitants, the Arabs. President Roosevelt was asked to uphold the principles of the Atlantic Charter of which he was the co-author.   President Roosevelt's answer, dated April 12, 1944, included the following statement:

 

"...In the view of the Government of the United States no decision affecting the basic situation in Palestine should be reached without full consultation with both Arabs and Jews. Franklin Roosevelt"

 

The answer certainly contained an injustice to the Arabs who formed the majority in Palestine. Still, it gave the Arab rights equal weight with the Zionist claims, a fact which was completely ignored by Roosevelt's successor, Harry Truman, who yielded to Zionist pressure in whatever concerned Palestine.

 

Arab Publicity for the Palestine Cause 

 

Propaganda plays a very important role in modern times. Its role is not less than that of the army or the diplomatic service in the cold war and the struggle amongst nations.   Since the Arabs are the rightful possessors or Palestine it was their duty to undertake a vast publicity campaign for the Palestine cause in order to enlighten world public opinion. The Arabs were slow in this matter and trailed dismally in making their case known to the Western world.   I thought that one or the important things that should be done for the Arab cause in Palestine was to in form public opinion in the West and especially in the United States, where the Arab point or view on Palestine, although based on history, justice and human rights, was never widely known. The United States, while playing a major role in influencing the destiny or Palestine, was saturated with Zionist propaganda which was not equaled by a knowledge or the Arab side of the question.

In December 1944, as Director General of Foreign Affairs, I submitted the following memorandum to the Minister or Foreign Affairs, Arshad al-‘Omari:

Subject: Project or Publicity in the United States. His Excellency the Minister,

     
        Having seen the great importance which Your Excellency gives to the question or Palestine, I am encouraged to present to Your Excellency some     observations regarding the organization or public information based on my personal knowledge or the United States, its special conditions, and the power of Zionism there.   I am hoping that you will please look into these suggestions, and, if they meet with your approval in full or in part, that they may be implemented as soon as Your Excellency gets to Egypt and is able to convince the representatives of other Arab states to cooperate. It will appear to Your Excellency that the question is not one of sending two or three persons to the United States. The situation demands a campaign on a large scale, the establishment of an adequate structure and the allotment of large sums for this purpose.

My observations can be summarized as follows:

 

1. To counteract Zionist propaganda in the United States we must inform and influence American public opinion. It is not enough to work with personalities in the American government and members of the Congress in Washington. We must reach men of politics, leaders of big business, men of the church, the universities, scientific institutions, societies, clubs and the press. We must struggle hard and fight Zionist propaganda in every corner of the United States.

 

2. America is a great continent and working in Washington alone is not enough. Organization should not be restricted to Washington. There must be central headquarters in Washington, but there must be at least four auxiliary centres outside Washington, namely, a Centre in New York City which will feed the eastern states as far as Canada, a Centre in the city of Chicago which will feed the mid-western states, a Centre in San Francisco that will feed the western states, and a Centre in Dallas, Texas, which will feed the southern states. This is the smallest number of Centres which might have some effect. Without them the efforts of the body in Washington alone will prove ineffective.

 

3. The main Centre in Washington must be manned by at least five qualified persons besides the secretarial personnel. As for the other Centres, they should each be staffed by at least three persons with secretarial help as required.   The Centre may find it necessary to employ some American newspaper correspondents or specialists in publicity with regular salaries.

 

4. We propose that these Centres should be independent of the Arab Legations and Embassies in their work and administration and that they should be headed by a prominent personality with rank not less than that of a Minister.

 

5. Activities (given in detail)

 

6. Budget (given in detail)

 

7. We can imagine that the Centre in Washington would be equivalent to an Embassy and that each of the other Centres would be equivalent to a Consulate General. It is not too much for the Arab states to support these establishments if they intend to achieve serious, fruitful work. We support the point of view of Musa al-‘Alami of the necessity for an extensive structure, but we go farther than he does. As for the point of view of 'Abdur Rahman 'Azzam that only three persons should be sent, that looks like a drop compared with the Zionist sea in the United states.

 

8. The success of the whole project depends mainly on the ability of the persons, the harmony amongst them, the degree of their zeal for the Arab cause and their adaptability to the American mentality and environment. I was pleased to read in the local press that Sayid Musa al-'Alami had a meeting in Beirut with Dr Constantine Zuraiq to discuss this project with him, for Dr Zuraiq (I have already introduced him to Your Excellency) should be considered as an active supporter of this project. Besides him there are other young Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians who could be depended upon. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could delegate Sayid 'Ezzeddin Ash-Shawwa, a graduate of Cambridge University. He is one of the distinguished young men qualified for the purpose. In Iraq we could choose three or up to five persons if required. Egypt is rich in qualified journalists and publicists. Dr Philip Hitti will undoubtedly offer his valuable advice for this project of information if it is not possible to convince him to become an adviser.

 

9. After appointing the person to head the organization, a statute should be drafted which will include principles and instructions to be followed by the Centres and to detail duties and functions. Much freedom will be left for each Centre to adapt its activities to local needs.

 

10. Besides establishing these Centres of Information, we propose that responsible personalities from the Arab world should visit America every now and then .Political and scientific delegations should be organized to contact responsible personalities who carry political and moral weight and to arrange dialogues with them. That is what the Zionists are doing. Great Zionist personalities frequently travel between Palestine and London, and Palestine and America. Such activities have increased in these days. We have just heard that Weizmann will visit America shortly. As for Shertok, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Zionist organization, he is on the move constantly and the same holds true of several other well-known Zionist personalities.

    

     These are a few points which may be useful to Your Excellency when looking into the question of publicity in the United States.

 

With my respects,

 

Mohammed Fadhel Jamali

Director General of Foreign Affairs

 

After hearing an Iraqi proposal, the Arab League resolved to establish Arab Offices for Palestine propaganda in both the United States and Greet Britain. Musa al 'Alami, a prominent Palestinian leader, was asked to organize these offices. But the Arab states, with the exception of Iraq and Syria, did not take part in financing them. As for Syria, she paid her share for the first year only. Iraq was then left alone to support the offices up till the time of the tragedy of Palestine, when the offices were closed. Unfortunately they were closed at a time when they were most badly needed.
 

 As for the Zionists, we find that they did not leave any sensitive spot in the world untouched by their propaganda. The Arabs on the other hand, rarely cared for the affairs of propaganda in those days, and never paid enough attention to them.  It may be interesting to note that, when the Arab Office in New York was started, the Zionists agitated against it, and the police authorities were instigated to go to inspect it. When this happened I invited the American Ambassador in Baghdad to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and protested against the act which I considered unfriendly and harmful to Arab-American good relations I said that, if such acts were repeated, the Iraqi government might consider taking similar measure in connection with American institutions located in Iraq.
 

Five years after the partition of Palestine, when I was Prime Minister of Iraq, 1953-54, Dr’Izzet Tannus, a devout and loyal Palestinian, visited Baghdad. He discussed with me the importance of enlightening American public opinion regarding Arab rights in Palestine. He suggested opening an information office in New York City. I concurred and stated that Iraq was reedy to offer ten thousand diners annually (a dinar equaled one pound sterling) for the purpose from its very tight budget. I suggested that he should also contact Saudi Arabia for support. I learnt later that Saudi Arabia offered to match Iraq's contribution. Thus Dr Tennus was enabled to start the office. He did a very good job of publicity and education for the Palestine cause. The office worked well until the Iraqi Royal regime was overthrown in 1958.

 

The San Francisco conference

 

President Truman's policy of partiality towards the Zionists began to show itself openly in the Conference in San Francisco where the United Nations Charter was laid down in 1945.  The Arabs were represented by five delegations from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, although Syria and Lebanon were not yet fully independent. The Arab delegations exerted their efforts so that texts would be included in the United Nations Charter guaranteeing the independence of both Syria and Lebanon, guaranteeing the rights of non-independent Arab states to self determination and independence, and protecting Palestine from Zionist invasion. The Arab delegations achieved relative success in all their objectives except in that concerning Palestine.
 

A special Article, Article 78, was put in the United Notions Charter to ensure the independence of Syria and Lebanon although these countries were not mentioned by name. The Article stated that "The Trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality."   Iraq fought hard, side by side with Egypt, the Soviet Union, China and the Philippines to put a text into the United Nations Charter in the chapter on Trusteeship which would guarantee the right to self-determination and independence to all countries under trusteeship or colonial rule. After a struggle with the colonial powers that lasted almost a month we succeeded in putting into the Charter texts which, no matter how weak they were, could be considered as a big initial victory for the people of Asia and Africa. Many of these people have already profited from the provisions of the Charter. And others will profit from them in the future.
 

I represented Iraq on the Committee of Trusteeship, Dr Mohammed 'Owadh Mohammed represented Egypt, Mr Andrei Gromyko represented the Soviet Union, General Carlos P. Romulo represented the Philippines, and Dr Wellington Koo represented China. We five fought hardest in order to insert in the United Nations Charter the right of self-determination and/or independence for all peoples who were being ruled under mandatory or colonial systems.
 

But an impasse was reached in the Trusteeship Committee when the Arab states asked for a text which might protect the Arabs of Palestine from immigration and guarantee their independence. The struggle in the Trusteeship Committee between the American delegation, behind whom the Zionist delegation was sitting, and the Arab delegations lasted more than a month. It concerned the drafting of Article 80 of the United Nation Charter. The Arab delegations wanted the Article to include a guarantee for the rights of the majority in any country under mandate, and for their right to self-determination The American delegation, headed by Commander Harold Stassen, stubbornly resisted and fought the Arab proposal, thus serving the Zionist aim. That is why Article 80 was left devoid of a guarantee of the rights of the Arabs of Palestine, and the path remained open for Truman to muck up Arab rights to Palestine and to involve the U.S.A. in support of the ugliest imperialistic operation enacted in modern history.
 

After the failure of the Arab delegations to guarantee Arab rights in Palestine, the Head of the Iraqi delegation, Arshad el-'Omari, Iraq's Minister of Foreign Affairs, left San Francisco in protest. I was entrusted with the affairs of the Iraqi delegation, and I signed the United Nations Charter on behalf of the government of Iraq.

 

The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry

 

No sooner did the San Francisco Conference end, then President Truman began to ask that the provision of the British White Paper of 1939 be no longer enforced. That white paper limited Jewish immigration into Palestine to 15,000 a year for a period of five years, after which immigration would stop and Palestine would be independent. Truman asked for 100,000 Jewish immigration to admitted into Palestine immediately.
 

The Zionists had already started to defy the British government. The terrorist gangs of Irgun and Stern threatened British officials in Palestine and kidnapped chosen ones, killing some, and using others as hostages. The Jewish Agency began to use various means for illegal immigration into Palestine. King David hotel in Jerusalem was bombed. British ships were boycotted in New York harbour.  When Truman insisted on the entry of 100,000 Jewish immigrants into Palestine, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, opposed the idea openly in the British Parliament. After negotiations between the two governments, it was agreed that an Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry should be sent to Europe and the Arab lands to study the conditions and to submit a report on what it deemed appropriate with regard to Jewish immigration and the future of Palestine.   The Committee included amongst its member some who were very enthusiastic for Zionism and who defended the cause like the British Labour Member of Parliament, Richard Crossman. The committee came to Cairo and began to listen to the Arab point of view in Mena House Hotel.
 

The Iraqi government delegated me to go to Cairo to submit to the Committee the Iraqi point of view on the Palestine question. I did my best to make the statement strong in argument and clear in thought regarding natural Arab rights to their land in Palestine. Zionist claims were refuted with forceful logic. I requested the Committee to apply one moral principle to Arabs and non-Arabs alike, using the dictum: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Just as an Englishman, an American or a Frenchman will not accept the detachment of any part of his homeland for any cause whatsoever, but will defend it with his life, so will the Arabs of Palestine and the Arabs of other parts of the Arab world defend their homeland. In the name of the government of Iraq I invited the Committee to come to Iraq to listen to the views of a number of Iraqi political leaders including Iraqi Jews. The Committee accepted the invitation and came to Baghdad after finishing its sessions in Cairo and Jerusalem.  In spite of the peaceful defence undertaken by the Arabs, the Committee Report came out, as we had expected, in agreement with the wishes of President Truman, for the Committee recommended the entry of 100,000 Jewish immigrants into Palestine.
 

     The Bludan Meeting of the League of Arab States

 

The Arab states were outraged by the contents of the Anglo-American Committee Report, so prejudicial to Arab rights. The Arab League held a meeting in Bludan, Syria, to study the situation. It was decided at that meeting that the Arab states should each send a note of protest to Great Britain and the United States of America.   It was also decided that the Arab states should attend the London Conference called by the British government to discuss the Palestine problem.
 

The Iraqi delegation proposed that the Arab states should contribute two million dinars (pounds sterling) a year for the Palestine cause, one million to be spent on an information service, and another million for buying up Arab lands which might pass into the hands of the Zionists, and for organizing Palestine Arab affairs. This proposal was not accepted.
 

As for the famous Confidential Resolutions of Bludan, they were no more than ink on paper. They resembled a big drum which echoes after but which is entirely empty. When I stood in Bludan as a member of the Iraqi delegation to belittle the Resolutions and to criticize the weakness of the stand of the Arab states with regard to the Palestine problem, brother members of the Conference shouted at me and addressed me with harsh protests, a fact which made the Head of the Iraqi delegation, Hamdi Pachachi, ex-Prime Minister of Iraq, stand up and ask that my speech be deleted from the minutes. By so doing he calmed the temper of the brethren.

       
The Confidential Resolutions passed by The Council of the League of Arab States in its 4th Session, Extraordinary, in Bludan in June 1946.

 

After discussion the Council of the League recommends the following:

 

1. The condition in Palestine moves towards violent confrontation due to Zionist military organization and terrorist societies. The Zionists are acquiring the habit of using force to dictate their will. This may lead to the Arabs of Palestine taking measures to protect themselves by similar arrangements. This will lead to friction between the two forces in which case the stand of the Arab governments will become extremely critical for they will not be able to prevent the Arab peoples from volunteering by all means to support the Arabs of Palestine with money, arms and volunteers.

2. If the recommendations of the Anglo-American Political Committee of Inquiry are adopted and a start is made to implement them, conditions between these two governments and the Arab states will worsen to a great degree so that it will become incumbent on the Arab states to defend themselves by taking some necessary measures and among these measures the following:

a. Acting not to permit the two states or either one of them or their nationals any new economic or other concessions.

b. Not to support their special interests in any world body.

c. Moral boycott.

d. Looking into the abrogation of what concessions they may have in the Arab states.

e. Complaint to the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations.

 

On reading these resolutions one can see the weakness and lack of seriousness with which the Arab states began handling the Palestine problem.   On my return from Bludan to Baghdad, the Iraqi government asked me to prepare a memorandum of strong protest to be presented to both the British and American governments regarding their unfair stand on the problem of Palestine which had led to the inimical proposals made by the Anglo-American Committee and the illegal flood of immigration into Palestine, and charging the governments of Britain and the United States with responsibility for the terrible consequences of their policy which WAS partial to the Zionists. The British Ambassador, Sir John Stonehewer-Bird, refused to receive the memorandum, and requested very earnestly that we should convey the message to the British government orally and put nothing so harsh as that on paper. 

 

Crisis in the Leadership of the Palestine Arabs
 

     One of the basic factors which led to the Palestine tragedy was the problem of leadership and the lack of democratic organization on the part of the Palestinians. The Leadership of the people was attained by arousing popular sentiment. Personalities might rise to leadership by personal charm, family background and a does of nationalism. Once a leader was in the saddle, he was usually not removable or changeable by democratic procedure. Authoritarianism on the part of a leader might lead to dissensions and conflict of personalities, which might weaken the whole national body. This was true of most of the Arab world and the Palestinians were no exception.

         In the '30's the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haji Ameen al-Husaini, rightfully achieved leadership or the Arabs of Palestine and won the respect and affection of the Arab messes. Before the Second World War he came to Iraq where he enjoyed great respect and prestige among the nationalists. He also exerted some influence among the army officers who led the Rasheed 'Aali al-Gailani movement or 1941. That movement was anti-British and it led to the flight to Amman or the Regent or Iraq and a number or Iraqi statesmen. When the movement was crushed by the Jordanian army led by Glubb Pasha, Rasheed 'Aali and his regime fled the country. So did the Grand Mufti, Haji Ameen al-Husaini and his followers. Both Rasheed 'Aali al-GailaniaHaji Ameen al-Husaini landed in Berlin and were honoured guests of the Axis during the War
 

     In the absence of the Grand Mufti the Palestinias had no single leader to replace him and this in itself hurt the Palestinian Arab cause. The charisma, popularity and control of Haji Ameen left no room for another person. When Haji Ameen returned after the War he was not popular either in Iraq or with the victorious Allies. This perpetuated the crisis of leadership.  In 1947 Prime Minister Saleh Jabr attended a meeting of the Political Committee of the Arab League in Beirut which dealtwith the Palestine problem. He sent a telegram containing the following statement:

 


The Mufti since coming to Beirut has shown great activity with the intention of forming a Palestine Arab government which for the present would reside somewhere outside Palestine. It is understood that he wants to preside over this government which will be made up of his followers and supporters. The head of one of the Arab delegations in a sub-committee opened the subject. He asked the sub-committee which was made up of Riyadh (as-Sulh, Lebanon), Jamil (Merdam, Syria), Sameer (ar-Rifa'i, Jordan), Naqrashi (Pasha, Egypt), Sheikh Yusuf al-Yaseen (Saudi Arabia), and Sayid Mu'een al-Madhi for Palestine, to discuss the matter.

 

    I mentioned that the time has not come yet for such an act and that it would lead to many difficulties, disagreements and problems on the part of the Palestinians on the one hand, and the Arab states and the Mufti on the other. I told them very frankly that Iraq, which is fully reedy to work for the Palestine cause and to help the Arabs of Palestine, could in no circumstances cooperate with the Mufti in view of its conviction that the Mufti had failed terribly in dealing with Palestine question and that he had taken it from bad to worse. In fact his person was the cause of the tragedy. On the other hand, forming a government of this kind by a resolution of the League of Arab States would provide an opportunity for the Zionists to ask for the same thing and this would be a strong weapon in the hands of their supporters in the United States. This would complicate our difficulties. Moreover, no benefit is to be reaped from a government that carries the name but resides outside Palestine, for it can do nothing in the present situation. The idea was abandoned...

 

Iraq's enthusiasm for the cause of Palestine was at its height from 1944 to the beginning of 1948. Iraq allotted from its budget, which was small at the time, hundreds of thousands of dinars for the Arab Offices of Information and for saving Palestinian Arab lands from passing into Zionist hands and making Arab peasants homeless. In this the Iraqi government depended on one of the most loyal and best educated and realistic sons of Palestine, Muse al-'Alami. He was entrusted with both the projects until the downfall of the Saleh Jabr Cabinet in January 1948.   In the meantime Haji Ameen al-Husaini felt that his leadership was being defied and weakened by the work that Musa al-'Alami was doing outside the Mufti’s realm of influence. It was to overcome this situation that Haji Ameen came to see me in Cairo.

This is the last part of a telegram which I sent from Cairo to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq on the 25th of March 1947.

 

The Mufti asked to meet me. I met him tonight at the (Iraqi) Legation and the discussion lasted more than two hours. He began by thanking Iraq for its stand on behalf of Palestine and he said that the things that Palestine needed most were unity inside and solidarity outside amongst the Arab states. He hopes that the atmosphere will be clarified between the Higher Arab Committee and Iraq. He says that it is not reasonable or possible that there should be any alienation between them while Iraq is motivated so vigourously for the cause of Palestine.

Then he spoke of his old friendship with H.E. the Prime Minister and how he believed in his broad mindedness as well as his sacrifices for national goals.

Then he spoke at length about his life in Iraq and declared his innocence concerning what had happened (the Rasheed ‘Aali al-Gailani movement). He said that he is writing some brief memoirs and that he will offer a copy for the information of H.R.H. the Regent and H.E. Sayid Nuri Sa’id, and it will appear from it that he was an agent only of goodness, and that he did not take part in the unfortunate movement. He brings as witness the report which George Antonius made about him to the British government. He is searching for all the means that will improve his relations with Iraq.

Then he discussed at length the project of the Arab Offices (of Information) and Musa al-‘Alami. He expressed the necessity for Musa’s joining the higher committee if only morally. He had proposed to Musa to become a member of the Higher Committee and undertake the Offices and the Development Project. He refused. Then he (the Mufti) had proposed to him that his work should be under his (the Mufti's) auspices in his capacity as President of the Higher Committee. He refused. When Musa decided to leave (the Arab Offices of Information) he (the Mufti) asked him to hand over the Offices to persons on whom he (the Mufti) could rely like Raja'i al-Husaini or Ahmad Shuqairi. He refused. He (the Mufti) had proposed to him that he should become Director of Political Affairs. He refused. He (the Mufti) blamed Musa for Iraqis stand concerning the Offices. I told him that Musa was not responsible for Iraq's stand, but that Iraq found in the person of Musa a capable, loyal and reliable character. They (the government of Iraq) have entrusted him with the affairs of the Offices and the Development Project and I explained to him that it would be better for the public good if he supported Musa without interfering in his affairs. He promised to exert his efforts to come to an understanding with Musa on the basis of respecting Muse's dignity and the dignity of the Arab Higher Committee, but he wants to come to an understanding with Iraq by any means possible. He is thinking of sending a delegation to Iraq.

I asked him about his relations with the British. He said that the atmosphere was beginning to clarify between them and that if the British had been wise they would have depended on him in Palestine and their burden would have been much lighter. He said that world-wide Jewish propaganda against him has been unequalled by any propaganda, and it was that propaganda which made the British see him not as he truly is.

After a long discussion he requested me to exert my efforts to do away with whatever alienation there might be between Iraq and the Arab Higher Committee which represents Palestine. He charged me with his respects and greetings for H.R.H. the Regent and H.E. Sayid Nuri Sa’id.

 

The London Conference on Palestine

 

The British government invited the Arab states to Round-Table Conference to discuss the Palestine problem. It also issued a separate invitation to the Zionists in order to be able to negotiate with them simultaneously The London Conference was held in two sessions; the first towards the end of 1946, and the second early in 1947. The British side was represented by Mr Ernest Bevin, Secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, and Mr Creech-Jones, Minister for the Colonies. The Arab states were headed by Prince Faisal Al Sa'ud, for Saudi Arabia; Prince Saif-ul-Islam 'Abdullah, for Yemen; Faris al-Khouri, for Syria; ‘Abdur Razzaq Sanhouri Pasha and later Isma’il Haqqi Pasha, the Egyptian Ambassador to England, for Egypt; Sameer Pasha ar-Rifa'i, for Jordan; Camille Sham'un, for Lebanon; and Mohammed Fadhel Jamali, for Iraq. 'Abdur Rahman 'Azzam Pasha (Egypt) Attended as Secretary-General for the Arab League. The Arabs of Palestine were represented by Jamal al-Husaini, Sami Taha and others.

The Arab delegations worked together in presenting the Arab point of view. They defended the Arab character of Palestine with full strength and clarity. They also took part in proposing a solution, based on a democratic constitution for an independent Palestine, which would be ruled by the legitimate inhabitants of the land irrespective of their race or creed. After the Arabs had completed the text of their project, the British side notified us that the Zionists flatly rejected the Arab project for the solution of the Palestine problem. This was to be expected.

Mr Bevin, on his part, suggested a solution for Palestine, the Morrison Provincial Plan, analogous to the Swiss cantonal system, whereby Palestine would be divided into Arab cantons where the Arabs formed the majority, and Jewish cantons where the Jews formed the majority. The Arab delegations rejected this solution. It was also rejected by the Zionists, as we learned.

 

The following statements represent Iraqi reasoning at that Conference:

 

Extracts from Notes of the Third-Meeting Speech made by H.E. Dr Jamali.

 

I should like first of all to thank Mr Bevin for turning his cards face-upwards on the table. I think that is the best way to reach complete mutual understanding. I also wish to register here that we in Iraq received with great pleasure Mr Bevin's statement that friendship with the Arab world is much more important for Great Britain than armies stationed in the Middle East. We certainly think that the mutual friendship of our two peoples is vitally important to us both, but I am afraid that the Palestine problem may overtax that friendship.

I should like to state here that we in Iraq are deeply concerned with the problem of Palestine. For us, it is a matter of internal affairs, besides its national and international significance, for our peace and stability are directly affected by events in Palestine. We have about 120,000 Jews in Iraq. For centuries Jews have lived with the Muslims and Christians in complete peace and harmony in Iraq. There was nothing in the political atmosphere to disturb peace and harmony until Zionism came to Baghdad. Then the Jews in Iraq began to find themselves, through no fault of their own, greatly embarrassed by Zionism, and the government is doing its utmost to prevent any intolerance which might lead to trouble between members of the various faiths.

Before dealing with the Morrison Provincial Plan, I should like to raise a few points which, to my mind, have direct bearing on any feature settlement of Palestine.

 

1. The first is that the Arabs desire peace and security but peace and security have been disturbed by political Zionism. The Arabs have always expressed their grievances and raised their voice asking for their rights. What they ere after is to reach a final settlement of their just cause. They are in despair. They have lost faith in Commissions and official statements, for, so far, they have seen shelved any decision which has been cognizant of their rights, while those decisions which favour the intruders have been carried out. I earnestly plead, in the name of Peace and justice, that peace and justice be granted to the Arabs in Palestine.

 

2. A very important point which needs to be settled once and for all is that Palestine has no magic about it. It is a small piece of country which has its natural physical capacity. There is nothing mystic about its capacity, nothing supernatural about it. Like any other country, it is inhabited by a people. The fact that it contains the Holy Places for the three great religions does not add to its natural capacity, nor should it create political complications. The mystic urge which the Zionists claim for Palestine is a myth, and should be exploded In the first place, Zionism is not a religious movement but e temporal political idea. In the second place, if we were to accept the precedence of mystic attachment for other peoples' lands we might very wall start a new cause for conflict allover the world, for any aggressive nation could develop a mystic attachment to someone else's land. Thus, it seems to that the Palestine problem should be dealt with naturally and humanly, without any mythology.

 

3. It seems to me that the basis of all trouble in Palestine lies in the nature of political Zionism, for political Zionism is an aggressive movement. We know of no limits to its aims and ambitions. Its ideology, combining race, religion Bnd nationhood has much in common with Nazi ideology. The very idea of a Chosen People and a Promised Land is nothing very different from Nazi ideology. Chosen People? Maybe. Promised Land? What is it that is promised? Is it part of Palestine? All of Palestine? Palestine and Transjordan? Palestine, TransJordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq? These are questions to which various answers have been given, according to expediency. We know very wall that the Zionists are not such fools as to spend millions, hundreds of millions of pounds, for a small arid country. They have come with much wider ambitions, ambitions to dominate at least economically all the Arab world, nay, all the Middle East. The Arabs certainly cannot stand indifferent to such aggressive intentions.

In their tactics, the Zionists have proved to be much deadlier than the Nazis, for they use methods of infiltration and squeezing-out of people from land and commerce which the Nazis never knew how to apply. In their deadly methods, and their terrorism, they are as efficient, if not more efficient, than the Nazis. The situation which I would like to lay before the British Government is that the Arabs are facing a big danger. They are faced with an invasion, for the Zionists are doing nothing less than invading Palestine. This aggressive invasion, coupled with aggressive ideology and tactics must be exposed to all the world. We hope that the British Government, which has the Arabs' friend ship so much at heart, will sympathize with the Arabs and decide to put a final stop to this danger.

I should like to ask Mr Bevin how he would welcome 500,000 Nazis imported into England to build a Nazi national home? I am sure he would oppose it and fight against it. But something similar to that is happening to the Arabs in the Middle East, and the danger is still growing.

 

4. With regard to the interference of the United States in the question of Palestine, I have two remarks to make. First of all, I am sure that the great American people, whose sincere stand for democracy and justice I never doubt, have been exploited by influential propaganda. I am sure that, once they are shown the truth and justice of the Arab Cause on the one hand. and the peril to their friendly relations with the Arab world on the other, they will cease to champion Zionism. In the second place, if we accept the premise of American interference, we should have to grant the same right to other nations. That is why we feel that the settlement of the Palestine affair should be the concern of the Arabs and the British Government alone. As for the Zionists, they have no basic rights in Palestine. They were given a favour by Britain which they misinterpreted and misused.
One of the fundamental facts that should be recognized is that the Arabs and the Jews in Palestine are never on an equal footing. The Arabs are the legal owners of the country, while the Zionists are aggressors and invaders. It is not a question of right versus right, but of right versus wrong.

 

5. We have to separate, completely and finally, the World Jewish Problem from that of Palestine. The Jewish Problem should be dealt with in Europe, for Europe needs builders who can repair the destruction wrought by the Nazis. We cannot claim to have won the war if the roots of Naziism continue in Europe, and continue to preclude the people of the Jewish faith in Europe from enjoyment of full civil and religious right. The truth is that malicious Zionist designs have been applied to de-nationalize European Jewry and make them believe that they do not belong where they are and that they should go to Palestine. The Arabs cannot be responsible for such inhuman designs.

 

6. Are the democratic principles implied in the United Nations Charter, the Atlantic Charter, the Four Freedoms to be applied to the people of Palestine? Or are the people of Palestine to be victimized by designs and problems for which they are not responsible? Why are the Arabs of Palestine, through no fault of their own, to be penalized by deprivation of self-government and self-determination, simply because ambitious dreamers intend to establish a foreign state on an Arab land?

 

7. On more than one occasion, the British government has solemnly declared that they do not meet the Jewish national home to be a Jewish state, and that the Balfour Declaration was not intended to prejudice the rights and privileges of the Arabs to their own land. I should like to know whether the British Government still maintains the same position. If so, we hope that they will put en immediate and final stop to Zionist aims and ambitions, end see to it that no plan which is proposed for Palestine will lead to a Jewish state.

 

8. I am sure that, if Mr Balfour were alive, he would regret his own Declaration. That greet philosopher seems to have been misled and to have been told that Palestine was a land with relatively no inhabitants, or at least inhabited only by primitive peoples with no ideals or aims of their own. Now that that experiment has been tried for a quarter of a century, it is only great and noble to recognize that such a policy was not right and that it cannot lead to right. It is high time to make big decisions and to correct or at least to stop the wrongs of the past. The world needs to be established on principles and not on expediency. We should recognize the right of peoples and nations to live their own life in their own homes, and to enjoy self-determination. It is time that this should be recognized for the Arabs of Palestine.

 

9. No matter what view we hold about the use and value of history, the Arabs cannot give up their historical and legal rights to Palestine. No promises, declarations or statements acknowledging these rights can be ignored or forgotten. The McMahon correspondence and other First World War pledges; Paragraph 4, Article 22, of the Covenant of the League of Nations and Article 73 of the United Nations Charter; the various statements of policy made by His Majesty's Government; the Churchill White Paper of 1922; the Passfield Paper of 1930; the White Paper of 1939, are all British pledges which we continue to regard H1s Majesty's Government in honour bound to fulfill insofar as Arab rights and complaints are recognized in these documents.

Bearing the above points in mind, the Iraqi government cannot but reject the Morrison Plan of Federation, or, as it is now called, the Provincial Plan. This Plan certainly contradicts the following points:

 

(1) The Plan will most probably lead to partition. The Arabs will never acquiesce to partition, for, to recall the story of the two women before King Solomon, they are the true mother of the child.

 

(2) Partition will mean a Jewish state, and the Arabs will never acquiesce in any plan that might lead to that. A Jewish state would not only be a misfit in the Middle East, but a danger to all concerned. It would certainly be more than anything that the British government has never intended to grant to the Jews.

 

(3) The Plan would reduce a big portion of the Arab population to the status of a minority in a Jewish state. That we strongly oppose.

 

(4) The Plan might lead to further immigration, end, by artificially overcrowding a Jewish province, the Zionists might use every means to overflow and exploit neighbouring Arab lends.

 

(5) The Plan has all the defects which were clearly demonstrated by the Woodhead Report. In the long run, it will not work.

 

(6) The Plan deprives the Arabs of the best part of their country and makes them unable to support themselves financially. In this connection, I should like to refer to a point raised by Mr Bevin in his statement yesterday, that he cannot see how the Palestine budget could be met without Jewish money. I wish to state that the greater part of the Palestine budget is spent on the maintenance of a police force for the sake of security disturbed by the presence and actions of Zionism.

 

(7) We strongly object to the Plan for supporting the Anglo-American Enquiry Commission's view that Palestine should be neither Arab nor Jewish. That is a violation of the most elementary principles.

 

(8) We also object seriously to the reference made in the Plan to money to be spent on the Arabs in Palestine, and to a loan to be made to the Arab states. This may be due to a lack of understanding of Arab nature and character. The Arabs will never agree to give up their rights to their own homeland in exchange for bribes or material gain, from whatever source. An Arab would rather die of hunger than have his honour and dignity violated. National honour and dignity make us flatly reject such proposals.

 

(9) Iraq will never acquiesce in the establishment of a Zionist bridgehead in Palestine. We feel that there cannot be peace in the Middle East until the poisonous fangs of political Zionism have been pulled out.

 

These, in brief, are the views of my country. I have presented them very frankly, and, I am afraid, bluntly, but I Can assure you, honestly and sincerely. I also have laid my cards face-upwards on the table. I hope that the views which I have expressed will be taken in a spirit of friendship and sympathy, because it is only thus that we can lay the foundations of a just solution of the Palestine problem.  Since the British government could not find the possibility of an agreement between the Arabs and the Zionists on any particular solution, and, since Mr Truman, the President of the United States of America, was steadily increasing pressure on the British to open the gates of Palestine to Zionist immigration, the British government decided to relieve itself of the question of Palestine by referring it to the United Nations Organization for a decision on what was to be done.

 

The United Nations Special Session

 

In response to a request by the British government, the General Assembly of the United Nations held a Special Session in the spring of 1947 to look into the Palestine problem. I led the Iraqi delegation to the Special Session which met at Flushing Meadows and Lake Success. My efforts were directed to defending the right of the Palestinian Arabs to self-determination and independence, to proving that Palestine could not provide a solution of the Jewish problem which is universal in character, and to showing that any denial of the application of the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations to the Arabs of Palestine would lead to bloodshed and racial and religious conflicts. 

The Arab delegations to the Special Session met together regularly to coordinate their efforts. Besides we approached the Asiatic and African states like Iran, Turkey and India (before its division into India and Pakistan) to take a united stand to defend the inalienable rights of the Arabs of Palestine.

It was at Flushing Meadows and for the sake of Palestine that the Asian-African states first began to work together as group. I approached the leader of the Indian delegation, the Indian Ambassador to United States, Mr Assif 'Ali, to bring the Arab and other Asian and African delegations together to discuss cooperation in handling the Palestine problem. Mr Assif 'Ali invited heads of delegations to a luncheon at a restaurant near Flushing Meadows and it was there that the Asian-African cooperation movement was initiated.

The General Assembly in the Special Session decided to establish a United Nations Committee of Inquiry to study the question of Palestine in all its aspects and to submit its recommendations to the General Assembly. I emphasized that the membership of the 6ommittee should not include those who were already known to be biased in favour of Zionism. In fact the Committee did include some members who were very enthusiastic for the Zionist cause such as the delegates of Uruguay and Guatemala.

After the Special Session I gave a press conference to the United Press in Washington, May 22, 1947, which reported:

 

Jamali sharply scorned what he called the Zionists ideals of conquest, declaring they were a hang-over from the ill-advised Balfour Declaration which was based on the 19th century imperialist outlook, when the Western world imposed its thoughts and desires on the East forgetting that the East has a culture and has potentialities to grow, develop , rise and build anew civilization.

Fadhel Jamali emphasized that the Arab states would not be bound by any united nation committee of Inquiry decision which recommended partition of Palestine or the imposition of a Jewish state.

Fadhel Jamali expressed the opinion that all that was needed to settle the Palestine situation was to leave the people of Palestine alone and let them lead a democratic life without distinction as to race or religion.

This, he emphasized, was the only solution in conformity with the United Nations Charter.

 

The Committee of Inquiry came to Sofar, Lebanon, in the beginning of the summer of 1947 to listen to the Arab point of view. I was in London at the time but I flew to Lebanon to appear before the Committee and present the point of view of the Iraqi government on the Palestine problem. (See Appendix )

In August the Committee of Inquiry submitted its report to the Secretary General of the United Nations. The members of the Committee were not unanimous in their recomendations. The majority recommended the partition of Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish, state and an internationalized Jerusalem (Corpus Separatum). The minority, which included members from Iran, India and Yugoslavia, recommended the establishment of Arab end Jewish regional zones which would be confederated in something like the Swiss cantonal pattern.

The Secretary General circulated the Report of the Committee of Inquiry to the member states.

The Political Committee of the Arab League met and decided that the Arab states should address communiqués to both the United Kingdom and the United States warning them against the implementation of the Majority report of the Committee of Inquiry and holding them responsible for the consequences in case the partition plan was implemented.

The notes addressed to the United Kingdom and the United States were very similar in their content. Because of their historical importance it may be useful to give a translation of the note addressed to the United Kingdom by Iraq.
 

22 September, 1947

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its greetings to His Britannic Majesty’s Embassy in Baghdad, and it has the honour of informing the Embassy of the unanimous Resolution of the Political Committee of the Council of the League of Arab States passed on the 19th of September, 1947, and wishes to call the attention of the honourable Embassy to the following points and requests it to convey them as quickly as possible to His Britannic Majesty’s Government.

 

1. When the British Government's Mandate over Palestine was decided, although it was basically invalid because of the people's opposition to it, it was intended, in accordance with Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, that it should prepare the original inhabitants of this land to be an independent nation, and to achieve their political maturity in the shortest possible time so that, when the basic requirements for independence were completed, the Mandate would be terminated and independence declared. On the 18th of April, 1946, the League of Nations was dissolved and the Mandate emanating from the League supposing it was valid, ceased. But the British Government wished to continue its supervision of this land in order to achieve the prosperity of its original inhabitants. It was a wish offered by the British side and opposed by the Arabs of Palestine and rejected by all means by which they had been accustomed to express themselves from the time the Mandate was established.   In February, 1947, the Foreign Secretary of the British Government declared in the British Parliament that the people of Palestine had achieved a cultural and political maturity which qualified them to practise the independence of their land. Their case would be like that of other Arab lands which were severed from the Ottoman Empire in accordance with the Treaty of Lausanne and who now in fact enjoyed independence.  In spite of this and in spite of successive promises made to the Arabs by the British Government. It has not followed the natural course by declaring the independence of Palestine.

 

2. Since the Committee of Inquiry formed by the United Nations has submitted proposals which, in total and in part, demolish the independence of Palestine as an Arab State, the Arabs of Palestine and all inhabitants of the Arab lands deplore these proposals and refuse them and their foundations and declare to His Britannic Majesty’s Government from now that there is no legal authority anywhere which has the right to cut a piece from Arab Palestine and offer it to the Zionists to erect a Jewish state thereon. They also declare that there is no legal authority which is capable of permitting the invasion of Palestine by Jews who have no relation with it and who are not entitled to enter it.

 

3. The invasion of Palestine by Zionist elements has been associated with acts of violence and terrorism in order to enable them to establish their feet in the land so as to be able later on to achieve their ambitions in neighbouring Arab states.

 

4. For this reason the Governments of the Arab states have already warned the afore-mentioned Committee of Inquiry of the consequences of recommending the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine end revealed to them that this would certainly lead to troubles which would engulf the whole Middle East, the reason being that the Arabs of Palestine will not yield to any measure which will do away with the unity end independence of their lend. They will surely wage a war which knows no relaxation in order to repel that aggression from their land, especially since they know that all Arab lands will stand behind them to support them and provide them with men, money and ammunition for self-defence. The Arab Governments themselves will not be able to suppress the rebellious feelings of their peoples aroused by the injustice imposed on them. Nor will the Arab Governments stand with folded hands vis-a-vis a danger which threatens all Arab lands. They will be obliged to undertake some decisive action in order to repel aggression and restore right to its position.

 

A stand of this kind on the part of the Arab peoples or their Governments is not an exceptional matter since it has been proved on various occasions that the Zionists depend for their armament, terrorist movement and war activities, by which they inflict harm on the Arabs of Palestine, on political and material help offered to them by some foreign governments and by some bodies and organizations which encourage those governments. Besides, the problem of disarming the Jews to stop their terrorist activities has been the subject of repeated requests and protests made by the Arab Governments to the British Government without those efforts leading to any decisive success.

 

5. For these reasons it is the view of the Iraqi Government, which is still tied to His Britannic Majesty’s Government with the strongest of ties, that it is her duty to make clear to them the danger which is actually engulfing security and peace in the Middle East and to charge them with the responsibility for all the events that may follow in case a resolution is taken which infringes the right of Palestine to become an independent Arab state.

    

The Ministry takes this opportunity to express its highest esteem and respects.

    

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq to the British Embassy, Iraq

 

I am sure that the British and American governments did not give much weight to such memoranda presented by Arab governments who were not strong enough to defend Arab rights or threaten Western interests. But certainly both the United States and Britain underestimated the potential danger to peace and relations with the West which would be engendered by the frustration of the Arabs of Palestine and the Arabs in all other lends.

 

The General Assembly of the United Nations, 1947

Organization and meetings of the Arab delegations

           

        Before going to the Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly I went to the Ministry of Defence in Baghdad and had a meeting with the Minister, Shakir al-Wadi. I put before him the possibility of the United Nations passing a resolution which might prejudice Arab rights in Palestine. That might lead to trouble and blood shed that would endanger Arab lives and security. I inquired about the policy of the Ministry vis-a-vis such a situation And whether the Iraqi Ministry of Defence could come to the help end defence of our Palestinian brethren, because that would have a great effect on the stand Iraq would take in the United Nations. He assured me that the Ministry of Defence would take all measures to defend the rights of our Palestinian brethren and that I could speak with full assurance that the Ministry of Defence supported my words.
 

The major work done by the Arabs together in a united way for the sake of Palestine was their struggle in the United Nations Session, in the autumn of 1947, to try to prevent the partition of Palestine.

 

The Arab delegations included some strong and experienced persons. From the Egyptian delegation I remember Mohammed Husain Heikal Pasha, Dr Mahmoud Fawzi and Memduh Riyadh. The Lebanese delegation included Camille Sham’un Dr Charles Malik and Dr Victor Khouri. The Syrian delegation included Faris al-Khouri, Ameer 'Adil Arsalan and Dr Farid Zainuddin. The Saudi Arabian delegation included H. R. H. Prince Faisal and Dr 'Awni Dajjani. The Iraqi delegation included Nuri as-Sa’id and Dr Mohammed Fadhel Jamal. The Palestine delegation was headed by Jamal al-Husaini. I wish to put on record here the name off Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, then the foreign Minister of Pakistan, who took an active and whole-hearted part in the defence of Palestine.
 

The Arab delegations met frequently to integrate their activities. They held some general meetings for all the members of the delegation. They also formed a higher political committee attended by the heads of delegations and one other member from each delegation. They formed a liaison committee to contact the various delegations and another to draft memoranda and statements for publicity and the press.
 

We all worked with zeal and passion to defend the cause of justice and humanity for the Arabs of Palestine. We worked day and night under constant strain. The pressure of power politics was great and we sometimes had to speak as fighters and not as diplomats.
 

 The Opening the Session of the General Assembly

 

At the opening of each session of the General Assembly, heads of delegations make speeches setting out the general lines of their policy. General Marshall, Secretary of state for the United States, said that his government "gave much weigh" to the report of the majority of the Committee of Inquiry which recommended the partition of Palestine.   Heads of several Arab delegations, including Iraq, expressed in their statements of policy their dismay at the attitude taken by the United States and advised the United States government not to be rash in taking a stand under the influence of Zionist propaganda and pressure. General Marshall met the heads of the Arab delegations at a luncheon party and assured them that America was still open minded and had reached no final decision yet, and that "giving weight" to the majority report did not mean final acceptance of it.

Next came the allocation of the items of the agenda of the Session to the various Committees. The Palestine problem, being major political question, should have been sent to the Political Committee for debate. Instead an Ad Hoc Political Committee was formed to deal with it. This was done over the objections of the Arab delegations who wanted the First Committee, namely, the Political Committee, to deal with Palestine, since the heads of delegations usually sat in the First Committee.

 

The Ad Hoc Political Committee

 

When the Ad Hoc Political Committee was formed, Dr Evatt, the Foreign Minister of Australia, was elected as its Chairman. The representative of Australia on the Committee of Inquiry had been quite neutral and he had not voted for partition. Thus the Arabs were deceived by thinking that Dr Evatt would be an impartial Chairman. Actually he proved to be a master of tactics in steering the Ad Hoc Political Committee toward achieving Zionist ends.
 

When the Ad Hoc Political Committee first met it decided that the representatives of both the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency should be invited to take part in the discussions and to answer questions. The Arab Higher Committee was led by Jamal al-Husaini. The representatives of the Jewish Agency were led by Moshe Shertok (Sharett).

 

When the general debate was opened, various delegations began to express their views on the report of the Committee of Inquiry. Some states criticized the majority report and some agreed with it. Others celled for conciliation and understanding between the Arabs and the Jews. Others dealt with the legal aspects of the subject. From the Iraqi delegation Nuri Sa'id end I made statements. The former dealt with the betrayal of the Arabs and the injustice of the Balfour declaration imposing Zionism on Palestine, and showed how all of that was contrary to the letters of Sir Henry McMahon to King Husain in the First World War and e violation of Arab natural rights.   In my speech I dealt with the fundamental principles in the light of which the Palestinian problem should be examined. I showed that the recommendation of the majority of the Committee of Inquiry as well as the Zionist claims were all contrary to democratic principles and the principles of the United Nations Charter. I refuted the claim of Jewish right to a national home as well as their need for such a home. The Jews, citizen in any country, must consider that country as their home. I criticized the United States which contradicted itself when it called for the application of some principles in Greece and denied the application of the same principles to the Arabs of Palestine.

One of the most important speeches defending the Arab cause was made by Sir Muhammad Mafrullah Khan, leader of the Pakistan delegation. He reviewed the Palestine question and proved the legality of Arab rights therein, refuted all Zionist claims of the partition, proposal. His speech made a deep impression on the Committee.
 

Many people were waiting to hear what the representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union had to say. Mr Creech-Jones, British Secretary of State for the Colonies, made an important statement. He spoke in the name of the British government explaining that the Mandate is unworkable and stating that his government would not undertake any solution which did not please both Arabs and Jews. The statement made some members doubt the possibility of imposing partition so long as the Arabs opposed it and so long as Britain was not willing to use force to implement it.
 

A speech by Jamal al-Husaini followed in which he explained that the rights of the Palestinian Arabs to their own country, Palestine, was a natural, unquestionable right and that they would not yield a span of Palestine before shedding the last drop of their blood and that the Palestine Arab delegation was not ready to take part in any discussion regarding the partition plan for it was absolutely rejected from its very foundations.
 

         He was followed by Rabbi Silver on behalf of the Jewish Agency who claimed that the Jews had historical connections with Palestinian support by the Balfour declaration and that the Mandate gave them rights in all of Palestine. But they were ready now to sacrifice and let TransJordan be excluded and they also would accept the part left to them. In other words, he accepted the partition scheme.
 

Everybody was anxious to hear the statement of the delegate of the United States. Mr Hershel Johnson made the statement which endorsed the partition scheme and called for an international militia of volunteers to implement it. He stated that he took it for granted that United Nations member states surrounding Palestine would not undertake any aggressive (sic) move. This was a reference to the Arab states.
 

The American statement came as a great disappointment to the hopes of the Arab delegations who had seen the statement 24 hours before it was delivered and who had asked Faris al-Khouri to make a reply immediately after its delivery. He did make a very forceful reply. He was followed by a number of speakers, some of them from the Arab delegations.
 

Later I prepared a speech refuting the statements of all those who supported the partition scheme like Uruguay, Poland and Guatemala. I then turned to the United States and explained American relation to the Zionist and how Zionist propaganda in the United States and the Zionist role in American electioneering and elections had led to this harmful plan for partition, harmful to American interest, the interests of the United Nations itself and the interests of world peace. Then I dealt with the Committee of Inquiry and exposed the partisanship to Zionism of some of its members. Next I refuted the proposed plan for partition in the light of the principles of justice, politics, economics, peace and stability, and emphasized that partition was not practical and could not succeed.
 

Of those who spoke in the Ad Hoc Committee 16 states were in favour of the partition and 12 including the Arab states were against partition.   The Iraqi delegation, supported by the Syrian delegation, questioned the legality of the United Nations passing a resolution of partition against the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants of a country. The Charter does not authorize the United Nations to take such measures. If the UN should pass such a resolution they would be acting illegally and openly violating the Charter. I suggested, then, that the matter should be referred to the International Court of Justice at the Hague for consultation to avoid the passing of a mistaken resolution. 

  

The proposal was a reasonable one, and we had enough votes to carry it in the morning when it should have come to the vote in the Ad Hoc Political Committee. However, voting was postponed until the evening session. A dinner party had been arranged by the opposition to which some of those who supported the Resolution were invited so that they would be absent at the time of voting. The Resolution came to the vote in the evening and the number of votes for and against were equal. The deciding vote against going to the International Court was cast by the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Political Committee.   Some years later I came across a book called, The Law of the United Nations, by a well-known professor of International Law, Dr Hans Kelsen, who himself is a Jew. He comments in one of the footnotes of his book that the objection raised by the delegate of Iraq, as well as by others, to the  legality of the partition Resolution was valid. (Footnote:  Hans Kelsen, The Law of the United Nations, Stevens & Sons Ltd.,  London, 1951, p. 197 )
 

The United Nations, from a strictly legal point of view, was not entitled to take a decision to partition a country against the wishes of the majority of its inhabitants. Dr Hans Kelsen is an important witness and he comes from the Jewish side.  When the general debate was over, three sub-committees were formed. The first was to study the project of partition and to put it in its final shape. The second was to study the project of the unitary state and to prepare a final draft proposal. The third was to study the question of conciliation and of reconciling the Arab and Zionist views.  The formation of these committees was entrusted to the Chairman. He formed the first and the second sub-committees from delegations who favoured the purpose of the committee. The sub-committee on partition was made up of USA, USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Canada, Guatemala, Uruguay, the Union of South Africa end Venezuela.  The sub-committee on the unitary state was made up of the six Arab states (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen), Afganistan, Pakistan and Columbia. As for the sub-committee for conciliation, it was made up of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, Prince Wan of Thailand and the rapporteur from Iceland. Britain was requested to send representatives to both the first and second sub-committees. The Jewish Agency was to send a representative to the first sub-committee and the Higher Arab Committee to send a representative to the Second sub-committee.   In the second sub-committee I nominated the representative of Columbia to become Chairman and the representative of Pakistan to become rapporteur. The representative of Columbia asked Mr Evatt to include some impartial members in the committees. When he declined to do so the representative of Columbia withdrew from the sub-committee. The representative of Pakistan acted as both Chairman and rapporteur of the sub-committee.

The sub-committee on the unitary state made the following proposal:

We hereby submit the following proposal as being the only just, practical and democratic way to achieve the independence of Palestine and its future constitutional organization:

1. That an Arab state in the whole of Palestine be established on democratic lines.

2. That the said Arab state of Palestine will respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law.

3. That the said Arab State of Palestine will protect the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities.

4. That freedom of worship and Access to the Holy Place will be guaranteed to all

            The following steps will have to be taken to give effect to the aforesaid principles:

(a) A Constituent Assembly shall be elected at the earliest possible time. All genuine and law-abiding nationals of Palestine will be entitled to participate in the elections for the Constituent Assembly.

(b) The said Constituent Assembly shall, within a fixed time, formulate and enact a Constitution for the Arab State of Palestine, which shall be of a democratic nature and shall embody the above-mentioned four principles.

(c) A government shall be formed within a fixed time, in accordance with the terms of the Constitution to take over the administration of Palestine from the Mandatory Power.

 

The third sub-committee did nothing but send a letter to Prince Faisal, the representative of Saudi Arabia, and to General Marsahll, Secretary of State of the United States, asking them to meet and reach a settlement. Prince Faisal expressed his willingness to meet with General Marshall, but the letter did not respond to the sub-committee's request.   The first sub-committee took some time to do the work entrusted to it. It met some legal and practical difficulties which it could not overcome, especially in the question of implementing partition, for Britain would accept no responsibility in this connection. The Zionists took part in the sub-committee with vehement zeal, and Moshe Shertok sat with the butchers who were cutting up Palestine bit by bit. He chose and asked for the pieces of meat which suited Israeli interests.   While this dissection was going on, a conflict started between Shertok and the United States delegate Ambassador Hershel Johnson, about the allotment of the Negev. The Special Committee of Inquiry had recommended the Negev, at least most of it, should be included in the Arab state of Palestine. As for Shertok, he insisted that it should go to the Zionists. After some give And take in the sub-committee, Johnson was celled to the telephone. Truman in person was on the line ordering him to give Negev to the Zionists, contrary to the recommendations of the Special Committee of Inquiry. Johnson returned from the telephone to the sub-committee, changed his stand, and yielded to the wishes of Shertok. Thus the sub-committee, and later the General Assembly, gave the Zionists more than had been proposed by the special committee which had recommended partition. It gave them practically all that Shertok asked for, and that was due to the intervention of Truman who had succumbed to Dr Weizmann's influence.

 

After a week or so the Ad Hoc Committee met to consider the reports of the three sub-committees. They started with the report of t he sub-committee on partition. Questions were addressed by the representatives of Pakistan and Syria regarding the legal foundations of the Palestine question and the partition project. The delegate of Lebanon asked some embarrassing questions which showed the impossibility of partition from the practical point of view and the absurdity of partition. As for me, I asked about the stand of the United Nations vis-a-vis a people who will defend themselves if their country is invaded. would the United Nations declare war on e people who would surely defend them selves driven by the instinct of survival. Then several delegates spoke, some approving the project of partition and others objecting. I spoke for the second time calling attention to the fact that the partition project contradicted the United Nations Charter in letter and spirit. I warned of the dangers which would ensure from imposing partition and stated that the Arab countries would all be disturbed and resort to force. I addressed the American delegate very sharply requesting him to follow the path of peace and justice and not the path of force and imposition by influencing the neutral states. I asked him if the United States was reedy to send force to fight the Arabs, and, if that were the case, would she provide the opportunity for others states also to send force? If both the United States and the Soviet Union send force to Palestine, what would the effect be on the international situation?

 

The next day Nuri as-Sa'id delivered a speech regarding the Communist danger facing the Arab lands from the ports of the Black Sea and how there are persons, who are not Jews, who infiltrate with the Jewish immigrants for political aims which will cause trouble throughout the Middle East. I intended to speak for the third time but Chairman Evatt would not permit it, so I passed my word to my Egyptian colleague who read it after his own speech without reference to Iraq. Some amendments were proposed to the partition project to avoid British objections regarding implementation and regarding reference to the Security Council for the General Assembly had no competence in this matter.  The vote on the project for partition was taken in an evening session. There were 25 votes in favour, 13 against and 17 abstention.  The project for a unitary state was automatically rejected since the plan for partition had received a majority vote.

 

The General Assembly Vote on Partition

 

    Next came the struggle to prevent the passing of a Resolution to partition Palestine. To be accepted, the resolution would require a vote in favour by two-third of the voting.  It is customary in the United Nations at times to do some 'horse trading’ between member states. When you request a delegation's support in a question which concerns, you, that delegation will expect your support in a question that concerns it. The Arab delegations had six votes in the United Nations at that time, for Yemen had joined the UN in that session. We were ready to exchange votes with whoever supported us in defeating partition.   When the Greek government brought a complaint to the United Nations against Soviet intervention in northern Greece where the Greek rebels were getting soviet support in their activities, the complaint was discussed in the General Assembly. When the question came to a vote, most of the Arab states abstained. Iraq was the only Arab state that voted on the side of Greece. Iraq had, as a principle, always stood against Communist intervention and against subversive movements anywhere in the world.

 

When the time came for voting on the partition of Palestine, Mr Dandramis, Head of the Greek delegation was including to abstain from voting thus returning tit-for-tat to the Arab states who had abstained on the Greek question. I sought the help of the head of the Turkish delegation Saleem Sarper, And we went together to meet Mr Dandramis and to ask that he should reciprocate in the matter of the Iraqi vote for Greece with a vote against the partition of Palestine. We said that it would not be appropriate for him to refrain from giving Iraq a supporting vote. On the contrary, it would be most appropriate for him to vote against the partition of Palestine. Ever since, so far as I know, Greece has supported the Arab stand on the Palestine question.

 

At a meeting of the Heads of Arab delegations Faris al-Khouri and Farid Zainuddin, who were in contact with the Soviet bloc, suggested that we should come to un understanding with the Soviets that we would vote with them on their problems if they would help us by voting against partition. In the name of the Iraqi delegation I said that we were ready to do that. We were ready to cooperate with the Soviets in the United Nations if they would guarantee their stand on our side and their votes against the partition of Palestine. But we would not support them without previous assurance that they would stand with us. The meeting authorized Faris al-Khouri to contact the Soviet bloc on this basis. Not many days passed before Andrei Gromyko, delegate of the Soviet Union, went to the rostrum of the General Assembly to announce the sympathy of the Soviet Union for the Jews who had been persecuted by Hitler and to say that they deserved to be helped to establish a state of their own in Palestine. He said that the Soviets would support the partition of Palestine.

The Arab delegation continued to exert great efforts to win support for Arab rights in Palestine and their efforts were about to yield fruit, for there were enough votes to ensure that the General Assembly would reject the Resolution on the Partition of Palestine. Had the General Assembly voted before the American Thanksgiving Day recess there would not have been a two-thirds majority in favour of the Resolution.   But, due the influence of the American delegation and the machinations of the United Nation Secretariat led by Trygvie Lie, a postponement of the voting was arranged. The argument against taking the vote was that there were still several speakers on the list and that it would not be possible to take the vote on the day before Thanksgiving Zafrullah Khan and I went to the President of the General Assembly, Dr Arania, and asked to withdraw our names from the list of speakers and we assured him that other delegates including those of the Arab delegations were willing to withdrew their names from the list of speakers. Dr Arania did not grant our request for he was under political pressure.

 

In the Session a motion was made to adjourn until after the American Thanksgiving Day. This was passed by a simple majority vote.  During the recess came President Truman’s intervention and his pressure on some states needing American aid. The Zionists redoubled their efforts in the capitals of the world. As a result, several European and South American delegations changed their stand from anti-partition or abstention to the stand for partition. Thus, when the Session was resumed we found ourselves facing defeat.   As a last resort I went to the rostrum and delivered a speech asking for time for further negotiation and efforts to reach en agreed solution of the Palestine problem and to avoid a greet catastrophe. Many eloquent speeches were made, notably by Sir Zafrullah Khan and Dr Lopez, the Head of the Columbian delegation, in which they challenged the legality of partition and its violation of the principles of the Charter. They emphasized the danger to peace and stability in the Middle East. The Columbian, refuting the arguments in favour of the partition policy, revealed the greet pressure being brought on him to vote for partition. He warned the UN against taking precipitous action which would endanger world peace. He stated that the question of Palestine could be deferred for another two months for further study and negotiations.   The delegate of France stated that he saw a ray of hope in the speech of the-Iraqi delegate and he proposed a postponement of the debate for 24 hours so as to permit the two parties to reach an understanding. The motion was carried. 

           

The Arab delegations welcomed the postponement. The Americans and the Soviets, on the other hand, opposed it, for it was hoped that voting on the partition would be concluded without delay. The Zionists had prepared in advance their jubilant celebrations. The success of the French proposal was a disappointment for them.  The Arab delegations met and their meeting continued until late at night. It was thought that it was in the interests of the Arabs that they should make a last attempt and a show of good will in an effort to come to an understanding with the Zionists. The Arab delegations decided to submit a federal plan for Palestine, a plan in the formulation of which Jamal al-Husaini, representative of the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine, would not take part and for which he would accept no responsibility. Faris al-Khouri of Syria and Camille Sham'un of Lebanon were asked to prepare the draft resolution and to contact Mr Lopez, the leader of the Columbian delegation, on the method of its presentation.

The draft resolution was submitted by Camille Sham’un in the afternoon session. The American, Russian and Canadian delegations opposed it vigorously and refused to discuss it. Each of them emphasized that there was no solution except partition and that any attempt at conciliation was designed for procrastination and to gain time. The delegate of Columbia was ready to propose adjournment in order to give time to study the federal plan, but the American delegate requested him not to do so. On learning of this, I asked the Head of the Iranian delegation, Mr 'Adl, to ask for the adjournment, which he did. He submitted a proposal asking for adjournment long enough to study the Arab draft resolution.   President Arania refused to submit the proposal for discussion or a vote. Faris al-Khouri went to the rostrum end criticized the manner in which the question was being treated and the spirit prevailing in pushing the partition plan through the United Nations. He said that the United Nations had not exerted any effort to bring about an agreed settlement. 

 

President Arania went ahead and put the Resolution on the Partition of Palestine to the vote. The result was 13 states against, 33 for, and 10 abstentions.

Voting against partition were: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.  

Those voting for partition were: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bylo-Russia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Equador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Holland, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukrania, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.   

Those that abstained were: Argentine, Chili, Chine, Columbia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.

The delegate of Thailand absented himself.

After the result of the vote had been announced, Prince Faisal for Saudi Arabia, Zafrullah Khan for Pakistan, I myself for Iraq and Emir ‘Adil Arsalan for Syria, each went to the rostrum to deprecate the Resolution on Partition and to express bitter disappointment in the United Nations and to announce that the Arab states would not be bound by the Resolution which was unjust and unfair to Arab rights and contrary to the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter. Then all the Arab delegations quit the Assembly in protest. Their departure created a sad and solemn atmosphere.   Next the Arab delegations met and prepared a strong statement which was delivered to the press. The Arab delegations had tried actively to convince other delegations to vote against partition by appealing to logic, justice and law. Their efforts were successful with delegations who had a living conscience end an independent judgment. But some delegations were compelled to change their stand when they saw power end the material interests of their countries on the other side.  We remember how the delegate of Haiti shed tears when he was forced to change his country's vote to one in favour of partition. We recall how General Romulo of the Philippines left the U.S.A, because of Zionist threats. Dr Arce of the Argentine, who had stood against partition, came to me and said that he was sorry that he had to abstain rather than to vote against partition, but this was the result of pressure on his government. These are a few of the several delegates who were forced to vote against their convictions.

Sometime before the vote was taken I was talking with Lester Pearson, then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada and later Prime Minister. I said, "Mr Pearson, do you believe that the act of partitioning Palestine against the will of its inhabitants is an act dictated by conscience and law?" He answered me frankly, "Dr Jamali, politics doesn't know conscience or law unless they are supported by power.  As for us today, we are obliged to comply with the policy of the U.S.A. in what she decides on Palestine." Thus Lester Pearson remained a strong supporter of Zionism, not because of conscientious conviction or for legal reasons, but because power and political interests required it of him.  The same held true for the representative of Czechoslovakia who also said that the legal aspect of the Palestine problem had been ignored and that the politics of the Great Powers decided the issue and that the U.S.A. had the last word in the matter of Palestine.  

The Arabs owe a debt of gratitude to Ambassador Belt of Cuba who courageously and forcefully fought the resolution on the partition of Palestine on the basis of its being unjust, illegal and not conducive to peace in the Middle East. When, at the last minute, his government decided to change its position and vote partition he resigned his post rather then to follow his government's instructions and vote against his own conscience.

 

Arab Confrontation with Zionists at the United Nations

 

The Arab delegates had to enter into lengthy debates with other United Nations delegates privately or in the United Nations to refute Zionist claims. This is the Arab point of view:

The Arabs are not anti-Jewish, for the Jews have lived with them for centuries in peace and harmony. There is much in common between them racially, religiously and culturally. It is the invading, aggressive Zionism that they oppose and object to, for it is poisoning the atmosphere in the Middle East.   Zionism is a reactionary, nationalistic movement. It is based on racial and religious discrimination and segregation by the Jews. In reality it represents neither race nor religion. The Jews of the world do not represent one race. They have mixed with several other human races" and they have assimilated non-Semitic peoples who were converted to Judaism. As for religion, not all Zionists practice Judaism. There are those who are laic, and there are those who are anti-religious atheists. There are also those Jews, a respectable group, who refuse to march under the Zionist banner. The non-Zionist or anti-Zionist Jews hold to their religion as a religion and do not mix it with nationalism. So Zionist nationalism based on race and religion is a myth. Furthermore, it is a reactionary myth because it tries to undermine Jewish loyalty in any country where it penetrates. It tries to inculcate amongst the Jews a new loyalty which alienates them from the mother country in which they live. It disunites humanity instead of uniting it. In this sense it is a reactionary movement.

            As for Zionism being an aggressive movement, this hardly needs an explanation, for the Zionists invaded a country inhabited by its people and evacuated those people by force and, took their place. That is aggression in its worst form.   The Zionists came to the United Nations using the following arguments:

Palestine has been the national home of the Jews for thousands of years, and the Jews dispersed allover the world, have never cut their spiritual relations with Palestine at any time.

The Arabs possess vast lands. Why should they not give up a small portion of their lands to the Zionists?

The Zionists developed Palestine and brought modern civilization to the Middle East.

Hitler persecuted the Jews and exterminated millions of them. After this persecution the Jews deserve to have a home of their own to which they can go.

 

The Arab delegations would answer as follows:

            The whole of Palestine has never been the home of the Jews at any time in history. The Jews did rule over parts of Palestine for a period of about 400 years, but that was over 2000 years ago. As for the existence of a Jewish minority in Palestine throughout this period, this does not give the Jews who are outside Palestine any right to the country.  What is to apply to Palestine should be a general rule made to apply to all human beings. If the people of the world today are to return to the homes of their forefathers of thousands of years ago, the whole map of the world would have to be revised today.

            As for the argument that the Arabs possess vast lands, so does the U.S.A., so does Canada and China and Australia and Brazil, etc. Does the vastness of a country give others the right to come and occupy it? Here again there must be a general rule which is applicable to all the world. Nothing should be applied to Palestine which is not applicable to other lands as well.

As for the argument that the Zionists developed Palestine and introduced modern scientific methods in agriculture, health, etc., this is exactly the logic of the old European imperialism, and imperialism is what definitely characterizes Zionism in addition to reaction and aggression. What the Zionists did in Palestine in the way of development is no different from what the white colonialists did in Asia and Africa. It does not give them the right of domination. In their new renaissance the Arabs do not need Zionism, for the main sources of modern civilization are available to all mankind.

As for the cruelties of Hitler, they were directed toward all the enemies of Naziism, Jews and non-Jews alike. Granting, however, that Hitler crushed the Jews, should the Jews in their turn crush the Arabs? And should the Arabs of Palestine alone carry the weight of retribution for Hitler's cruelty? Is this justice and humane logic?

Zionist influence in the United Nations did not draw its power from right or logic, but rather from world Zionism and its influence in the capitals of the Great Powers through commerce, politics, economics, science and propaganda.  Moreover, the Zionists spent money generously to influence some responsible men in different countries. In the U.S.A. they exploited their political power in a most subtle way. Most Jewish votes, money and propaganda in the elections were given to those who supported Zionism and who went farthest in pleasing Zionist extremists.  Besides, the Zionists exerted great efforts in the corridors of the United Nations to influence the delegates of some small powers with inducements, material gifts, propaganda in the press, entertainments and parties. In this connection I wish to mention that the delegate of Guatemala, who was very enthusiastic for Zionism, saw me one day and assured me that the rumour current that he had 'received' was not true.   In spite of the Zionist strength they could not deceive the "many conscientious delegates who scrupulously supported the Arab point of view. In fact, had not the two great powers, the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union stood behind Zionism in the United Nations, the Resolution on the Partition of Palestine would not have passed.

 

The reasons why these two giant powers stood behind Zionism is simple to understand. Zionism in the United States considers Israel as its foothold in the Middle East for political, economic and military purposes, since strategically Palestine touches three continents, Asia, Europe end Africa. It also has important harbours on the Mediterranean. Therefore American Zionism should be considered as a tough imperialistic movement. It is even worse than Western imperialism for it uprooted a whole people and dispersed them. Besides, Israel is considered by some reactionary forces in the West as their bridgehead in the Middle East, or as a dumping ground for undesired Jews.

 

In 1947 when the question of the partition of Palestine was being debated at the United Nations and the American Zionists were most active in favour of the creation of Israel, I attended a reception given by the Indian delegation to the UN. At that reception I met Rabbi Newman, a prominent American Zionist who was quite smooth and courteous. I asked him, "Why don't the American Jews themselves want to go to Palestine although they are urging Jews of other countries to go there?" He was frank to say, "The Jews are not at home here in the U.S.A. and the day will come when they also will want to seek refuge in Palestine." This made me think that Zionism is preparing a very dark future for the Jews of U.S.A. and a troubled future for peace in the Middle East. As for the Soviet Union, in spite of its ideological opposition to Zionism which it considers as a reactionary, imperialistic movement, it nevertheless uses Israel as a wedge between the Arabs and the West, for the Soviet Union rejoices over anything that leads to alienation between the Arabs and the West.  A few years after the partition of Palestine and the establishment of Israel, I was dining at the home of Mr Vishinsky, the head of the Soviet delegation to the United Nations. After dinner I addressed the following question to him. "Mr Vishinsky, knowing that Communist ideology considers Zionism as a reactionary movement, how did it happen that the Soviet Union came out in support of Zionism in the creation of the state of Israel and gave it immediate recognition?" He smiled end said, "I cannot answer your question." 
 

            The East and the West, then, were united on the partition of Palestine, but for quite contradictory ends.  He know of no factor more effective than the partition of Palestine and the creation of Israel in the heart of the Arab world to cause alienation and repulsion between the Arabs and the West. There is no doubt that the Soviets were jubilant when they sew President Truman slip in such a blind manner as to expose peace and stability in the Middle East to continual danger. Truman opened the gate wide in the Middle East for Communism to enter Arab hearts and minds. The Soviets gave their blessing to this American policy and they supported the step which was short-sightedly taken by the President of the United States. Another Zionist maneuver was the penetration of the United Nations Organization and its administrative structure, both with their strong influence and sometimes with their specially qualified men. They had some key men in the 0rganization itself, a fact which contributed to the steering of the Palestine question toward partition since they influenced the procedure of the General Assembly.

 
           Later it was proved (a thing which I had felt from the beginning) that the secretary General of the United Nations, Trygvie Lie, had exerted great efforts toward the founding of Israel. When the Soviet Union objected to the renewal of Trygvie Lie's contract as secretary General of the United Nations, the Iraqi delegation was the only Arab delegation that voted on the side of the Soviets on this issue. In explaining Iraq's position I said that, in spite of our respect for the personality of Trygvie Lie, we would not vote in favour of renewing his contract because of his
frank bias in favour of Zionism. After he left his position as Secretary General of the United Nations, Trygvie Lie was engaged by the Zionists of the United States as a propagandist for raising American funds for Israel.

 

Palestine and Western Interests in the Arab World

 

         The Arabs are the legal owners of Palestine. They have the right to their own country. There is no doubt about that. But right cannot be guaranteed to the Arabs unless it is protected by might.   Do the Arabs have any might besides the force of right itself? In our view, the answer is in the affirmative, for the Arabs have material power besides the morel power of right. This power rests on at least two important factors in the international field. The first is the strategic position of the Arab lands, and the second is oil. Did the Arabs profit from these two factors for the sake of saving Palestine?
 

         As regards the strategic position, the West considered the Middle East as a region vital for the safety of Europe. The West seemed to be reedy to win Arab friendship And guarantee that Palestine would remain Arab if the Arabs would agree to enter a general defence system with the West. This was the theory of Ernest Bevin, the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain. "The friendship of the Arabs is more important for Britain then military bases or armies stationed in the Middle Seat." This is what he told me personally, but at the same time he wanted to have a Defence Treaty signed by Great Britain and Iraq.    Mr Bevin's stand on the Palestine issue was made plain in the British Parliament where be clearly declared his opposition to the policy of President Truman and to his request that unlimited immigration into Palestine should be permitted. Bevin's policy led to tension with Truman, and the Zionists openly attacked Bevin in their propaganda, some even calling him a second Hitler.  On my return from the United Nations Session of 1947, after the Resolution on the Partition of Palestine had been passed, I called on Mr Bevin. When he asked me how I was, I answered, "As tired as can be. We laboured day and night at the United Nations so that justice might prevail in Palestine, and, when we were about to succeed in our efforts, Truman overwhelmed the United Nattions and made it pass the unjust Resolution on partition."   Mr Bevin answered, "Don't De in despair. Your efforts will not be wasted and the Zionists will not be able to form a state in Palestine."

 

Portsmouth Treaty

 


I received a telegram from Baghdad asking me to wait in London to join the Iraqi delegation coming to negotiate the Treaty of Alliance between Great British and Iraq, which was called the Portsmouth Treaty. I remained in London until we signed the Treaty on January 15, 1948.  When the delegation headed by Prime Minister Saleh Jabr arrived in London I accompanied him on his first call on Mr Bevin, on January 7. The conversation started by general remarks concerning the heavy duties of the Prime Minister of Iraq. Saleh Jabr said jokingly, "My Foreign Minister, Dr Jamali, went to have a nice time in America and left me to carry the burden."  I answered, "The fact is that I did not go for a good time, but for a tough fight for Palestine. Unfortunately it was a lost battle."  Mr Bevin answered, "No, Dr Jamali. Don't think that it is lost. The time will come when your efforts will bear fruit."  After the ceremony of signing the Portsmouth Treaty, Mr Bevin remarked, "No doubt you would like to have a meeting to discuss various problems besides the Treaty end especially the problem of Palestine."   On Wednesday, January 22, Prime Minister Saleh Jabr was giving a luncheon at Claridges Hotel in honour of Prime Minister Clement Attlee. In the morning I had a call from the Foreign 0ffice informing me that Mr Bevin wished to call on me in my suite in Clardiges an hour before lunch in order to discuss the Palestine problem. I informed Prime Minister Saleh Jabr and we agreed that he and Nuri Sa’id should be present in my suit on the arrival of Mr Bevin. At the appointed hour Mr Bevin arrived with Mr Creech Jones, Secretary for the Colonies, Mr Michael Wright, Director of the Near East Section of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sir Henry Mack, British Ambassador to Iraq, and Mr Harold Beeley, specialist on Palestine in the Foreign Office.


        Mr Bevin opened the discussion saying, “We have decided to leave Palestine. What you want us to do now?”  Nuri Sa'id answered, "we want you to hasten in terminating the Mandate and to do it immediately if possible.”   Mr Creech-Jones answered that the military authorities agreed that there should not be a long period between terminating the Mandate and the complete withdrawal of the British army, for ending the civil administration would have a direct effect on the plans for the military withdrawal.  Mr Bevin added, "It seems that this is the only point on which you are in agreement with the Zionists, for they also want us to terminate the Mandate quickly and withdraw. We will do our best to terminate the Mandate and withdraw in the shortest possible time."  Nuri as-Sa’id suggested that the military should be asked to review their program and quicken their withdrawal.  I intervened and asked, "Is it true that the process of withdrawal will be delayed on account of the season for exporting oranges from Palestine?"   Mr Creech-Jones answered, "The press has written a good deal on this subject, but it is not correct. Exporting oranges has absolutely nothing to do with the plan for withdrawal."  Nuri as-Sa’id raised the problem of control of petroleum. He did not want it to pass to the Zionist so that they could fight the Arabs.  Mr Creech-Jones said, "Control of petroleum is under consideration. I told the representatives of the oil companies to inform their American counterparts to be frank with President Truman about the difficulties which the oil companies face as a result of American policy in Palestine. I was told by them that this week the American oil companies in the Arab world approached both President Truman and General Marshall, Secretary of State, and informed them a bout the critical situation of the oil companies in the Arab world and the unreadiness of the Arabs to take any new steps in expanding their oil projects so long as the situation in Palestine end the Arab world remains as it is. I proposed to the representatives of the Ministry of Fuel that they under take a similar move to make the Americans understand."
 

Then we dealt with the military aspects and we stated that Iraq alone, mobilizing the Palestinians for self-defence, would undertake to save Palestine. It was agreed that Iraq would buy for the Iraqi police force 50,000 tommy-guns. We intended to hand them over to the Palestine army volunteers for self-defence. Great British was ready to provide the Iraqi army with arms and ammunition as set forth in a list prepared by the Iraqi General Staff. The British undertook to withdraw from Palestine gradually, so that Arab forces could enter every area evacuated by the British in order that the whole of Palestine should be in Arab bands after the British withdrawal. The meeting ended and we were all optimistic about the future of Palestine. While still in London Saleh Jabr thought of purchasing some German torpedo boats that were for sale in Belgium. They were small, swift boats which he thought would protect the shores of Palestine and prevent any support coming to the Zionists from outside.  The Treaty of Portsmouth, which was neither seen nor read by 99% of those who attacked it, was intended to be a pattern of cooperation between Britain and the Arab states It was hoped that other Arab states like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt would join a defence agreement with the West so that the West could guarantee that Communism and Soviet influence would not penetrate the Middle East.  However, it seems that this policy became known to the Zionists who considered Bevin as a bitter opponent. They cooperated with the Communists in Iraq and exploited the sentiments of some Iraqi nationalists to organize al-wathbeh, a sanguinary uprising against the Treaty. Iraqi public opinion was mobilized not only against the Portsmouth Treaty but against any defensive cooperation whatever its nature with the West.
 

The result was that the Portsmouth Treaty was abandoned, and the Iraqi Cabinet which signed it had to resign after the sanguinary events in Baghdad. Mr Bevin's whole defence system against Communism in the Middle East fell to pieces. Mr Bevin himself lost his political battle inside the British Cabinet. He was overcome by the supporters of Zionism who were quite strong in the Labour Cabinet and in the British Parliament. The sanguinary disturbances in Baghdad, the resignation of Saleh Jabr's Cabinet, and the abandonment of the Portsmouth Treaty, all led to the defeat of Mr Bevin's policy, which was intended to gain Arab friend ship and to guarantee security in the Middle East. After the rejection of the Portsmouth Treaty by the succeeding Iraqi Cabinet, Iraq did not get the arms which were intended to save Palestine.   This reversal was capped, when the British army was leaving Palestine, by a British General who handed over guns and tanks to the Zionists so that they could fight the Arabs. This was done, as the General is reported to have said, "to defend the honour of Britain" which had been tarnished by Mr Bevin.   There is no doubt that thoughtful Arabs today regret the losses and sacrifices in Baghdad caused by the signing of the Portsmouth Treaty, especially since world strategy has been fundamentally changed by modern arms, so that military bases, treaties and alliances do not carry the same significance that they carried when the Portsmouth Treaty was signed. Regret for the sanguinary events in Baghdad connected with the Portsmouth Treaty is increased when one realizes that they were probably the immediate cause of the Arab defeat in Palestine. It can be clearly seen then, that the Arabs did not utilize the strategic position of their lands in order to win the Palestine case.

 

Oil

As for the subject of oil we had our personal opinion on the matter. I had proposed in the Arab League meeting in Bludan that the Arab League Council should pass a resolution warning Western powers that the oil supply would be cut off if they supported Zionism in Palestine. The Arab League Council did not pass that resolution because they held that agreements with oil companies were to be considered legal, juridical contracts which should not be tampered with for political reasons.  As for Iraq, we maintained that, if the Arabs posed a genuine threat to cut off the oil, and, if they acted seriously in the matter, the oil interests in America would certainly rise against the pro-Zionist policy, and President Truman would not follow the Zionists in America so blindly. But, since Truman could see no threat to oil supplies from the Arab side, he yielded to Zionist pressure, thereby sacrificing Arab rights.  As soon as Israel came into existence, Iraq cut off the oil supply to Haifa. We realized that the continued pumping of oil from Iraq to Haifa would help Israel to establish several petrochemical industries. Israel would receive great quantities of Iraqi fuel cheaply and this would. contribute millions of dinars to Israel annually in the form of wages for labour. In other words, the oil of Iraq would become the backbone of Israeli economy.
 

The United States government put pressure on the British government to urge the Iraqi government to let the oil flow, and the Iraq Petroleum Company insisted that oil should flow to Haifa. The pipeline to Benias in Syria had not yet been constructed, and Iraq was in great need of the oil revenue.  Nuri as-Sa’id, Prime Minister of Iraq in 1949, called me, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Mount Salahiddin in the north of Iraq where he was enjoying a short rest. He told me that Iraq would be obliged to permit the pumping of oil to Haifa because the Iraqi Treasury was in urgent need of cash, since there was no money for the salaries of government officials at the end of the month. I told him that I could not be part of a government that permitted oil to go to Haifa to support the economy of Israel, and I offered to resign from the Cabinet. Nuri as-Sa’id thought for awhile and then told me that he shared my view of the matter and that he himself preferred to resign rather than to permit oil to flow to Haifa.
 

He asked me to return to Baghdad to inform the British Ambassador that the Iraqi government had decided to resign because of lack of cash in the treasury and because of its inability to be lenient in the matter of letting oil flow to Haifa. At the same time the Iraqi government requested the British government to use its influence with the oil company so that it would give a loan of J million dinars to the Iraqi treasury, and so that it would definitely abandon the idea of pumping oil to Haifa. Should this not be arranged, the Iraqi government would have to resign   I returned to Baghdad and had an immediate meeting with the British Ambassador, Sir Henry Mack. I informed him about my talk with the Prime Minister regarding the pumping of oil to Haifa, and the urgent need of the treasury for funds. He requested that no haste should be made in tendering the Cabinet resignation. He promised to convey our views to London. Eventually an advance of 3 million dinars from the oil companies was arranged. The pumping of oil to Haifa was never resumed and the pipeline has remained cut from that time until now.   This being the case, I was greatly surprised when I read in the Iraqi press in 1956, while I was at the United Nations, that Kamil Chadirchi, the leader of an opposition party in Iraq, had accused the Iraqi government of permitting oil to flow to Haifa. He was referred to a court for his unjustified, false accusation, and was sentenced to three years I imprisonment. I still do not know why the honourable leader of the opposition party did not trouble himself to study the problem before making his accusations. As a matter of fact, Iraq has been losing an estimated 15 million pounds sterling annually by not pumping oil to Haifa.
 

When I was Prime Minister of Iraq, 1953-54, I asked the oil company to build an extension of the pipeline from Mafraq in Jordan to 3idon in Lebanon. This diversion would not have cost more than 3 million dinars at the time. The company agreed to the scheme after reaching agreement with the Lebanese government on royalties for the passage of oil. My government resigned before a final decision was reached. I do not know why successive Iraqi governments have not followed up this project in order to increase Iraqis oil revenue.   In brief, we can say that Iraq was ready to cut off the entire Iraqi oil supply if the Arabs had agreed to use oil as a weapon to save Palestine, but this weapon was not fully used.  Having failed in their efforts to prevent the creation of Israel, the Arabs decided to take the following three measures:

 

1. Iraq prevented oil from flowing to Haifa.

2. Egypt prevented Israeli ships from passing through the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba. Egypt opened the Gulf of Aqaba after the 1956 assault on her by Britain, France and Israel.

        3. All the Arab states subscribed to the economic boycott of Israel and all those companies that contributed to building the Israeli economy. A special agency for boycotting Israel and the agencies supporting her was attached to the League of Arab States. 
 

 

My recollections of the Palestine War

 

  In March, after the sanguinary events in Baghdad that followed the signing of the Portsmouth Treaty, I went to visit Iran for the first time in my life. At that time the Arab Zionist conflict was growing more serious. The Palestine Arabs, not allowed arms by the British, and unprepared for war, could not defend themselves against the well-armed find well-trained Haganah, the Jewish army, or the Zionist terrorist organizations of the Irgun end the Stern Gang. Atrocities like that at the village of Deir Yeseen on the outskirts of Jerusalem where hundreds of men, women And children were killed and mutilated while the British were still in Palestine, horrified thousands of Arabs and made them flee in terror.  In order to do something positive for the sake of Palestine I arranged a meeting with a number of heeds of Arab diplomatic missions in Teheran. I remember Dr Saleem Haidar from Lebanon, Dr al-Khani from Syria, and Mohammed Saleem ar-Radhi from Iraq. It was decided that we should go to the town of Qum, the abode of the highest religious authority or the Shiite Muslim sect, Ayat Ullah al-Buroojerdi (May his tomb be fragrant!) We went to propose to His Holiness that he should issue a fatwa, religious decree, of jihad, holy war, for the sake of Palestine. We were accompanied on this visit by Sayid ul-Traqain, one of the sincere friends of the Arabs in Iran.
 

We went to Qum and had an audience with Imam al-Buroojerdi who was a model of wisdom and prudence. Undoubtedly he had the Palestine question very deeply at heart, but he was realistic and cautious in politics. The answer he gave after some discussion and meditation was that he would contact His Holiness Sayid Abul Qasim al-Qashani in Teheran and request him to contact His Imperial Majesty the Shah-in-Shah and ask him to do what WPS necessary to awaken the Muslims of Iran to the Zionist danger in the Holy Land, and to call them to defend the rights of Islam.  This is all that we could expect from our visit to Imam al-Buroojerdi (May his grave be fragrant!) He indeed performed what he had promised for we later heard of the tumultuous demonstrations and the fiery speeches for Palestine made in public meetings in Teheran organized by Sayid Abul Qasim al-Qashani. After finishing my tour in Iran I returned to Iraq. I had no connection with the government then in power, headed by His Eminence, Sayid Mohammed as-Sadr.
 

After the Cabinet changed and Muzahim al-Pachachi came to power in June, 19th, I was asked to accept appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I agreed. That was after the first Armistice between the Arabs and Israel had come to an end, and the siege of Falouja had begun. Popular demonstrations in Baghdad asked the Iraqi government to move to attack the Zionists in order to break the siege around Falouja,and thus to help the Egyptian army. Muzahim al-Pachachi called me to his office and charged me with the duty of going to Cairo to talk with Prime Minister Naqrashi Pasha, with whom I had a close friendship about the help the Iraqi army could render to the Egyptian army. Muzahim al-Pachachi offered Naqrashi Pasha the following proposals for mutual military assistance;

 

a. Iraq is willing to put the Iraqi army in Palestine under Egyptian command so that they may direct the army to the best advantage.

b. Iraq asks Egypt to give the Iraqi army some of the air force ammunition which is available for the Egyptian air force, but is in short supply in the Iraqi air force.

c. Iraq asks Egypt for a loan of 1 million guineas with which to buy the ammunition which the Iraqi army requires in case it should be asked to fight.

 

I left Baghdad with Brigadier Isma'il Safwat in a military plane headed towards Amman where we spent the night on our way to Cairo. As soon as we reached Amman a military car carried us to the headquarters of the Iraqi command in Zarqa. I was met there by an officer of the command and was taken inside the room which contained the war maps. I was shown the positions of the Iraqi army at the front. The war situation was explained to me, and I learned the following facts:

 

a. The Iraqi army at the front was in on exposed position very dangerous to its safety. The enemy could at any time and very easily cut the line of communication and isolate the Iraqi army.

b. The amount of ammunition which the Iraqi army had at its disposal was extremely small. The army could not fight more than two days with the ammunition available at that time.

c. I was told that any move by the Iraqi army required air cover and that this was not available, for the Iraqi planes (Fury) had no ammunition.

These three conditions, and especially the first, were enough to render the Iraqi army unable to give help to any other Arab army. It was not my specialty nor my duty to investigate the reasons leading to this painful situation, and I had no knowledge of the circumstances which had led to this situation, for I am not a military man.
 

    In the evening I had dinner with H.M. King Abdullah who complained bitterly about the predicament in which he found himself. He said that he had been appointed as Commander-in-Chief of all the Arab armies in Palestine, but he knew nothing about those armies. No facilities were made for him to know about the plans, the movements and the needs of those armies. That is why he knew nothing about the Egyptian army besieged in Falouja and its needs. He inquired, but got no response. Everything was kept secret from him    I found His Majesty also complaining about the lack of ammunition for the Jordanian army. A ship carrying ammunition was stopped in the Suez Canal by the Egyptians and the ammunition taken over, so it did not reach the Jordanian army. Without that ammunition the Jordanian army could not wage a successful war. In short, what we found in Amman was most regrettable and painful.  The next morning I left Amman with Brigadier Isma’il Safwat and headed for Cairo. As soon as I got there I had a meeting with Naqrashi Pasha. No protocol or formalities between us. I explained to him the mission for which I had come and said that Prime Minister Muzahim al-Pachachi was very much concerned about giving help to the Egyptian army. I stated the proposals of Muzahim al-Pachachi.   I found Naqrashi Pasha complaining and in despair. He was not convinced of the ability of the Egyptian army to undertake any serious war, for Britain had not permitted Egypt in the past to built up a fighting army. The Egyptian army was formed merely for demonstrations and parades and not for fighting. That was why the Palestine war came as a serious predicament so far as the Egyptian army was concerned.
 

As for Iraq's proposals, Naqrashi Pasha accepted none of them. His answer was that Egypt could not bear the responsibility of commanding the Iraqi army. Egypt could not offer any ammunition to the Iraqi air force. Egypt had no lend-lease law by which it could give a loan of 1 million guineas to Iraq for the Palestine wore (I had heard that the Egyptian budget for the Palestine was 30 million guineas.) Instead of accepting the Iraqi proposals, Naqrashi Pasha asked Iraq to offer its Fury airplanes to the Egyptian army rather than to seek ammunition for the planes.   After that meeting I wired to Muzahim al-Pachachi suggesting that he himself should come to Cairo because of the seriousness of the situation. He came with the Minister of Defence, Shakir al-Wadi. An agreement was reached with Naqrashi Pasha that Iraq w0uld offer three of its Fury planes to Egypt. This decision was carried out.

 

Zionist Expansionist Designs

 

The United Nations appointed Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden as a Mediator charged with task of ending the clash between Arabs and Zionists. He and United Nations observer, Colonel Andre Serot were assassinated by Zionist terrorists at Jerusalem on September 17, 1948. However, one day prior to his assassination he had completed and signed the report which recommended that the United Nations should order the repatriation of the Palestine refugees and make certain modifications in the territorial plan.

(UN Document A/648, September 16, 1948)

An American, Ralph Bunche, became Acting Mediator. On the Island of Rhodes in 1949, Armistice agreements were negotiated between Israel end each of its neighbouring Arab states, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The United Nations General Assembly appointed a Conciliation Commission for Palestine, formed of representatives of the United States, France and Turkey. In 1949 it held meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the representatives of the four Arab states on the one hand and the representatives of Israel on the other. As a result, all parties agreed on May, 1949, to what was called the Lausanne Protocol according to which a settlement was to be negotiated on the basis of the United Nations Resolution on Partition. This Resolution included the internationalization of Jerusalem.


        I learned that H.M. King Abdullah was furious with Dr Fawzi al-Mulql, representative of Jordan, for having gone so far as to subscribe to the Lausanne Protocol without excepting the internationalization of Jerusalem. Israel torpedoed the Protocol by making it clear to the Commission that she would not abide by the United Nations Resolution on territory, refugees or Jerusalem. In fact, from the beginning Israel had no intention of abiding by the 1947 United Nations Resolution. Years later David Ben Gurion revealed that, deliberately, he did not mention the boundaries of Israel as prescribed by the United Nations Resolution of 1947 in his Declaration of the founding of the state of Israel.
 

As a matter of fact, the Arabs had warned in advance that Israel would use the UN Resolution on Partition as a stepping-stone to expansion. This was proved by experience. The UN Resolutions on the demarcation of boundaries, on the refugees and on Jerusalem were all ignored by Israel. She violates the rights of the Palestinian Arabs to their own territory, the right of the Arab refugees to return to their homeland, and the UN Resolution on the internationalization of Jerusalem
The Zionists tried to treat the Palestine question as one to be liquidated. It was to become a problem of refugees which might be brought before the United Nations as a humanitarian item. Having occupied Arab lands, uprooted and dispersed the Arab populations, Israel stood with her sword drawn facing her neighbours. Incidents on the Armistice lines, which were supervised by United Nations observers, were met by heavy Israeli attacks in which they destroyed villages, killing men, women and children. Israeli attacks on Jordan, Syria end Egypt led to loss in life and property. I have already referred to my visit to the village of Qibia after it had been attacked by the Israelis.

of (See Jordan, p. )

The Arabs time and again lodged complaints with the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council would censure Israel. Israel would not heed. That became the pattern of Israeli relations with the neighbouring states. The wound in Palestine continued to bleed. Then came the attack of 1956 on Egypt via Sinai, October 29, 1956. On that day a curfew was ordered throughout Israel. This order could not reach the peasants who were working on their farms during the day. On returning home in the evening some fifty innocent Arabs from the village of Kafer Qasim were mowed down with bullets by the Israeli army. This massacre was carried out by Israeli soldiers without regard for innocent human lives. In all these sad situations the Arabs never ceased to raise their voice in the General Assembly of the United Nations. But the United Nations and its orgins seemed impotent vis-a-vis Israel who continued to defy them.
 

The Zionists, after accepting what the General Assembly of the United Nations had decided to give them in the 1947 Resolution on Partition, began to reveal their expansionist design. They occupied whatever they liked of those parts of Palestine which had been allotted to the Arabs, such as Jaffa, Lydda, Ramleh, Bersheeba, Western Galilee, the Arab triangle, etc. That was all done by a combination of force and treachery. I saw a letter sent by H. M. King 'Abdullah of Jordan to President Truman asking his help to stop Zionist expansion and to prevent the Zionists from occupying lands not allotted to them by the United Nations. Truman's answer was that he could do nothing in this regard. All that the Arabs had to do was to come to an understanding with the Zionists. So the Zionists gnawed from the body of Palestine whatever they liked.   Zionist aggression did not stop at trespassing against Arab rights, but it encroached upon the rights of the world as a whole and that was by obstructing the internationalization of Jerusalem.
 

Israel entered the United Nations as a member in 1949 on the basis of its acceptance of the 1947 Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly with regard to the partition of Palestine and the internationalization of Jerusalem, but Israel soon overran some important parts of the Jerusalem area (the corpus separatum), and used modern Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, thus defying the United Nations and all those states who had voted for the creation of Israel and the internationalization of Jerusalem.
 

Arab-Israel Negotiation

 

        Israel's propaganda machines tries to show Israel as a peace-loving nation that wants to negotiate with the Arab but that the Arabs, for their part, do not respond. The Israelis also speak of negotiations with no preconditions. But the Israelis themselves put preconditions concerning:

territory, Israel must retain any parts of the Arab lands that suit her purpose,

refugees, they should be settled outside Palestine,

Jerusalem, it is a Jewish city and it is the capital of Israel. Having put these preconditions, Israel is "ready to negotiate with the Arabs without preconditions".

In the matter of negotiation I think the Arabs should say, "We do not oppose negotiations in principle, but we will negotiate only on the basis of the application to the Arabs of Palestine of the principles of the two documents, The United Nations Charter and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

I remember that the Ad Hoc Political Committee of the United Nations passed a Resolution in 1952 calling the Arabs and Zionists to negotiate a settlement. The Resolution might have been adopted by the General Assembly because of its apparent simplicity. But, on the morning when the Resolution was to be discussed by the General Assembly, the New York Times appeared carrying an interview with David Ben Gurion, Prime Minister of Israel, in which he categorically stated that Israel was not ready to yield any territory which it occupied; it was not ready to accept the refugees back to their homes; and it was not ready to internationalize Jerusalem.

When the meeting of the General Assembly was called to order, I asked to speak, and I proposed the reopening in the General Assembly of the debate on the Resolution on negotiations. By a simple majority the General Assembly accepted my proposal to reopen the debate. I went back to the rostrum again and read Ben Gurion's statements as reported in the New York Times. I asked how the Arabs could negotiate with a man who had already closed the doors to negotiation. I asked, "What is the use of negotiating with a person who, in advance, has closed his mind to any legal Arab rights?" I was followed by Ahmad Shuqairi who supported me in what I had said and dealt at length with the subject. After the continuation of the debate and its closure, a vote was taken and the Resolution for negotiations was defeated in the General Assembly.

Let the world understand that it is Israel who does not wish to negotiate on the basis of law and justice, and that it is Israel who does not want a settlement for the Palestine problem. It is Israel who does not went to negotiate on the basis of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter. A settlement of the Palestine problem might mean an end to Zionist expansion end this they do not want.


 The Internationalization of Jerusalem

 

If one rejects the principle of the partitioning of Palestine and believes that Palestine belongs to the legal inhabitants, he has to reject the principle of the internationalization of Jerusalem, too. That is why the stand of the Iraqi delegation in the United Nations was frankly against the internationalization of Jerusalem and stressed the city's Arab character. Jerusalem is an Arab city, and the Arabs have been, and still are, in the vanguard of peoples who believe in freedom of religion, and the principles of tolerance end brotherhood amongst mankind. The best evidence for Arab tolerance and their fraternity with members of other religions is that the Christians themselves have entrusted the Muslim Arabs with the keys of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The other Arab delegations at the United Nations, having seen that Israel had violated the principle of the internationalization of Jerusalem and reneged on its international undertakings, found it preferable to adopt the principle of internationalization.

On the 25th of March 1949, while in Cairo, I addressed the following letter to the Prime Minister of Egypt, Ibrahim Pasha 'Abdul Hadi.

 

Dear Excellency,

Greetings and respect.

 

Your Excellency remembers that, during your meeting with H.E. Sayid Jamil al-Madfa’i representing the Iraqi government, agreement was reached that, in their negotiations with the Conciliation Committee, the Arab states should uphold the principle that Jerusalem is an Arab city.The Iraqi government has learnt from its representative at the latest meetings with the Committee in Beirut that some representative of Arab states have deviated from this plan and have accepted the internationalization of Jerusalem.

I believe Your Excellency appreciates the consequences of such a deviation and that it may lead to encroachment on Arab rights in Palestine. That is why I wished to inform Your Excellency that the Iraqi government is still firm in following what was agreed on in Cairo regarding the Arabism of Jerusalem and that it does not bear the responsibility of deviation from this policy.

I take this opportunity to express to Your Excellency My highest esteem and respect.

 

Mohammed Fadhel Jamali

Foreign Minister of Iraq

 

Jordan, headed by H.M. King 'Abdullah, opposed internationalization. Jordan wanted to preserve the Arab character of Jerusalem. Israel also opposed internationalization, but for a conflicting reason. Israel wished to enlarge its area and to turn Jerusalem into its capital. Since Jordan was not yet represented in the United Nations, Iraq always undertook the duty of defending Jordan's point of view.  When the question of the internationalization of Jerusalem was discussed in the Ad Hoc Political Committee the position of Iraq, whose representative I was, became very embarrassing indeed. Many of the non-Arab states had supported and still support the internationalization of Jerusalem for sentimental and religious reasons. Besides, it was part of the Resolution of the United Nation General Assembly which brought about the partitioning of Palestine. The Arab states, with the exception of Iraq, began to support internationalization. Iraq opposed internationalization and consequently found itself isolated from the other Arab states on this subject. Israel opposed internationalization although for totally opposite reasons.     

Jordan, by upholding the Arab character of Jerusalem, was not bringing anything new into the situation, and was not trespassing on anybody's rights. But Israel, in resisting the internationalization, was already betraying the under taking which it had made to the General Assembly.   After some thought and meditation, I decided that Iraq should change its stand fundamentally and support internationalization for the following reasons:

1. It is always preferable that the Arab states should stand together in the United Nations if possible, and that is especially true in matters touching on Arab affairs.

2. Supporting internationalization gave us an opportunity to expose, before world public opinion, Israel as it really is, a breaker of undertakings.

3. Supporting internationalization would win the sympathy of many of the Christian states in the world.

4. Internationalization could not be realized in practice, anyway, so long as Jordan and Israel each occupied a part of Jerusalem, and the United Nations could do no more than bring the pressure of world opinion to bear on them.

5. If Jerusalem were actually to be internationalized (which will not happen) the loss to Israel would be far greater than the loss to the Arabs, and some thing like 180,000 Palestine Arab refugees could return to their homes in the part of Jerusalem now occupied by Israel.

 

For these reasons I decided to change the stand of Iraq in spite of my full conviction as to the righteousness of the Jordanian point of view and the Arab character of Jerusalem.  Since I received no objections from Baghdad to this new policy, I went ahead with those who asked for the internationalization of Jerusalem, and, when members of the United Notions were considering the admission of Israel to membership, I started a strong attack on Israel for its defiance of its own undertaking as to the internationalization of Jerusalem.  H.M. King 'Abdullah was enraged by the new stand which I had taken. I heard that he traveled from Amman to Baghdad and spoke bitterly to Prime Minister Nuri as-Sa' id Protesting the stand of the Iraqi delegation, with respect to the internationalization of Jerusalem. It was not easy to convince His Majesty that the change in Iraq's stand was a change in strategy in the United Nations and not an abandonment of the basic aim.    The Ad Hoc Political Committee approved the reference of the subject of the internationalization of Jerusalem to the Trusteeship Council who were asked to formulate a constitution for the internationalization of Jerusalem.
 

In 1949 I was appointed as Iraqis Permanent Delegate to the United Nations Organization, and as such I attended the meeting of the trusteeship Council. My appointment came after I had been Minister of Foreign Affairs for six months without being a Member of Parliament, the maximum period permitted by the Constitution of Iraq.   The Trusteeship Council first met in New York City and decided that its next session would be held in Geneva at the beginning of 1950. The Council requested its President, Mr Garreau of France to approach both Jordan and Israel on the subject of their cooperation in implementing the internationalization of Jerusalem.
 

If I remember correctly, Jordan did not answer Mr Garreau's letter. But Israel answered requesting the internationalization of the Holy Places only, and stating that it would retain what it held of the Jerusalem area and not permit it to be internationalized. In other words, it wanted internationalization at the expense of the Arabs only.  When the Trusteeship Council met in Geneva, Mr Garreau presented his report in which he referred to the rejection, by the government of Jordan and Israel, of the internationalization of Jerusalem as dictated by the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations. In his report Mr Garreau made a suggestion which was very close to the Israeli point of view. He suggested that the partition of Jerusalem should be accepted as a fait accompli, and that internationalization should be of the Holy Places only. That would be another injustice to the Arab rights, this time on the subject of the internationalization of Jerusalem, the terms of which had already been decided by the General Assembly.
 

   When Ambassador Garreau-had finished reading his report, I raised a point of order, stating that he ha gone beyond the limits of the instructions he had been given by the Trusteeship Council. The mission which had been entrusted to him consisted of obtaining the points of view of both Jordan and Israel and of urging them to cooperate in the matter of the internationalization of Jerusalem. He was not asked to offer new proposals concerning the internationalization, proposal which went contrary to the Resolution of the General Assembly. I told him that he, as chairman, had no right to support a special point of view on the subject. He had to leave the Chair and take the seat of the representative of France in the Trusteeship Council if he wished to submit a new proposal concerning the internationalization of Jerusalem. If he wanted to retain the Chairmanship of the Council he would have to withdraw his proposal. Since he found that my argument was very strong and serious, he had to say that he preferred to retain the Chair and that he would withdraw his proposals.

After that, the Trusteeship Council started formulating a constitution for an internationalized Jerusalem according to the Resolution of the General Assembly. I took part in its formulation, and so did Ahmad Shuqairi for Syria and 'Abdul Mun'im Mustapha for Egypt. We saw to it that this constitution turned the area of Jerusalem into a place where the three monotheistic religions were equal, and where all the refugees from the Jerusalem area could return to their homes, lands and business. The adherents of the three religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, should have equality in immigration to the corpus separatum and to the administration of its affairs. The constitution was democratic and it contained all the necessary guarantees for a free democratic life, freedom of worship, protection and maintenance of the Holy Places, etc.

An observer from Israel used to attend the meeting and we used to answer all his arguments and objections forcefully. Jordan also sent an observer, Hafiz 'Abdul Hadi, the Jordanian charge d’Affaires in Paris, who used to convey to me the sentiments of H.M. King ‘Abdullah and his objections to the internationalization of Jerusalem.  I used to assure him always that Jerusalem would not be internationalized because Israel did not want it, and that U.S.A. would certainly stand behind Israel. This being the case, why should one worry about the request for internationalization? On the other hand, asking for internationalization had the advantages which we referred to above. More over, from an international point of view it was good tactics. 'Abdul Hadi conveyed my views to H.M. King 'Abdullah and His Majesty, in turn, wrote a letter to 'Abdul Hadi, dated 18 February, 1950, which contained a paragraph to be conveyed to me. This paragraph in high classical Arabic with rhymed lines, represented in a nutshell His Majesty's policies and Arab views.

 

Tactics is the reason for your insistence on internationalization (of Jerusalem) and it is sheer tactics.

Whether that be tactics or no tactics,  insistence on internationalization is being carried on by your Excellency

And the internationalization of Jerusalem is a destruction which is impossible to repair

The stance of Jordan and Iraq together against internationalization may avert many dangers.

The unity of Syria and its federation with Iraq is one of the basic Arab principles decided upon in the Syrio-Iraqi Conference of 1919.

 

The debate on the constitution for an internationalized Jerusalem was the focus or attention or Christendom in general. Observers from various Christian sects and churches used to attend our meetings and follow the course of the discussion in the Trusteeship Council. There was also a representative of the American Christian Committee for Palestine. This is a committee established in the U.S .A. to promote Zionist aims. The representative or this Committee was given the chance to speak to the Trusteeship Council. and he supported the Israeli point of view that only the Holy Places, and not the whole or the corpus separatum should be internationalized. I told him very frankly that he did not represent the prevailing opinion of the Christian world. I knew already that representatives or His Holiness the Pope and Bishop Tiran of the Armenian Church as well as leaders or several Protestant churches supported the internationalization of the corpus separatum as decided by the United Nations.
 

The Trusteeship Council completed the Constitution for the Internationalized Jerusalem, and, if internationalization were ever to be carried out, it would be the best possible constitution. But, as we anticipated, the Resolution on the Internationalization of Jerusalem remained mere ink on paper like all the other United Nations Resolutions with regard to Palestine which do not serve Israeli interests. We may conclude that world Zionism, with its economic, political, scientific and propaganda powers was able to influence the great nations and international organizations in order to guarantee its own interests.

 

 The Palestine Refugee Problem

 

In 1948, the United Nations, faced with a tragic situation in Palestine, passed the Resolution suggested by Count Bernadotte according to which the refugees could have the choice or either returning to their homes in Palestine to live in peace with their neighbours or being compensated for the land or property they had lost. This Resolution was blocked by the Israeli refusal to allow the refugees the right of return. Hence the United Nations had to meet an acute human problem. Hundreds or thousands of refugees living in refugee camps in squalor, misery and despair had to be red and cared for. A special agency was formed to look after the refugees, keep them alive and try to settle them. But the refugees themselves completely rejected the idea of a permanent location outside Palestine and the loss of their human right to return to their own homes. The host countries, namely, the neighbouring Arab countries also rejected this solution.
 

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, submitted its report annually to the General Assembly of the United Nations which passed it to the Ad Hoc Political Committee for Palestine. The Agency report asked for contributions to its budget and described the difficulties of refugee resettlement and their insistence on returning to their homes. As representative of Iraq in the United Nations I always claimed that the best solution of the refugee problem would be to let them return to their homes. They would then not need charity for they would have their own property and they could work on their land. Besides, the daily allowance allotted to the refugees averages about five cents per person per day which is both inadequate and degrading. European refugees in camps were allotted more than a dollar a day per person. Certainly, if the Palestinian refugees were to receive the rent and the produce of their farms and property, the average income would be incomparably greater than the meagre amount allotted to them by the UNRWA.
 

Year after year the subject of the Palestine refugees is brought to the Ad Hoc Committee for Palestine. It is debated with much heat and varying degrees of sympathy and concern. In one of my debates I compared Hitler's extermination of the Jews of Germany to Israel’s sending the Arab of Palestine to the miserable refugee camps. Year after year the right of the Palestine refugees to choose to return as stated in the 1948 Resolution is reaffirmed. But the tragedy continued to grow as the number of refugees increased by new births.   Israel shifts the responsibility to the Arab states. She wants the refugees to be settled outside Palestine contrary to the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.    Early in the 50's Professor Philip Jessup of the United States submitted a resolution asking the Arab states to settle the refugees in Arab lands outside Palestine. I raised s sharp objection for the United States was encroaching on the sovereignty of the Arab states. I said that the United Nations was not empowered to interfere in the internal affairs of the member states. Professor Jessup withdrew his resolution right away. Other attempts were made by the United States to resettle the refugees by proposing irrigation schemes on land outside Palestine on the supposition that the refugees might settle there.
 

President Eisenhower delegated Eric Johnston to visit the Arab countries neighbouring Palestine to discuss irrigation projects for areas in which the refugees might be resettled. I was Prime Minister of Iraq at that time. When I was notified of Mr Johnston's plan to visit Baghdad. I advised that he should not come. I had two reasons for this decision. First. he was a member of an organization with Zionist leaning, Second, Iraq was not ready to cooperate in any way with the purpose of his visit. for no true Arab nationalist, or, for that matter, no fair-minded human being would cooperate in a project which would deprive a people of the right of return to their own homeland. In spite of the insistence of my good friend Burton Berry. the American Ambassador in Baghdad. that we should receive Mr Johnston's visit. I flatly warned that public sentiment might lead to anti-U.S. demonstrations for which I could not accept responsibility. Mr Johnston did not visit Baghdad.  The tragedy of the Palestine Arab refugees will re main a blot on the conscience of those who caused it and it is their responsibility to remove the blot by restoring human rights and dignity to the Arabs of Palestine.


    One must acknowledge with gratitude the great efforts and fine humanitarian work done by the successive directors of UNRWA and their staff. They carried out one of the most difficult jobs under the most stringent conditions and honestly reported their efforts in their annual reports to the United Nations. Year after year UNRWA reported the wish and determination of the Palestine refugees to return to their homeland, Palestine, and their refusal of any final settlement outside Palestine.  We submit that it is one of the greet human tragedies that the Jews who have suffered from racial discrimination at the hands of Hitler should apply the same cruel racial discrimination to the Arabs of Palestine. By what moral or legal principle can the Israelis justify the application of 'the law of return' to the Jews of the world end claim that any Jew anywhere in the world of whatever nationality, can come and settle in Palestine end at the same time deny to Palestine Arabs, Muslims end Christians, who are the legal inhabitants of the land, the possibility of returning to their Homeland? This is certainly racial and religious discrimination being practised by Israel. If racial discrimination is to be condemned when it is practised by Hitler, it should surely be deprecated in stronger term when it is practised by Israel.
 

 UNESCO and the Palestine Refugees

 

One of the best services that the unfortunate refugees receive is in the field of education with the help and contribution of the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization.

In the year 1950, the Iraqi government asked me to lead its delegation to the general UNESCO Conference held in Florence, Italy. It was the only UNESCO Conference that I ever attended. In my speech before the General Assembly I was critical of the vast, dispersed nature of the UNESCO programmes and field Activities. I emphasized the need for concentration on a few specific, significant projects in the field of education, for example, rural education, combatting illiteracy and helping to educate the children of the refugees. I later proposed the item on the education of the Palestine refugee children which was adopted. When the annual budget came for consideration I found no mention of the item. I went to the rostrum end made a sharp protest after which the item was included in the budget. Since that time UNESCO's contribution to the education of the refugees has continued.

 

The Uprooting of Arab Jews from Arab Lands

 

Zionism did a great disservice to the Jews and Arab alike by uprooting of Arab Jews from Arab lands. For thousands of years Jews have lived with their fellow countrymen in Iraq, but Zionism used propaganda, promises, threats, plots and violence to make the Jews of Iraq and other states leave their countries and go to Palestine. In Iraq, Zionists from outside the country plotted and designed disturbances in which Zionist agents threw bombs into synagogues and Jewish quarters in order to scare the Jews and make them leave Iraq. Investigations showed that the bombs had been planted by Zionist agents. The Iraqi government suffered great difficulties because of the troubles in Palestine, the illegal operation of smuggling Jews to Palestine via Iran, and the disturbances caused by Zionists in Iraq.
 

I was in the United States when the Iraqi government decided in 1950 to permit those Iraqi Jews who wished to renounce their Iraqi nationality and go to Palestine to do so. Some 100,000 Iraqi Jews went to Palestine. In January 1951 I was asked by the Iraqi government to approach the American government asking them to provide some airplanes to help expedite the transfer of the Jews who had renounced their Iraqi citizenship.  I regretted the decision of the Iraqi government to let the Jews leave, not only because the Iraqi Jews are the ancient sons of the country who should have stayed in their country, Iraq, but also because the Zionists exploited the decision in order to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the cause of bringing Arab Jews to Israel. Furthermore, the hundreds of thousands of Jews who reached Israel from Arab lends were a force for Israel not to be minimized. Many Iraqi Jews who went to Palestine were disillusioned for, in general, they suffer discrimination on the part of the European Jews.

 

The Palestine Problem and Iraq’s Foreign Policy

 

Israeli aggression in an Arab land and the indulgence of the Greet Powers in supporting Israel on the one hand, and the traditional reliance of the Arab states on the West and their fear of Communist danger on the other, caused great dislocation in Arab foreign policy. The Arab states differed Among themselves on what foreign policy to follow. They were not united, a fact which led to internal disturbances and to clashes between the Arab states about foreign policy.

Iraq’s policy, to which I committed myself, was oriented to the West. I analyzed the situation as follows. The West, and especially the United states, were supporting Zionism for two obvious': first, lack of understanding on the part of the general public of the Arab point of view while it was being constantly fed by Zionist propaganda; second, self-interest on the part of politicians who wished to benefit from the Zionist vote, publicity and financial aid in election campaigns, etc.

I thought that, if the Arabs cultivated close relations with the West, if they built up mutual confidence, if they made their point of view well understood, and if they were clear and consistent in their policy, the West could be won over to the Arab side in the long run or at least neutralized. This would need great efforts. I thought that ultimately there was mutual need, culturally, economically, politically and military of the Arabs for the West and the west for the Arabs. On this premise I continued my friendly contacts with the Foreign Office in London and the State Department in Washington.

 

Iraq and the United States

 

In all those contacts the question of Palestine and Defence of Arab rights was the chief topic. Those contacts were not fruitless, for the State Department in Washington included men who understood and appreciated the importance of the Palestine problem for American-Arab friendship. They realized that, if the United States supported Zionism at the expense of Arab rights, and Arab Western rift might occur. They foresaw how Communism would exploit it and what danger to world peace would follow.  I spent the 21st and 22nd of May, 1947, in Washington, and I called on both Dean Acheson, Under Secretary of State, and Roy Henderson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Department, with the Iraqi Ambassador, 'Ali Jawdat al-Ayoubi. I sent a telegram to Baghdad dated the 23rd of May which contained the following statement:

 

I discussed the problem of Palestine with Mr Henderson and learnt from him that the American government has succeeded to a great extent in adopting a neutral policy in spite of Zionist pressure, and that the American government intends to adopt a new policy towards Palestine, but has not yet decided what this policy shall be. Two points in American policy are clear. The first is that a decisive final plan should be made, and the second is that Palestine should be put under a temporary trusteeship. Henderson asked which state would meet the approval of the Arab states or whether the Arab states would prefer a United Nations trusteeship. I answered that I did not see any need for trusteeship, but there might be a period of transition to independence. If the Arabs of Palestine are put under foreign control they will resist it no matter which state is the trust power.

 

It is well-known that the state Department did not initiate the policy eventually adopted by the United states government on the Palestine issue. President Truman acted under Zionist influence against state Department advice. Loy Henderson, one of America's most accomplished, faithful and far-sighted diplomats was criticized by the Zionists. He was removed from the State Department and appointed Ambassador to India. Two years later I had breakfast with him in New York when he was accompanying Prime Minister Nehru on an official visit to U.S.A. In those days officials of the State Department would fall under heavy Zionist pressure and sharp criticism if they tried to present the Arab side of the Palestine issue or to be impartial. This did not mean that there were no outspoken members in the State Department who would put America's interests before Zionist aims, but the official policy of the United States government, as directed by the White House, adopted the Zionist point of view. United States officials, in their dealings with the Arab world, usually took into considerations what repercussions there would be in Israel and what lionists might say. For example, the United States requested the United Kingdom to put pressure on Iraq to permit Iraqi oil to flow to Haifa, a pressure which we resisted.

 

My dialogue with the State Department took the following lines:

 

1. Israel should be made to respect and apply the United Nations Resolutions regarding partition, return of the Palestine refugees and the internationalization of Jerusalem.

2. American cooperation with the Arab state should be completely divested of sny Israeli influence, and American-Arab relations should be separate from American-Israeli relations.

 

In a report of a conversation with Under Secretary Webb, dated 27th December, 1949, I said, "The United States should cease basing its relations with the Arab world upon Israel's interests. Iraq has no desire for any relations whatsoever with Israel. No attempt should be made to persuade Iraq to open the Haifa pipeline or to have any trade relations with Israel. The United States should not bring the Palestine problem into its relations with Iraq."

3. Iraq continues to hope that the United States will play an impartial role between the Arabs and the Jews in Palestine and never forget that the Arabs of Palestine are entitled to their human and political rights in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

 

On the 14th of December, 1950, I had a meeting with George C. McGhee, Head of the Near East Section of the State Department. Palestine was one of the items dealt with in that meeting. According to my notes, "I asked that the United State should force a territorial settlement upon Israel requiring her to withdraw from all areas allotted to the Arabs of Palestine in the United Nations Resolution. They should be restored to the Arabs so that the Palestine refugees could return to settle therein. I pointed out that the Israelis had continued to seize territories in violation of the Truce, and that they had continued to create refugees after the Truce was signed."

 

On the 21st of October, 1952, I had meeting with the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, in the State Department. I suggested the following six principles as forming a basis for Arab-Western cooperation. I assumed that most responsible Arab statesmen would endorse these suggestions.

 

1. Arabs should be treated as equals by the Western world.

2. There should be an immediate solution of the Palestine question as decided by the United Nations.

3. North Africa should be liberated.

4. The West should not put obstacles in the way of Arab unity.

5. The West should give the Arabs economic and cultural aid.

6. The West should give the Arabs military aid.

 

I expounded each of these principles and emphasized the fact that the Palestine problem was the main thorn in the United States-Arab relations. This thorn should be pulled out. "All that the Arabs of Palestine want is justice and their natural human rights. Some responsible Arabs have gone so far as to accept United Nations Resolutions on Palestine no matter how unjust and illegal they may be. They take a great risk in doing so for they enrage Arab public opinion by their stand. The United states should, at the very least, make Israel yield to United Nations Resolutions."

These are examples of the numerous meetings I had with State Department officials, United States ambassadors and diplomats, as well as with press men and leaders of thought. All my statements were made in the same tone.

 

John Foster Dulles and the Palestine Problem.

 

The rise of Israel in an Arab land happened with the help of the Democratic President of the United States, Harry Truman. After the departure of Truman from the White House, the Republican Party took the helm. General Dwight. David Eisenhower became the President of the United States, and he appointed John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State.  Mr Dulles was a religious man who upheld his Christian beliefs. He was connected to the Holy Land by religious sentiments. Some of his relatives had worked in the mission field in Syria and Lebanon at the end of the last century and the beginning of this one. Thus he had some knowledge and background concerning the Palestine problem. At the same time, he himself was a realist. He well knew the strength of Zionism in America and he minutely measured the extent to which he could go in the Palestine problem.  I came to know Mr Dulles when he was a member of the American delegation to the United Nations during the Presidency of Mr Truman and I was the heed of the Iraqi delegation. There was one bond which brought us together in the United Nations, end that was our resistance to the current of world Communism. When he was nominated as Secretary of State, Mr Dulles invited me to tea at his home in New York City. We met together in his study where we had a long, informal discussion. The topic of conversation was tae problems of the Arab world. The question of Palestine was one of the first and most important topics we discussed.

I started my talk with Mr Dulles by quoting a verse from the Bible which said that the fathers had eaten sour grapes and the teeth of their sons were set on edge. Mr Dulles, who used to teach Bible in Sunday School, was surprised to hear the verse and said that he did not remember such a verse being in the Bible. Since I insisted that it was in the Old Testament, he looked up the words, sour grapes, in the concordance, and there he found the verse. I told him that the verse applied exactly to American politics in the Middle East. The predecessors of Mr Dulles in international affairs, including Truman and the allies of America, namely, the British and the French, had all eaten sour grapes in their politics in the Middle East and North Africa, and, consequently, the teeth of Mr Dulles would be set on edge today.

Then Mr Dulles started expressing his sentiments towards Palestine and sympathizing with the Arabs of Palestine in their suffering. "But," he said, "today I find myself before a fait accompli." I told him that acceptance of the fait accompli would not guarantee Arab friendship for the United States, and would not serve the cause of peace and stability in the Middle East, for peace and stability must be based on principles of justice and humanity
He assured me that he would not be biased in favour of Zionism. The Zionists opposed him when he stood for election to the Senate from New York, and, as a result, he lost the election. The Zionists supported Senator Lehman, one of the prominent Jews of New York City. "But now," Mr Dulles said, "the Zionists regret that they opposed my election, and they wish they had elected me so that I would not have become Secretary of State." Mr Dulles promised to do his best to handle the Palestine problem in a spirit of justice and equity without favouring the Zionists.

 

Secretary of State Dulles's Visit to Iraq.

 

   One of the first things Mr Dulles did after becoming Secretary of State was to visit the Middle East. Iraq was one of the countries he visited. I was President of the House of Representatives at that time and he called on me in my office early in 1953. We spoke then on several subjects touching Arab affairs, and the Palestine question was again in the forefront. The major topic raised by the Iraqi government on the occasion of Mr Dulles's visit was the subject of providing Iraq with arms. The Iraqi government was headed then by Jamil al-Madfa'i, its Defence Minister was Nuri as-Sa’id, and its Foreign Minister was Tawfiq as- Suwaidi. They handed Mr Dulles a memorandum requesting U.S.A. to provide Iraq with arms. He promised favourable consideration of the matter.

 

American Military Aid to Iraq.

 

When I took charge of the government of Iraq in the year 1953-54, after the resignation of Jamil al-Madfa’i, the United States Government had not yet respond to the memorandum on military aid sent by the previous government. When the American Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Burton Berry, called on me, I talked to him with complete frankness about the causes of tension prevailing between the Arabs and the West, especially with the U.S.A. I said that the main cause for the tension was the Palestine problem. .After the Zionist aggression in Palestine, every Arab began to look at America as if it were an aggressive state, supporting aggression. Because of the bitter Arab criticism and emotional outbursts against America on account of the Palestine tragedy, the Zionists began to capitalize on the situation and influence America to shrink from rendering any help to the Arabs. When the Arabs found that the United States was shrinking from helping them, while, on the other hand, it helped Israel so generously, their outbursts criticizing and attacking America increased. This was a vicious circle which had to be broken if the government of President Eisenhower wished to correct the situation in American-Arab relations.

Ambassador Berry and I agreed that the first step in breaking that vicious circle should be the offering of military aid to Iraq. We also agreed that we should enter into negotiations in order to secure American military aid for Iraq similar to the aid procured by both Turkey and Iran. If America offered military aid to both Turkey and Iran in order to resist Communism, why should Iraq be denied such aid while it was no less exposed to Communist danger than the two neighbouring countries, and Iraq was no less enthusiastic in combatting Communism.

On this basis we started our negotiations for procuring American military aid without any political strings attached. The United States did not ask us to do more than to give an undertaking that the arms would not be used for any aggressive purposes, and that they would not be sold or given as a present to a third party. These two conditions we could agree to, for Iraq had no intention at any time other than to be a defender of its own rights and the rights of its sister Arab states. As for aggression, we would be the farthest from being aggressors. As for not selling the arms or presenting them to a third party, that went without saying, for we wished to have the arms for ourselves and not for sale or presentation.

When the negotiations were about to reach a conclusion, the Zionists in the United states, and their supporters in the Congress, exploiting the season for the election of Congress in the year 1954, began to bring pressure on the Department of State in Washington. This led to the stoppage of negotiations. I telegraphed a personal message to the Secretary of State Dulles through our embassy in Washington, stating that he would not be able to face communist danger in the Middle East unless he guaranteed Arab friendship and that he could not win Arab friendship except in the following ways:

 

a. Helping Egypt in realizing British, evacuation of the Suez Canal zone.

b. Solving the Palestine problem in a spirit of justice and equity.

c. Helping the countries of North Africa in their struggle for liberation from French colonialism.

d. Arming Iraq and helping it to become a model in strength and development.

 

I wish here to express my appreciation for the stand taken by American Ambassador Burton Berry on Arab affairs, and for his support and honourable stand in the matter of arming Iraq.  The negotiations were resumed and the Americans tried to set a written promise that the arms would not be used against Israel. We flatly refused that request and said that we undertook not to use those arms in any aggression anywhere, but we would use them in defending our rights and Arab rights against any aggression that might come from Israel or other quarters. It must be stated that our stand with regard to the Palestine problem has at no time been aggressive. It has always been defensive. Aggression has always come from the Israeli side.

After a give and take which lasted a few months, we achieved a Military Aid Agreement by which Iraq become militarily one of the strongest states in the Middle East. After exchanging the letters of agreement for the Military Aid I immediately submitted the resignation of my Cabinet. This decision was due to a disagreement which had arisen between me and Nuri as-Sa'id who was the leader of the majority in the House of Parliament at that time. The disagreement concerned the federation of Iraq and Syria, a project which I was doing my best to realize.

Arshad al-'Omari formed the next Cabinet in which I was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. One day I collapsed in my office and was carried home in a fainting condition. Medical examination showed that I had developed a duodenal ulcer, and I went to the American University hospital in Beirut for treatment. After convalescence I went to the United States for a medical check up. On the same occasion I received an honorary degree from Columbia University, N.Y., and I met President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.

 

President Eisenhower and Palestine.

 

This is a record of the talk I had with President Eisenhower regarding Palestine when I called on him in the White House on July 15, 1954. After exchanging courtesies I told him that the most important matters disturbing Arab-American relations were America's stand vis-à-vis Zionism, and the stand of the American delegation in the United Nations with regard to Tunisia and Morocco.

When we entered into discussion of the subject of Palestine he told me, "Dr Jamali, be sure that I shall not bend before Zionist pressure, and that the Arabs will never receive any injustice at my hands. As for the mistakes of the past, it is not within my power to remove them all."

I asked him if the two American parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, could not agree to consider the question of Palestine I'S a foreign problem which should not be inserted into the presidential and congressional elections of the United States.

He answered that there was not one Democratic Party, or one Republican Party in the United States, but 48 Democratic Parties, and 48 Republican Parties. Each state had its own parties. Even if the parties in all the other states decided to take a neutral stand on the question of Palestine, one could not oblige the parties in New York state to exclude the question of Palestine from election campaigns because of the Zionist influence in that state.

While still in America, and after the election campaign for the American Congress was over (July 1954), I sent the following statement to some leading American newspapers:

 

During the last election campaign in the United States, the Zionists and their friends here, acting on behalf of States policy of arming the Arabs and injected this issue into the elections. Since this issue touches Iraq directly, for it is the only Arab state that has concluded an arms agreement with the United States, we feel it our duty to react to this campaign and express our views on this matter to our friends, the citizens of the United States. At the same time, we felt that any statement of this kind before the elections were ended might be considered as an intrusion.

 

Now that the elections are over, we wish to present to the American public the following facts:

 

a. In recent years friendship end mutual confidence between Iraq and the United States have made big strides, to the advantage of both countries.

b. The defence of Iraq constitutes an integral part of the defence system of the free world. It is that defence in which the United States is taking a keen interest for it is so vital to its own self-defence.

c. Iraq is an out-and-out anti-Communist state. It is the first state in the Middle East to suppress, make illegal, end combat Communism most vehemently. This makes Iraqi policy consonant with that of the United States in this respect.

 

d. Iraq has consistently followed a free-world policy in the United Nations on all matters dealing with Communist aggression. Its record in the United Nations shows that in all matters touching on conflicts with Communism, Iraq has consistently been on the side of the free world.

 

e. Modern Iraq is a progressive country which is doing its utmost to develop its natural resources. Seventy percent of the annual revenue from oil is directed to major development projects in irrigation, agriculture, industry, health and education. It is launching evolutionary social and economic reforms. This, it is hoped, will make it a great bulwark of anti-Communism in the Middle East.

 

f. Iraq is a constitutional monarchy with a stable regime devoted to the ideals of the free world and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

 

g. Iraq has proved that it is a peace-loving country and has no aggressive intentions towards any quarter. This policy we have solemnly pledged ourselves to faithfully observe. On my recent visit to Washington, D.C., last week, I again assured Mr Dulles of this fact, which he recognizes full well.

 

In the light of these considerations we wish all fair-minded Americans concerned primarily with the interest of the United States and world peace to be assured that any arms to Iraq will never be used for aggressive purposes, and to beware of Zionist propaganda which does not serve either American interests or world peace, for a weak and unarmed Iraq serves only the Communist cause.

 

Mr Dulles prepares a public statement on Palestine.

 

In the summer of 1955 when I was a Member of the Parliament, but not a member of the Iraqi Cabinet, I enjoyed a vacation in Mont Vert Hotel in Broummana, Lebanon. An American government official came to me there and showed me a statement which Secretary of State Dulles had formulated. It called for a settlement of the Palestine problem on the basis of a mutual Arab-Israeli understanding according to which the boundaries between the Arab states and Israel would be adjusted, and most of the Arab refugees would continue to reside in the Arab states in which they found themselves, while the United States would express its readiness to take part in offering the amount of money required for the settlement of Arab claims and compensation.

The official asked my opinion with regard to the statement, and I answered that the statement in that form was very disappointing, for it did not guarantee the Palestinian Arabs even the implementation of the United Nations Resolutions which were themselves unjust to the Arab rights. I did not believe that any responsible Arab statesman could support such a statement.

        I learnt that Mr Dulles did make a statement, but I do not knew whether it retained the same wording or was revised.


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The Baghdad Pact and Palestine.
 

On no subject of foreign affairs did the Arab states differ so sharply as they did on the question of joining the Baghdad Pact and the policy of positive neutrality. I think it is only fair to refer here to some advantages which Iraq tried to reap from the Baghdad Pact for the cause of Palestine and other Arab affairs.

 

a. Nuri as-Sa’id exerted gigantic efforts in the secret sessions of the Baghded Pact to make the West modify its stand with regard to the Palestine problem. As a result, the United States government aid to Israel began to diminish gradually so as to eventually become commensurate with Israel's size.

 

b. On account of the Palestine problem America did not join the Baghdad Pact, for the American Congress wanted guarantees for the present boundaries of Israel if America were to join the Pact, but Mr Dulles refuse to give such guarantees.

 

c. While Turkey had been siding with Israel before the Baghdad Pact, it began to shift to the Arab side and gave an undertaking to stand for the implementation of the United Nations Resolutions with regard to Palestine. Letters were exchanged between Iraq and Turkey on this subject at the time of signing the Pact. Prime Minister 'Adnan Menderes assured me personally that the Turkish government was curtailing its relations with Israel. He showed me the marked reduction in the amount of trade between the two countries and he also recalled the Turkish Ambassador from Israel.

 

d. Nuri as-Sa'id insisted, in the Baghdad Pact meeting in Ankara, January, 1958, that states, members of the Pact, should undertake a settlement of the Palestine problem in accordance with the United Nations Resolutions, that the natural rights of the Arabs to their homes in Palestine should be recognized, and that a public statement should be made to this effect. When there was no unanimity on the making of the public statement, Nuri Pasha was angry and enraged, a fact which made Mr Dulles come to the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara to explain his stand. Tawfiq as-Suwaidi and I were present with Nuri as-Sa’id during the talk with Mr Dulles.

 

Mr Dulles's stand could be summarized as follows:

 

The government of President Eisenhower did not come to power with the help of Zionism, nor was Mr Dulles indebted to the Zionists in any way. It would be rare that the Arabs would find a government in the U.S.A. so unbiased in dealing with the Palestine problem. But the Eisenhower government was bound by the decisions of the Congress and could not take any basic decisions in the matter of Palestine without the approval of the Congress or through the United Nations.

It was agreed that the question of Palestine would be raised anew in the United Nations in the next session of the General Assembly in the autumn of 1958, and that new support would be procured for the past Resolutions of the United Nations with regard to Palestine and for requiring Israel to implement them. The following is Mr Dulles's final statement at that session:

 

The United States government, having taken into consideration the successive declarations by the Baghdad Pact meetings that the Palestine problem constitutes a basic cause of instability and threat to international peace in the area, finds it appropriate to make a new declaration of its desire and readiness to help solve this problem. It, therefore, proposes that the United Nations should reactivate the Conciliation Commission for Palestine which will resume its efforts towards a settlement of the problem taking full account of the 1947 and 1948 United Nations Resolutions on Palestine.

 

It is strange indeed that some of those who attacked the Baghdad Pact claimed that it was intended to protect Israel and that it would expose Arab lands to dangers no less serious than the dangers that befell Palestine.
 

 The Bandung Conference and Palestine

 

There is no doubt that the Conference of the Asian-African nations in Bandung in the spring of 1955 was one of the most important events of recent history, because, in Bandung, for the first time in modern history, the personality of the two continents, Asia and Africa, became prominent in world affairs, and the world began to give weight to these two countries in the struggle between East and West, and in the balance of world powers.

I went to Bandung at the head of the Iraqi delegation on behalf of Nuri as-Sa’id, the Prime Minister of Iraq, although I was not a member of the Iraqi Cabinet at that time.

One of the first issues raised at the Conference concerned Palestine and whether or not the Palestine problem should be discussed in the Bandung Conference. There were those like U Nu, then Prime Minister of Burma, who insisted on keeping the Palestine problem out of the Conference. He is a friend of Israel, and his argument for keeping the problem of Palestine off the agenda was the absence of Israel from the Conference. Israel had not been invited to Bandung, and he argued that it would not be right to discuss the Palestine problem in the absence of Israel.

I answered him saying that it would also not be permissible to discuss the problem of colonialism since the colonial powers were not present. If the subject of colonialism was to be discussed in the absence of the colonial powers, what logic would prevent the discussion of the Palestine problem at Bandung in the absence of the state which was the aggressor?
 

Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, supported U Nu, saying that the Palestine problem might lead to a hot discussion which might disturb the peace of the Conference. As the argument continued, I found some Arab states wishing to accommodate Nehru and lacking in enthusiasm to press for the inclusion of the question of Palestine on the agenda. I threatened the withdrawal of the Iraqi delegation if the Palestine problem was not put on the agenda. As a result the Palestine problem was included.

 

My opening speech contained the following paragraphs about Zionism:

The second disturbing force in the world is that of Zionism. Zionism is certainly the last chapter in the book of old colonialism. It is one of the blackest and darkest chapter in human history. It is the worst offspring of imperialism, for imperialism as practised so far included occupation, partition, subjugation and moral disintegration of lends and peoples which are ruled by it. Zionism, however, with its state of Israel, has added to all these evils the uprooting of a whole population and the expulsion by force of innocent people from their homes, thus making destitute and homeless nearly one million Palestinian Arabs, Christians and Muslims alike. Not only that, the loyalty of the Jews to their respective countries is undermined by developing a loyalty to Israel in order to create a Zionist state based on racial and religious discrimination.
 

   This is no time to recapitulate the tragic story of the Palestine problem in recent years. Suffice it to mention only two facts. The first is that the peoples of the world cannot remain hoodwinked indefinitely by Zionist propaganda so as not to see the truth about Palestine. That is why we sincerely hope that the states represented at this Conference, as well as all fair-minded peoples in the world, will continue to brand Israel as an illegitimate state and as an aggressor and to see to it that Arab rights to their own home in Palestine are recognized end restored.
 

The second fact is that the Arab people, and behind them the Muslim and most of the Christian worlds are determined never to give up their political or religious rights in Palestine. Spiritually Palestine belongs to the peoples of the three great religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism alike, and never belonged to the Jewish faith alone. Politically Palestine belongs to its legitimate inhabitants, the Arabs who lived there for centuries before the imperialistic designs were imposed on the Holy Land.

The conclusion is that Zionism will continue to be a primary source for disturbance of peace and harmony in a most vital and strategic part of the world, the Middle East.

At Bandung the Arab delegations met in the residence of President Gamal 'Abdul Nasir and selected a committee of three -– myself, Charles Malik and Ahmad Shuqairi -- to lay down a plan for handling the Palestine problem in the Conference. The meetings of the committee were also attended by 'Abdul Khaliq Hassouna in his capacity as Secretary General of the Arab League.

After discussing the matter, the committee recommended that the subject of Palestine should be entrusted to the delegate of Afganistan Prince Mohammed Na'im who would submit a proposal on Palestine to the Conference with the suggestion that it be approved unanimously. As for the text, it is to be found in the Final Communique of the Bandung Conference and reeds as follows:

In view of the existing tensions in the Middle East caused by the situation in Palestine and the danger of that tension to world peace, the Asian-African Conference declared its support of the rights of the Arab people of Palestine and called for the implementation of the United Nations Resolutions on Palestine and the achievement of the peaceful settlement of the Palestine question.

 

Positive Neutrality or Non-alignment and Palestine.

 

The policy of positive neutrality upheld by President Gamal 'Abdul Nasir was a post-Bandung development. It was an adaptation of the policy of Prime Minister Nehru of India. Now that most Arab states have adopted the policy of positive neutrality, which is to the advantage of the Soviet Union, I wish that they would get from Russia a promise to help the Arabs in seeing to it that the United Nations Resolutions on Palestine ere implemented. The Arabs should also secure a promise that there will be no Zionist immigration from Communist countries to the occupied part of Palestine before the return of the Arabs of Palestine to their homeland. This is the least that one would expect as a fruit of the policy of positive neutrality

 
German Reparations for Israel.

 

One of the well-known facts is that Israeli economy stands on two pillars. The first is what Israel receives in terms of donations from the Zionists of the U.S.A., and the aid from the United States government. The second is what Israel receives in terms of reparations from Western Germany. Each of these two sources has already provided Israel with more than one billion dollars. As for the aid which Western Germany was obliged to pay to Israel, it is not based on right or logic. Reparations should be made to persons who were victimized by Hitler or their heirs, irrespective of race or religion. The state of Israel is not the heir of the Jews whom Hitler persecuted. But German need for Zionist help in the United States, and German desire to be cleared of the crimes of Hitler, both led West Germany to undertake an act of support for Zionism and      to fortify it in Palestine at the expense of the Arabs. Germany, by offering the reparations to Israel, hurt Arab rights in Palestine, consciously or unconsciously.
 

The League of Arab States looked into the matter in the summer of 1952 and sent an Arab delegation to West Germany to advise the West Germany government not to undertake that operation. The Arab delegation did not succeed because the Zionist pressure through the United States government was very strong indeed, and Germany, who was working hard to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, needed very badly to placate the Zionists of the United States. The League of the Arab states looked into the question of threatening West Germany with an economic boycott if she pursued her policy of reparations, but the consideration was abandoned because some Arab states had interests with West Germany, and also because of traditional Arab-German friendship.
 

When I visited West Germany at the invitation of the government in the summer of 1956 I explained my point of view to Chancellor Adenauer and his Foreign Minister, Herr Von Brentano. I told them that the injustice of Hitler had fallen on the heads of the Arabs. The result of Hitler's action can be understood if one imagines a man throwing someone from the roof of a very high building, and, by this act, injuring a person walking peacefully along the street. In the end, as e result of Hitler's persecution of the Jews, the Arabs of Palestine were crushed. Reparations, if they had any legality, should be paid to the crushed Arabs and not to the Zionists who ere crushing them. A million or more Arab refugees ere the true victims of Hitler and not aggressive Zionism in Palestine. This is humanitarian logic and justice. To pay reparations to the aggressor Zionists to enable them to perpetuate their aggression and thus perpetuate the diminution of Arab rights is not in any way the logic of justice or humanity. But international politics, when it influenced by Zionism, does not recognize right or logic.
 

I was convinced, after my conversation with the Germans, that they were obliged to undertake their act of in justice towards the Arabs by paying huge reparations to Israel. They did it to dispel the feeling of guilt which was the legacy of Hitler on the one hand, and on the other, to promote their politics and interests in the United States, which would be influenced by Zionist propaganda.
 

Israeli Aggression against Egypt

 

Probably the most important factor leading to Israeli aggression was the policy followed by the three great Western powers, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, who considered Israel as a cat's paw or surrogate for their interests in eastern Arab lands. They published a Tripartite declaration in 1950 in which they announced their policy of balancing armaments between Israel and the Arab states surrounding it. This was meant to enable Israel to face all the Arab states combined. The policy was unjust to the Arabs for it made Israel grow fierce One day it attacked Jordan, another day Syria, and another day Egypt. She attacked each Arab state individually and in turn with a superior striking force. We cannot forget the tragedies of Qibya, Nahalene, Ghazza, and others. I visited the village of Qibya immediately after the treacherous Israeli attack on that village. I saw the tragedies resulting there from Israeli aggression. Innocent children, women and aged people were killed by Israeli machine guns. A school for children was destroyed by heavy Israeli gunfire.  The object of the successive Israeli aggression was to demonstrate Israeli power with ultimate aim of achieving peace with the Arabs on Israeli terms. Until today this objective is still the core of Israeli policy.  It seems that, at one time, Israel tried, through the mediation of the United States, to come to terms with Egypt. Some contacts were made with President Gamal 'Abdul Nasir which were referred to in the press. It was said that President Gamal ‘Abdul Nasir asked for the Negev and for a geographical land connection with Jordan as a basic condition for any peacefu1 arrangement, end that Israel refused to grant Egypt's demand.
 

I do not know if there is any truth in these statements. But I do know that, in 1955, when the clash between Cairo and Baghdad had reached its zenith because Iraq had signed the Baghdad Pact, Mr Dulles asked me to convey his appreciation and esteem to Nuri as-Sa'id for the noble stand he had taken vis-a-vis President Nasir when the latter was engaged in negotiating the settlement of the Palestine problem. Nuri as-Sa’id did not exploit the situation and utilize it politically against President Nasir. Mr Dulles described Nuri as-Sa'id as a statesman who put the highest interests or the state above personal differences.    When the negotiations did not come to fruition, Israel used force and suddenly attacked Egypt again, killing innocent people in Ghazza and some soldiers of an Egyptian garrison.
 

The Triple Invasion of Egypt


     When Egypt decided to nationalize the Suez Canal, both France and Britain were enraged. Their short-sighted policy led them into collusion with Israel in an attack on Egypt in October 1956.    President Eisenhower came out against the Triple Invasion with all his power. His stand, at the height of his election campaign, was very noble indeed. In fact, the decisive stand of the United States against the Invasion had a direct effect on the Resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly condemning the Invasion.
 

     I was on my way to the United Nations General Assembly when the Invasion began, and I had no knowledge of the stand taken by the Iraqi government in Baghdad with regard to the aggression. As for the position taken by the Iraqi delegation in the United Nations, l' was one of the toughest stands in facing each of the aggressors, Israel, France and Britain. We denounced the aggression with all the power at our disposal.      I later heard that my speeches against the Triple Invasion were not broadcast from Radio Baghdad at that time, and the Iraqi people never heard about them. On the other hand, my speeches against Soviet intervention in Hungary were broadcast from Radio Baghdad. I telegraphed to Nuri as-Sa'id asking him why, if I represented the policy of the Iraqi government at the United Nations, my speeches denouncing the Triple Invasion were not being broadcast. If I did not represent the government policy, why was I staying at the United Nations?
 

I had no answer to this telegram. Instead I received a long telegram containing a decision by the Council of Ministers that the Iraqi delegate at the UN should propose to the General Assembly the abolition of the State of Israel. Since a proposal in such a form would not have been taken into serious consideration by the United Nations, I put it into my speech in the following form: "The Government of Iraq asks that the Israeli danger be abolished from existence." It was to be understood that the existence of Israel and the Israeli danger were one and the same.
 

I remember that, in answering the Israeli Foreign Minister, Golda Meir, after she had made a speech attacking President Gamal 'Abdul Nasir, I said, "Each of us is a Gamal 'Abdul Nasir vis-a-vis Israel, and each of the Arab states if an Egypt." I also called for the dismissal from the meeting of the Israeli Foreign Minister as an impudent aggressor, not worthy to sit on a seat at the United Nation.
 

While the General Assembly was dealing with the Israeli invasion, and while Israel- was procrastinating over its withdrawal from Egyptian territory, an Iraqi delegation arrived in U.S.A. It was headed by Prince ‘Abdul Ilah and included Tawfiq as-Suwaidi, ’Ali Jawdat al-Ayoubi, Saleh Jabr and Ahmad Mukhtar Baban. I was asked to join the delegation and be their spokesman at a meeting in the State Department with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. The Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S.A., Musa ash-Shabandar also attended the meeting.
 

The main topic of discussion with Mr Dulles was the problem of Palestine, and most of the members of the delegation took part in the discussion, emphasizing the seriousness of the Palestine problem and its importance for the stability of the Arab world and the Middle East. The delegation suggested that the United states should undertake some effective measures to make Israel withdraw from Egyptian territory and the Ghazza sector, and that no attention should be paid to the excuses given by Israeli for delaying its withdrawal.
 

Mr Dulles said that he had emphasized to Israel the necessity of urgent withdrawal from Egyptian territory and the Ghazza sector. He mentioned also that an American Zionist delegation had come to see him protesting American pressure on Israel to withdraw while the Soviet Union had not withdrawn from Hungary. He had answered them that Israel had its own Ambassador in Washington who could defend the Israeli point of view. "As for you," he said, "you are American citizens and not Israelis."
 

Then Mr Dulles told us, "I think you know that, had it not been for President Eisenhower's decisive stand, Britain and France would not have withdrawn from the Canal."

I told him, "But the Soviets claim that it was their threat to use missiles that made Britain and France withdraw from the Canal."

He answered that the Soviet threat was made after the two powers had yielded to President Eisenhower's pressure. They had already decided to withdraw.
 

The main Israeli argument justifying non-withdrawal was its insistence on the freedom of passage through the Suez Canal. Israel said that the prevention of Israeli ships passing through the Canal was contrary to international law. My answer always has been that the prevention of Israeli ships from passing through the Canal is part and parcel of the whole Palestine problem. Israel calls for international law to be observed regarding the passage of its ships through the Canal, but it does not observe international law when it usurps Arab lands and when it opposes the return of Arab refugees to their homes.
 

At the end of the Triple Invasion it was decided that Israeli forces should withdraw from Egyptian territory and from the Ghazza sector. But United Nations forces were stationed in the Ghszza sector and in Sharm ash-Sheikh, at the outlet of the Gulf of Aqaba. The United Nations forces permitted Israeli ships to pass through the Aqaba Gulf, though it had been closed to Israel before the Triple Invasion. Thus Israel secured one of its main objectives, namely, access to the markets of Asia and Africa. Its trade began to flow, and there was no longer any urgent need of the Suez Canal. The United Nations forces, which were costing the UN millions of dollars a year, were in the service of Israel and guaranteed her economic, political and military interests.


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IRAQ AND KUWAIT

 

In the days of the Ottoman Empire, Kuwait and the Sheikhdoms of the Basrah Gulf were part of the Basrah wilayat or province. During the 19th century, Kuwait and the Sheikhdoms of the Gulf came under British protection. It was British colonial design that all those Sheikhdoms should be kept separate.
 

Kuwait, before the days of the exploitation of oil wealth, was closely connected with Iraq and particularly with Basrah. When Iraq achieved its independence, an Arab nationalist movement began to emanate from Baghdad. Relations between Arab netionalists in Kuwait and those in Iraq become intimate. In the 30's King Ghazi of Iraq had a broadcasting station in his palace from which he addressed the Kuwaitis calling on them to join Iraq. The Muthanna Club, an Arab nationalist club in Baghdad of which I was an active member, was in direct touch with some Kuwaitis who felt that the unity of the Arab nation required Kuwait and Iraq to unite. In 1938 a legislative council was formed, presided over by sheikh 'Abdullah as-Salem as-Sabah. We learnt that a move by that body to unite Kuwait and Iraq had led to a revolt against the protecting power, which reacted vigorously to suppress the movement. Some individuals were killed in the action, others arrested and still others escaped.
 

        The death of King Ghazi in 1939 and the advent of the Second World War put into abeyance all efforts toward rapprochement. Kuwaitis, however, always had close contacts with Basrah and many families have intermarried. The truth is that no natural boundary exists between Iraq end Kuwait. There is affinity as well as one common geography, history, religion, language and culture.  In the summer of 1949 Prince 'Abdul Ilah asked me to jot down some points which he might raise with the British government on his coming visit to London. I prepared a memorandum of eleven points. Item no. 10 was to ask Britain to help Iraq to adjust its boundaries with Kuwait and to discuss the question of the two islands, Warba and Bubian, in order to facilitate the establishment of an Iraqi port on the Gulf. Prince 'Abdul Ilah never told me whether he discussed the question of adjusting the borders with Kuwait or raised the question of the islands with the British government.
 

When oil began to bring its blessings, Kuwait became a centre of financial and political attraction. A rush of building and construction began. In the early 50's, when work started on the oil pipeline I was invited by Emil Bustani, a Lebanese entrepreneur, to travel with him in his private plane from Beirut to Kuwait, Bahrein and Qattar. It was on that occasion that I saw Kuwait for the first time and enjoyed the gracious reception Pond hospitality of the Emir and his ministers, especially Sheikh 'Abdullah Jabar as-Sabah.  A few years later, during my premiership in 1953-54, Sheikh Fahad, Minister of Public Works, visited Baghaad. He called on me in my house and I had a very cordial chat with him. We discussed Iraqi-Kuwaiti cooperation in the field of public works and I expressed Iraq's readiness to let Kuwait dig a canal from the Euphrates to carry fresh water to Kuwait for drinking and irrigation. I said that the offer would be unconditional and that it was only a gesture of Iraq’sbrotherly goodwill towards our Kuwaiti brethren. He welcomed the idea at the time, but nothing was done about it. Perhaps foreign interests who wanted to construct expensive desalination installations in Kuwait worked to arouse suspicions concerning Iraq's generosity. I still believe that the project should be carried out and fulfilled.       

 
        During these prosperous years the population of Kuwait more than doubled due to immigration from Arab and non-Arab countries. Palestinians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Iranians, Pakistanis, Indians and even Iraqis flocked to Kuwait attracted by well-paid jobs
The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh 'Abdullah as-Salem as-Sabah, who had presided ever the Council that had wanted unity with Iraq, had become internationally minded. He maintained his friendship and good relations with Iraq while being greatly impressed by President Nasir. In May 1958 he was invited by the King of Iraq to visit Baghdad and he was approached on the question of joining the Arab Union which federated Iraq and Jordan. He was reluctant to respond, for he had to keep President Nasir's attitude in mind.    I had received a small pamphlet published in London and circulated by the Egyptian government in which Egypt maintained that Cairo was the centre from which all Arab oil should be controlled and directed and that oil-producing states had to fall in line with Cairo's policy. The Egyptians quickly recalled and collected that pamphlet. I had only one copy which I presented to the Emir of Kuwait.


        At the time Kuwait was not yet independent. It was still under British protection. When Selwyn Lloyd, The British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, passed through Baghdad in 1956 Nuri as-Sa’id and I met with him at Qusr ar-Rehab, the residence of Prince 'Abdul Ilah, in the presence of H.M. the Aing and Frince 'Abdul Ilah. At that meeting I suggested to Selwyn Lloyd that Kuwait should be recognized as an independent state thus terminating British protection. I also suggested that the Emir of Kuwait should become a king so that it could join the Arab Union. Selwyn Lloyd said that the question should be referred to the British Cabinet for final decision.
 

After the union of Iraq and Jordan had taken place, the Premier of the Arab Union, Nuri as-Sa’id become quite active in approaching the British on the question of independence for Kuwait and its accession to the Arab Union, for he wanted Kuwait to share the expense of maintaining the Jordanian army. But things did not move in that direction.  On my return from U.S.A. at the beginning of July 1958, I had a meeting with Selwyn Lloyd at his residence in Carlton Gardens No.1. He told me about Nuri's coming to London and about his emotional outburst concerning the British stand on Kuwait. It was suggested that an Iraqi-British meeting be held in London on the 20th of July, four days before the scheduled meeting of the Baghdad Pact Council. I was supposed to be a member of the Iraqi delegation. One of the topics to be discussed was Kuwait. That meeting never took place be cause of the downfall of the Royal Regime on July 14, 1958.
 

    I heard again about the Kuwaiti question three years later on the night of my release from prison. On that occasion Prime Minister 'Abdul Kareem Qasim had seven of us political prisoners escorted to his office. Referring to a huge map on the wall he gave us a long lecture on Kuwait and its importance for the liberation of Palestine. He maintained that the British meant to strike Iraq in the back from Kuwait if Iraq ever attempted to liberate Palestine.  After the downfall of the royal Regime in Iraq, Britain recognized Kuwait's independence. It is now a member of the League of Arab States and a member of the United Nations. My hope continues to be that Iraq’s relation with Kuwait will be based on genuine Arab brotherhood and cooperation.


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IRAQ and THE ARABIAN PENINSULA

 

Saudi Arabia

Yemen

 

IRAQ AND SAUDI ARABIA

 

After the First World War two royal Arab families emerged on the scene, namely, the Hashemites and the Saudis. The Hashemite family, led by King Husain, lived in Mecca, Hijaz, and it was they who declared the Arab Revolution in the First World War in order to liberate the Arabs from Turkish Ottoman rule. The Saudi family, headed by King 'Abdul 'Aziz Ibn Sa'ud, rose in Nejd in the Arabian Peninsula which he worked to unify. From the beginning, rivalry and lack of understanding between the two families led to a clash and this in turn led to Saudi domination over Hijaz and the ousting of the Hashemite family from that area.
 

As a result of their defeat the Hashemite family was dispersed. The Father of the Arab Revolution, King Husain, Sharif of Mecca, took refuge with the British who exiled him to Cyprus where he spent the rest of his life. His body was taken to Jerusalem for burial. Before leaving Hijaz, King Husain abdicated in favour of his eldest son, King 'Ali, who in turn had to leave Hijaz and seek refuge in Iraq. King Husain's second son, Emir 'Abdullah, became the ruler of Transjordan. His third son, Faisal, who had entered Syria at the head of an Arab army fighting on the side of the Allies, was crowned King of Syria in March 1920, but was dethroned by the French in July 1920. He was then invited to become King of Iraq. Ex-King 'Ali of Hijaz joined his brother and settled in Baghdad. Thus Iraq became the centre of gravity for the Hashemite family, and relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia gained in importance.
 

Iraq is closed related to Saudi Arabia culturally, historically, geographically and economically. Saudi tribes get supplies from Iraqi markets in the towns bordering the desert. Iraqi tribes with their camels, sheep and cattle cross the borders to graze in Saudi Arabia, end Saudi tribes cross into Iraq in the same way. These are brotherly tribes bound to each other by bonds of blood end ancestry. The same tribe may have branches inhabiting Iraq and Saudi Arabia.  The question of inter-tribal raids, which were a normal phenomenon in Bedouin life, became a frequent cause of friction. It was essential to set up frontier marks and to prevent inter-tribe  raiding in order to achieve peace and security in the region. King Faisal I undertook this during his reign.
 

King Faisal I wished earnestly to clear the atmosphere between himself and King 'Abdul 'Aziz Ibn Sa'ud. He wanted their relations to be based on sincere brotherhood. In February 1930, a meeting of the two kings was arranged on board a British ship at 'Uqayr in the Basrah Gulf (Arab and Persian Gulf). Complete understanding, harmony and brotherhood between the two kings resulted from that meeting. As far as I know, the relations between the two countries became very cordial and a Treaty of Brotherhood was signed to which Yemen later on acceded.  After the death of King Faisal I, some dissatisfied Iraqis sought refuge in Saudi Arabia end some politicians contacted Saudi Arabia whenever they had difficulties in Iraq. But King 'Abdul 'Aziz Ibn Sa'ud, who was well known for his shrewdness, always preserved good relations with Iraq and never let the dissident elements influence his policy.
 

There was nothing between Iraq and Saudi Arabia to disturb good relations. Iraq's interests did not clash with Saudi interests. Iraq always wished the Saudis well. But the relations between the two royal families did not always reflect the interests of their countries. After the death of King Ghazi, the new King of Iraq, Faisal II was still a child and Iraq was ruled by his uncle Prince 'Abdul Ilah, as Regent. The latter was the son of King 'Ali, the deposed King of Hijaz and he considered himself as the legitimate heir to the throne of Hijaz. The Saudis are usually careful politicians. They included in their calculations the possibility of Hashemite influence and power increasing so that a day might come when the Hashemites would attempt to regain Hijaz. That is why Saudi policy towards the Hashemite family became p policy of caution towards Iraq itself. Any political move which might make Iraq strong disturbed the Saudis. This attitude did much harm to Iraq and to the Arab cause in general, including the Saudis themselves, as was proved later on. Thus the clearing of the atmosphere and the reaching of mutual understanding between the two royal families constituted one of the necessities far renaissance in the modern Arab East.
 

For the sake of truth and history I wish to put on record that Prince 'Abdul Ilah, in spite of his desire to uphold his right to the throne of Hijez, did not, so far as I know, at any time try to influence Iraqi policy in order to oppose Saudi policy. I remember calling on him one day when Saudi Arabia was strongly opposing Syrian-Iraqi federation. I told him, "Sir, if you would only clarify your relations with the Saudi family and come to an understanding with them, Iraq's Arab policy would be in good condition.” He answered, may God bless his soul, "Fadhel, have I ever interfered in your policies regarding Saudi Arabia? If I had done so, you would have some reason for your remark. But since I have not interfered, what do you went from me? How do my relations with Hijaz concern you? This is a problem that concerns me personally".  I called on him another day and he began to tell me, with tears appearing in his eyes, that he had heard of a proposition that the Saudis were ready to grant him a sum of three million diners (I don't remember the amount exactly) if he would relinquish his claim to the throne of Hijaz. He considered that as an insult to his dignity and self-respect.
 

Besides the throne of Hijaz, another problem disturbed the atmosphere for good relations between the two countries for some time, and that was the problem of Haji Rasheed 'Aali al-Gailani, who sought refuge in Saudi Arabia. Haji Rasheed 'Aali had come to power in Iraq as head of government in 1941 during the Second World War, by the interference in politics of 4 Colonels of the Iraqi army. They made Prime Minister Taha al-Hashimi resign and installed Rasheed 'Aali as Prime Minister. The Regent, objecting to the Colonels' interfering in politics, fled to Jordan and was replaced by Sharif Sharaf as Regent. Prince 'Abdul Ilah, along with a few leading Iraqi statesmen, returned to Iraq and took power again with the help of the Jordanian Arab Legion led by Glubb Pasha. Rasheed 'Aali fled the country and went to Germany via Iran and Turkey. Throughout the War he was the guest of Hitler. He was tried in absentia by the Iraqi Court Martial and condemned to death.
 

After World War II and the downfall of Hitler, Haji Rasheed ‘Aali found his way through France, Lebanon and Syria to Saudi Arabia where he sought and was given asylum by King 'Abdul 'Aziz. The Iraqi government requested the extradition of Rasheed 'Aali, but this was given a strong refusal, for. according to Arab honour and tradition. such an act could not be permitted. The presence of Rasheed 'Aali al-Gailani in Saudi Arabia was always a cause of suspicion and worry to Prince 'Abdul Ilah who feared another plot to undermine the Iraqi regime. it one time I heard that there was an idea of arranging for the liquidation of Haji Rasheed 'Aali. but the idea was found to be unwise snd dangerous and therefore dropped. At any rate Rasheed 'Aali's status as a refugee in Saudi Arabia continued to create tension and mistrust between the two countries.
 

In spite of everything, the tact and wisdom of King 'Abdul 'Aziz preserved the essential brotherhood and correct relations between the two governments in the international field. During the War, King 'Abdul 'Aziz and Prince 'Abdul Ilah together came to an agreement to unite their efforts to approach President Frankline D. Roosevelt of the United States in defence of Arab rights in Palestine. They each sent similar notes to the President on the Palestine issue.
 

At the San Francisco Conference to draft the United Nations Charter, the Arab delegations from Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Lebanon cooperated excellently. The relations of the Iraqi delegation, of which I was a member, and that of Saudi Arabia, headed by Prince Faisal (now H.M. King Faisal) were most positive and cordial. The Arab delegations continued to work together harmoniously in the United Nations on matters affecting the Arab world.
 

In the League of Arab states some differences began to appear. One of the subjects on which there was a divergence of policy was that of using oil as a weapon in defending Arab rights in Palestine. In 1946 the Arab League Council met in Bludan, Syria. I, as Foreign Minister, was a member of the Iraqi delegation. One of the Iraqi proposals in that session was that Britain And U.S.A. should be warned that, in case they took sides with Zionism, the oil-producing Arab states would stop the flow of oil to them. The delegate, Sheikh Yusuf Yaseen, stood up and flatly rejected the Iraqi proposal. As a result a very weak resolution was approved by the League Council which voiced nothing but an empty threat. (See Palestine, pp.)
 

In 1947 when the United Nations General Assembly was discussing the partitioning of Palestine end when President Truman, under Zionist pressure, came out openly to support the partition and brought pressure on some states to vote in its favour, I discussed the situation with Nuri as-Sa'id who was with me as Co-Chairman of the Iraqi delegation. We reviewed the necessity of warning America that the flow of Arab oil would be cut. In this way we might check President Truman in his unjust, precipitous, pro-Zionist policy. Nuri Pasha agreed with me, and he contacted Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia on the subject. I learnt that t he latter agreed with us on the importance of such a move, but he requested Nuri as-Sa’id to fly to Riyadh in order to come to en understanding on the subject of oil with King ‘Abdul 'Aziz. Nuri as-Sa’id did not think that such a trip would achieve anything. He thought that Prince Faisal’s suggestion was only a clever way to avoid giving a direct answer.
 

It was in the field of inter-Arab relation, especially after the establishment of the League of Arab States, that the clash of families in Arab politics was openly revealed. The League of Arab States, from its inception, was a divided house. The roots of the division go to the Saudi-Hashemite discord. Syria was n prime contributing factor in the clash, and some Syrian politicians, consciously or unconsciously, played an active role in stimulating the conflict.   The federation of Iraq and Syria was one of the first aims of Arab nationalists during and after the First World War.   Iraq, heeded by Prince 'Abdul Ilah as Regent, felt that one of its national goals was to achieve a federation with Syria when it became independent after the Second World War. The majority of Syrian nationalists cherished the same ideal, but, as soon as Syria had achieved independence, Shukri al-Quwatli immediately flew to Saudi Arabia where he reached an agreement with King 'Abdul ‘Aziz and gave word - that there would be no federation between Syria and Iraq. This was later confirmed by Muhsin al-Burazi, who was Quwatli's companion and confidant on that trip, when portions of Barazi's memoirs were published in Al-Hayat, a Beirut daily. After the coup d'etat of Husni az-Za'im in Syria, 1949, al-Barazi became Prime Minister. (See Syria, PP.)       
 

Not only Iraq, but Jordan's Hashemite King 'Abdullah had thoughts about Syria. King 'Abdullah had dreams of Greater Syria, and opposition to this project pushed some Syrian leaders to align themselves with the Saudis. In 1946 the Syrians brought a complaint to the Arab League about King ‘Abdullah call for the unity of Greater Syria. The Saudis immediately took sides with the Syrians. As Head of the Iraqi delegation to the League of Arab States I came to the aid of King 'Abdullah. The Arab house was unhappily divided. (See Syria pp. )  From the time of the coup d'etat of Husni az-Za'im and the fell of Shukri al-Quwatli in 1949 until 1958 I took special interest in the projected Syrian-Iraqi federation whether I was in the government or outside it. The project led to a propaganda war between Iraq and Saudi Arabia in Syria and Lebanon. I used to feel the effects of this propaganda war whenever I visited Syria or Lebanon, for I would hear of increased Saudi expenditure for propaganda against some Iraqi leaders. Thus my visits to Syria and Lebanon used to please the opposition press more than the press friendly to us, for the opposition press would 'receive' while the press friendly to Iraq got nothing. Iraq took only a defensive part in the propaganda war and never attacked the Saudis so far as I know.


    George Wadsworth, who became American Ambassador to Saudi Arabia after having served as Ambassador to Iraq, once told me in New York that H. M. King ‘Abdul ‘Aziz had said to him one day, "I had a restless sleep last night. I am worried about Syria. I don't know what Jamali is doing there." One evening in 1952 in Cairo when the Council of the Arab League was meeting, I was exceedingly frank with H.R.H. Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia; I think I caused some annoyance while talking to him, for I was very enthusiastic at the time for the federation of Iraq and Syria end I was feeling bitter about Saudi propaganda against Iraq. The Foreign Minister of Egypt, Ahmad Tay'i Farraj, was giving a dinner in Semiramis Hotel in honour of the delegations to the Arab League Council. When I entered the dining room I was called by 'Ali Maher Pasha, a former Prime Minister of Egypt, to join him at a table where he was sitting with H.R.H. Prince Faisal. It was a pleasure for me to accept. After exchanging greetings, 'Ali Maher Pasha said, "Now I want to clear up matters between you."    I said, "Pasha, as for Iraq, nothing has ever been done in the way of aggression or propaganda against Saudi Arabia. We do not harbour anything but good will for Saudi Arabia, and the Iraqi government has no interests which clash with the interests of Saudi Arabia. I could like you, Pasha, to ask His Royal Highness if he has anything outstanding against Iraq."

 

His Royal Highness replied, "We have nothing against Iraq."   In my turn I said, "I should like to address a question to His Royal Highness regarding the propaganda campaign in Damascus, Beirut, Amman and Baghdad against the present regime in Iraq and the money which is being spent for that purpose. For whose interest is it and with what objectives?"    His Royal Highness answered, "I know nothing about the matter."   I continued to press the subject send said, "Your Royal Highness, kingdoms belong to God. Individuals perish, but peoples survive. Where is King Ferouq? Where is Quwatli? Where is King ‘Abdullah? Aren't they all gone? But the people remain. Isn't it better that money should be spent for the welfare of the people and for the sake of their good instead of spending it on harmful propaganda between close brothers?"
 

I now think that I was very harsh in my remark and I disturbed His Royal Highness so that 'Ali Maher Pasha intervened and asked that the dialogue should be postponed for another meeting to take place in his house the following Wednesday during lunch. We All agreed. We went to have lunch at 'Ali Maher's home, but the dialogue was not resumed and the occasion  was cordial end friendly. Later Ahmed Shuqairi asked me, "What did you say to His Royal Highness? I have heard that Prince Faisal had a very uncomfortable night after conversing with you.."  When I think of the conversation now I regret it. I had a just cause but I used a harsh method. That is why I feel I owe a sincere apology to His Majesty King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Not only did Saudi Arabia stand in the way of Syrian-Iraqi federation, but it also obstructed the Jordanian-Iraqi union. Before his assassination in July 1951, King 'Abdullah had drafted by his own hand a proposal for the unity of the Crown of Jordan and Iraq. After the assassination, Iraq tried to implement the will of King' Abdullah. Prince 'Abdul Ilah and some Iraqi statesmen and young nationalists went to Jordan but were rebuffed by the Prime Minister of Jordan, Tawfiq Pasha Abul Huda who was influenced, on the one hand by the attitude of the local British officials, namely Ambassador Kirkbride and Glubb Pasha, and, on the other, by Saudi objections to the realization of that union. The Saudi Ambassador to Jordan was said to have spent lavishly on some influential personalities in Amman in order to prevent the union.
 

On learning of the Iraqi approach to Jordan, Prince Faisal, who was visiting Paris at the time, flew to London. It was rumoured that he tried to influence the British government not to encourage such a union.  When Iraq joined the Baghdad Pact, President Gamal 'Abdul Nasir's explosion against the Pact caused a big commotion in the relations between Iraq and Egypt. President Nasir tried to isolate Iraq from its Arab sister states. He called the heads of Arab government to a meeting in Cairo. (See Syria, pp. ) None of the heads of Government would consent to pass judgment against Iraq because it had joined the Baghdad Pact with the exception of Saudi Arabia whose Prime Minister, Prince Faisal, frankly said, "Saudi Arabia stands by the side of Egypt in whatever it decides." The Saudi stand against Iraq's joining the Baghdad Pact was quite obvious in that meeting.  Thus we find that divergencies of policies resulted from Iraq's intent to federate with Syria and Jordan, and to join the Baghdad Pact. These moves, plus Shukri al Quwatli pro-Sa'ud, inclinations, led Saudi Arabia to join Egypt and Syria in forming a common defence pact which was called the Riyadh-Cairo-Damascus Axis. I attacked the formation of that Axis in the Iraqi parliament on the 15th of March, 1956, and stated: "This Axis is misguided and it is harmful to Arab interests, for Arab interests require close cooperation between Syria and Iraq, if not federation. This fact should be clearly understood by those who set themselves up as leaders of Arab renaissance end spokesmen in the name of the Arab peoples."    Saudi Arabia took sides with Egypt against Iraq on the Baghdad Pact issue. While Iraq's Baghdad Pact policy leant towards the West, Egypt's anti-fact policy served Communist ends. Egyptian propaganda fed by Saudi rials began to echo Communist propaganda lines. It was in this setting that, in a speech which I gave in January 1956 in the House of Parliament, I included the following statement:    "The Arabs are threatened by Communist activity supported by Egyptian propaganda and Saudi rials. That Egypt and Saudi Arabia could align themselves with Communist propaganda is a matter which makes the heart of every loyal Arab bleed."


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Efforts for Conciliation and Cooperation

 

The deep differences between the two royal families of Iraq and Saudi Arabia never descended to the level of discourtesy at any time. There were no personal attacks or abuse. In the propaganda against Iraq there were no insults directed at the royal family and no accusations. Neither party resorted to plots or tried to undermine the other. Courtesy and expressions of brotherhood on formal occasions always prevailed no matter how divergent the political out look might be.

Prince Salud came to Baghdad in 1953 to attend the celebration of the coronation of H.M. King Faisal the Second. When King 'Abdul 'Aziz died the same year, he was succeeded by King Sa’ud. Within a year or so Rasheed ‘Aali al-Gailani, dissatisfied with the financial treatment of the new King, left Saudi Arabia and went to live in Cairo. His departure removed a thorn from the relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

From then on one began to hear of mutual friends trying to create a good atmosphere between the two countries Among those who did what they could to bring the two states closer was my friend, Kamil Muruwa, the owner and editor of Al-Hayat, a well-known Arabic daily in Beirut. In the summer of 1955 in Broummana, Kamil Muruwa arrange for a meeting between 'Abdullah Belkhair, spokesman for King Sa'ud, and me. 'Abdullah Belkhair, a Lebanese by origin, was very anxious that any obstacles in the way of rapprochement between the two countries should be overcome. He promised to do his best to this end by convincing King Sa'ud that it would serve the mutual interests of Saudi and Iraq in particular, and the Arab cause in general, if the two countries reached an understanding and worked together. I impressed on 'Abdullah Belkhair Iraq's desire for closer relations and brotherhood with Saudi Arabia, and that the Iraqi government had not at any time harboured malintentions towards Saudi Arabia. The fact that Iraq desired to federate with Syria was not directed against the interest of any Arab state. On the contrary, it was to the benefit of the two countries concerned and a contribution to Arab strength at large.

Other Lebanese personalities who offered their mediation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia were Said Salaam and Haji Husain al-'Oweyni. Both had been Prime Minister of Lebanon. The latter made his fortune and reputation in building up a big business between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

In 1957 King Sa'ud visited Washington D.G. and had important meetings with President Eisenhower on the Middle East and Arab policy. This coincided with a visit to Washington by Prince 'Abdul Ilah and his meeting with President Eisenhower. Prince 'Abdul Ilah had come with a number of former Prime Ministers of Iraq including Tawfiq as-Suwaidi, 'Ali Jawdat al-Ayoubi, Saleh Jabr and myself. We did not join Prince 'Abdul Ilah in h*s meeting with President Eisenhower, but we were briefed on the conversation. The main purpose of Prince 'Abdul Ilah was to impress upon President Eisenhower that the United States should join the Baghdad Pact and to ask the United States to press Israel to withdraw from Egyptian territories occupied in the 1956 Triple Invasion.

It became clear that Iraqi and Saudi Arabian interests and policies were one and the same in seeking Middle East stability and resisting Communist penetration and subversion. King Sa'ud returned home thinking very much like Iraq, at the time, on national and international matters.   Iraq for its part appointed Dr 'Abdullah ad-Damlouji as special ambassador working for Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement. Dr ad-Damlouji, an Iraqi from Mosul, was Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia at one time. He later returned to Iraq and became its Foreign Minister. He was well known and trusted in Saudi Arabia. Besides he was the personal friend of King Sa'ud. Dr ad-Damlouji went to Saudi Arabia on several missions of good will, sometimes accompanied by Bourhan ud-Deen Bash A'ayan, Foreign Minister at the time. Dr ad-Damlouji arranged for H.M. King Faisal II to visit Saudi Arabia. He also arranged for King Sa'ud to visit Baghdad. Relations between the two countries began to brighten and I was very optimistic that this might be for the good of Arab unity.

At the time when Iraq's relations were improving with Saudi Arabia, Egypt's relations began to deteriorate. King Sa'ud was said to have discovered an Egyptian plot to dethrone him. Egypt united with Syria in the beginning of 1958. King Sa’ud, on his part, was said to have tried to bribe ‘Abdul Hameed as-Sarraj, head of the Syrian Intelligence Bureau and later Syrian Minister of Interior, to plot against President Nasir of Egypt. It was reported that as-Sarraj handed the check which he had received to President Nasir. This made as-Sarraj a firm confid9nt of President Nasir's, but a rift was created between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

   Saudi relation with Iraq, on other hand improved from day to day. A new er9 dawned between the two countries, one of brotherhood and good feelings. It reminded me of the early days of King Faisal I, who tried to fraternize with King 'Abdul 'Aziz and practice good neighbourliness with Saudi Arabia. Hashemite and Saudi harmony should have been the foundation of Arab politics in the Middle East. Had that harmony been achieved from the beginning, many dangers could have been averted and many benefits could have been gained.

In 1965 I was invited by the Muslim World League to attend the conference to be held in the Holy City of Mecca and to perform the religious duty of Pilgrimage. On that occasion I had the opportunity of having a private audience in Jeddah with H.M. King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. We reviewed the past with all its mistakes and misunderstandings, but, as His Majesty remarked, "At no time did the trouble atmosphere lead us to abuse one another and to create a cleavage such as occurred between the so-called revolutionary and non-revolutionary Arabs of today." I am in full agreement with His Majesty's view that the Arabs should abide by the Islamic principles of brotherhood and cooperation if they intend to win their rights and occupy their place in the modern world.

 

IRAQ AND YEMEN

 

The relations of modern Iraq with Yemen go back to the Ottoman days when some prominent Iraqi officers served in what was then a distant part of the Ottoman Empire. Taha al-Hashimi, for example, served in Yemen. Later he became Chief of the General Staff of the Iraqi army and Prime Minister of Iraq. Sati' al-Hasri, the well-known educator and exponent of Arab nationalism was born in Yemen.

In April 1936 Iraq and Saudi Arabia signed a Treaty of Alliance and Brotherhood. Article 6 of that treaty states:

 

"Considering the Islamic brotherhood and Arab unity which connects the Kingdom of Yemen with the two high contracting parties, they will both exert effort to request the accession to this treaty of the government of Yemen..."

 

In June of the same year a Yemeni delegation arrived in Baghdad to discuss the question. Later on Iraq sent a mission to Yemen. The delegation was made up of ex-Premier Jamil al-Madfa’i and two members of the Muthanna Club, Sheikh Mohammed Mehdi Kubba and Sa'id Haji Thabit. The mission was quite successful, for the Imam acceded to the Treaty and the instrument of accession was signed in San'a on April 29, 1937. That was the first treaty of alliance and brotherhood among the Arab states in modern times, and it may be considered as a forerunner of the Covenant of the League of Arab States.

Early in the 1930's the Ministry of Education of Iraq began to give scholarships to students from Yemen who came to attend the Teacher's Training College. A few went to the Military College to train as army officers. Iraq also sent some army officers to Yemen to serve in the army of Imam Yahia-Hameed ud-Deen.  Also in the 30's, Saif ul-Islam 'Abdullah, son of the Imam of Yemen, visited Iraq and was given cordial hospitality. He came to promote political and cultural relations between Iraq and Yemen.

It was well known that Imam Yahia Hameed ud-Deen had a tight grip on his people and that he had shut the windows of his country to all winds of change. We heard that some of the young men who returned from Iraq were put in jail for a time so that the satanic thoughts and ideas they had brought from the outside world would depart from their heads. I heard that one of the brilliant students, Muhy-'Anasi, whom I knew well, was beheaded. Perhaps one may assume that a basic reason for his execution was his having ideas that seemed dangerous for Yemen.

The years went by and I came in contact with the Yemeni brethren in the meetings of the Arab League Council and also in the London Conference on Palestine where Prince Saif ul-Islam 'Abdullah, an intelligent and open-minded person, represented Yemen. In 1947 Yemen joined the United Nations. Saif ul-Islam 'Abdullah led the Yemeni delegation to its sessions. In all those meetings and organizations Iraqi-Yemeni relations were cordial and brotherly. Saif ul-Islam 'Abdullah had full confidence in Iraq and its politics.

On more than one occasion Saif ul-Islam 'Abdullah and other representatives of Yemen approached me to mediate between Yemen and Great Britain, and, on more than one occasion I did speak with Mr Ernest Bevin, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and other responsible men in the Foreign Office. My British friends always expressed good will and readiness to clarify the atmosphere with Yemen, but they put the responsibility for the lack of cooperation in their relations on the Imam of Yemen.

The Yemeni inter-Arab politics was usually sympathetic to Iraq, for the family of the Imam of Yemen and the Hashemite family of Iraq and Jordan are descendants of the Prophet Mohammed’s daughter. But the Yemenis were always careful not to go against Egypt or Saudi Arabia. That is why they played a natural rule in inter-Arab disputes.

In the meantime internal and external intrigues were cooking to bring about the assassination of the Imam and the shaking of the archaic regime. I have already referred to the plot to assassinate the Imam which was prepared in Egypt and communicated to me as Foreign Minister of Iraq by Fudhail al-Wartalani. (Algeria, pp ) One of those who took part in the plot to assassinate the Imam and who was later beheaded was the Iraqi officer Jamal Jamil. I found among my papers a copy of a letter from him addressed to H.M. King 'Abdullah of Jordan and H.R.H. the Crown Prince of Iraq with copies to Prime Minister Nuri as-Sa'id and Foreign Minister Mohammed Fadhel Jamali. This is a translation of the letter. In the name of God the Most Merciful and Compassionate, His Majesty our Lord King 'Abdullah Ibn al-Husain al-Mufadda (worthy of being sacrificed for) May God sustain him, His Great Royal Highness our Lord, the Crown Prince of Iraq, al-Mufadda, May God sustain him. Submitted at your high threshold. Yemen is an Arab region free from the dirt of imperialism, safe from foreign influence, the region that concerns the heroes of Beni Hashim more than others and from which I address this strong call to your threshold, to your Hashemite magnanimity, to exert efforts to save it from the claws of the cursed Western policies and bad internal administration. Here is to your threshold the actual condition which besets Yemen so that you may kindly be informed about it:

1. Yemen and the Saudi Kingdom. H.M. King 'Abdul 'Aziz exerts all possible efforts to encourage His Great Majesty the Imam in his present internal and external policies. He shows him affection and friendship, hypocrisy, flattering ways with the most beautiful words of love and devotion which are difficult to describe. He is in constant touch with him by wireless with or without reason. He spends generously to spread bad propaganda in the southern parts of Yemen and western Tohama, both of which ere Shafi'ite. When some men from Yemen calling themselves free Yemenites and they are the ones who are apposed to their Imam and (who are) the country's dissidents - approach him for help he completely rejects them for he thinks that the government of his brother, His Majesty the Great Imam, is the surest means for domination over Yemen. Those people who call themselves the free men of Yemen say that the Saudi King would be enraged if a youthful state should rise in Yemen which would check his ambitions in the south of the Arabian peninsula.
        2. Yemen and the British. The British undertake an economic siege against Yemen and spread their well-known methods among the various classes of people and encourage the free men of Aden and employ them for destruction only and for spreading vile rumours against the government of  His Great Majesty the Imam. Thus Britain did not cooperate with the free men to form a democratic government as they said they did, nor did she make true and permanent peace with the government of His Majesty the Imam.

3. Yemen end U.S.A. The American-Yemeni Treaty has become mere ink on paper. Nothing in it was implemented, especially after the arrival of a letter from the American Consul in Jedda in which he makes an excuse regarding the stoppage of trade between the two countries for the lack of American dollars in Yemen and in which he says that Yemen could procure some dollars from Britain after Britain’s borrowing from America. Thus we find that the United States has shelved the Treaty with Yemen until the time of need for it.

4. There is a Lebanese delegation here now which is encouraging His Majesty the Great Imam to make a treaty with France. Saif ul-Islam 'Abdullah is still in Paris and he exchanges telegrams with H.M the Great Imam (encouraging him) to enter this treaty which they think will save them from all the external and internal complications. Thus the messengers of Arabism from Beirut exert effort that France may set foot in Yemen while the Arabs try to dismiss her from Syria end Lebanon.

5. You are faced with the religious, national, family, political and military duty to save this homeland from external and internal chaos and to extend the hand of help to it by sending a delegation for guidance to His Majesty our Lord the Great Imam, even though this may cause some material or moral loss to your country, especially if the delegation proves a failure in its function of guidance. But, by this you would be performing your duty and getting prepared for the unexpected and getting ready for what the near future may bring. I suggest that the guidance delegation should be composed of either H.E. Taha Pasha al-Hashimi or H.E. Jamil Bey al-Madfa'i, and include one of the learned men of Najaf from the family of Kashif al-Ghita (provided it shall not be Sheikh 'Abdul Rassoul) and Sayid Mohammed Habib al-'Obaidi who has a wonderful position in Yemen and also Staff Brigadier Isma'il Safwat Beg. The delegation shall offer the following advice:
        a. Mediating through the Iraqi government and the Hashemite Jordanian government to bring about understanding between Yemen and Britain and putting an end to British ambitions in Yemen and establishing permanent peace between the two neighbouring countries.
        b. Entering a Yemeni-Iraqi military treaty which will check Saudi ambitions in the south of the peninsula.
        c. Introducing reforms in the machinery of the state, raising salaries and preventing bribery.

d. Establishing e consultative council.

e. Forming a responsible cabinet.
         f. Pardoning the culprits who are in Yemeni prisons or outside Yemen and mediating for their return to Yemen, especially His Highness Saif ul-Islam Ibrahim, the son of the Great Imam of Yemen.
        g. Exempting the people from payment of their unpaid taxes from the year 1340-1360 Hejira.

h. Letting trade be free and forbidding government men from practising trade.

   
        Majesty, Highness, Excellencies, if you carry out this policy and succeed in it, by God you will be rendering the greatest service known in history to Yemen, to the Arabs and to Islam. You will rescue a homeland which is on the verge of (being subjected to) imperialism and you will prevent the acting out the drama of the slaughtered Palestine on the stage of Yemen. You will make out of Yemen a strong pillar of security in the Arab world and you will be realizing the dreams of those resting in Paradise and you will be building a structure of glory for the Hashemites which will last forever, God willing.My servitude to the pure descendents of the Holy House in the north and in the south and my love for Iraq and Yemen. My devotion to H.M. the Great Imam Yahia and to your Great Majesty and to your Great Highness is the real motive for all that I have said, whether you be convinced or not, for I know I am that humble, guilty man who has no right to encroach on your high and great positions. But so God has wished and I wrote to your Majesty and your Highness seeking the help of God and the Prophet and your help. May God support you in whatever includes the good for the Arabs and Islam! Amen. Your servant Captain Jamal Jamil, employed in Yemen. Copy to H. E. the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nuri Pasha as-Sa’id Copy to H. E. the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Mohammed Fadhel Jamali Not long after the arrival of this letter the old Imam, Yahia Hameed ud-Deen was assassinated and the throne was taken over by his son, Imam Ahmad, who had the Iraqi officer, Jamal Jamil, beheaded as one of those responsible for the assassination of his father. I am told that modern Yemen has a square and a memorial for Jamal Jamil in the capital, San'a.  It seems that Imam Ahmad followed the footsteps of his father, for Yemen remained under the archaic form of government. A plot seems to have been prepared to overthrow Imam Ahmad in his turn. As a result, he beheaded his enlightened, modernized brother, Saif ul-Islam 'Abdullah. I thought that was a real loss for the Kingdom of Yemen.

Saif ul-Islam al-Hasan was appointed as Prime Minister. I met him for the first time in Cairo at the meeting of the Arab Prime Ministers celled by President Nasir. Saif ul-Islam al-Hasawas a charming level-headed man who would not yield to Nasir's pressure to condemn Iraq for joining the Turco-Iraqi Pact of Mutual Cooperation, later to be called the Baghdad Pact. He could see that Iraq was entitled to decide her own policy and that there was nothing in the Pact to do harm to the Arab cause.   Later in the same year, 1955, I saw Saif ul-Islam al-Hasan at the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, and still later at the United Nations General Assembly. He seems to have been enchanted by the world outside Yemen and it pleased his brother that he should stay away from the country. Prince al-Hasan became another Saif ul-Islam 'Abdullah in his hope for building a new Yemen. Imam Ahmad, however, continued to run the affairs of Yemen in the traditional ways while his son, Saif ul-Islam al-Badr, was attracted by the personality and policies of President Nasir. The Prince accepted an invitation to Moscow thinking that Moscow and President Nasir might show Yemen the way to move in the modern world. He influenced his father to be as close to President Nasir as possible.

        Although enjoying the personal attention and public approval of President Nasir, Imam Ahmad wrote a poem jibing at 'Arab socialism’. But, when Syria and Egypt united early in 1958, Imam Ahmed acceded to the Union.
A Yemeni diplomat who was residing abroad sent me the following letter:

 

Praise be to Allah.

His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq,

Dr Fadhel Jamali, May Allah preserve you.

 

Allah's salaams unto you and His mercy and His blessings.

Surely your Excellency knows the real catastrophe which has befallen Yemen and the Yemenites at the hands of the erratic Imam Ahmad and his Badr. While we were awaiting relief and a solution which would guarantee the independence of our virgin land and stability in our homes, we found ourselves caught in the snares of a new Pharaonic colonialism whose pillars are made of plots, assassinations, crimes and big noise. Your Excellency, we realize today that Yemen's joining the wicked clique of 'Abdul Nasir will be a source of danger to all Arab states and that the Yemenites will yield to despondency and will be forced to surrender if they do not find someone to help them, for the Imam and his Badr have handed them over to criminal hands and tied their destiny and all they possess to that clique. Your Excellency realizes that the cause for the development of this clique and the spread of evil is due to the tolerance of the Arab States and their leniency facts which encouraged them (the clique) to achieve this great expansion so that they begin to think today of imposing their will on all the Arab states. The means for achieving this development are aggression, plots, demagogy and yielding of the Arab states which have been and still are on-lookers at events which some of them even applaud. Here we are today. We shall be their first victims and we shall be a laboratory for experiments to be applied in other lands than Yemen in the future.

The Yemenis, Excellency, possess a great readiness to achieve fruitful deeds for the sake of their land and their independence if you help them and guide them, and it may be that this people, which is considered as lost, may prove to have a hand stronger than all other hands in overcoming this clique and breaking their power. We are in need for someone to guide us temporarily. Are there any of our brethren end cousins in the Rafidain (two rivers) who will help us in these dark circumstances?

We have great hopes in your Excellency's calling the attention of your responsible brethren to this situation, for you are best acquainted with the evil of 'Abdul Nasir's clique. It is possible to resist with all effective means in a manner which 'Abdul Nasir has not known from any other Arab people. Those who can work are numerous inside and outside. Before the disease becomes acute we seek help in your Arabism in facing this catastrophe and we request moral and material help. Our destiny will be more critical than that of the Algerians if we let things take their natural course and if we do not find someone who will come to our help. Be sure that the Yemenis are your brethren. They are of you and unto you. We await with impatience your answer.

May God greet you and preserve you as a hope.

 

    In 1958 both Iraq and Saudi Arabia had tried to influence Saif ul-Islam el-Badr to follow a policy independent of President Nasir's. An Iraqi delegation which was in Saudi Arabia met Prince Badr, discussed Arab affairs with him and invited him to visit Iraq. He did not come to Iraq until after the downfall of the royal regime in 1958. During his visit to Iraq he was taken to see the modest house where King Faisal II had lived with his uncle, Prince 'Abdul Ilah, and to the house of Nuri as-Sa'id. Reportedly he said, "These are the homes of the oppressors.” Not many years elapsed before he got a taste of what happens to 'oppressors'.On the death of Imam Ahmed in 1962, Saif ul-Islam al-Badr became the Imam of Yemen. But in the same week a coup d'etat inspired by Egypt and led by 'Abdullah as-Sallal took place. Imam Badr who was et first thought to have died in the coup was able to escape alive and to start a resistance movement. Egypt immediately recognized the government of ‘Abdullah as-Sallal and sent a force to support him. A sanguine civil war ensued which continued for several years and put an end to the royal regime in Yemen.  'Abdullah os-Sallal was one of the young Yemenis who had gone to Iraq in 1936 to get their officer's training in the Military College of Baghdad. Later he was implicated in a plot and imprisoned by Imam Ahmed. It was Saif ul-Islam al-Badr who intervened on his behalf and got him out of prison. Thus Badr was completely deceived and betrayed when he followed President Nasir's policy which was based on undermining the archaic regime by revolution and not by evolution

Although I have never visited Yemen, I have formed a personal sentiment and affection for Yemen and the Yemenis. I know several Yemenis and I know a little about Yemen's past and present. I think Yemen occupies a very special place in the history of Arabism and Islam. The Yemenis are courageous, faithful, intelligent people. With modern means of education and communication, and granted international peace and Cooperation, Yemenis might become a great pillar for Islam, Arabism and world peace.


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IRAQ and the NILE VALLEY

 

IRAQ, EGYPT AND SUDAN

 

            The first Egyptian I ever met was my teacher, Mohammed 'Abdul 'Aziz Sa’id, director of the Teacher's Training College of Baghdad from 1918 to 1921.  He was brought by the British Occupation Authorities of Iraq to head the Teacher's Training College of Baghdad.  He was an excellent teacher, a model of honest and good character, as well as a strict disciplinarian whose discipline was based on understanding and appreciation.  He was a master of the art of teaching according to the five steps of Herbart.  I owe much of my educational career to him, for he helped me continue my education which later enabled me to get out of the mediaeval society in which I lived in Kadhimain.  When Mohammed ‘Abdul ‘Aziz came to Iraq I was only fifteen years old, so I was not admitted to the Teacher's Training College until I had signed a paper stating that I would not claim the right to become a teacher upon finishing the course.   I graduated from the six-month course as one of the outstanding students and ranked second in the class of over forty students.

 

            Mohammed ‘Abdul ‘Aziz helped me to get work in his office and later to become an assistant elementary school teacher.  When the college course was extended to two years, Mohammed 'Abdul 'Aziz advised me to enroll in the second year which I did.  ON graduating in 1920 I came out as the top student in the college, which entitled me to become a full-fledged elementary school teacher and later on to be sent on and educational mission to the American University of Beirut.   In the beginning of 1922 I was one of the six students sent on educational mission to the American University of Beirut.   We traveled from Baghdad to Basrah by rail, from Basrah by see to Karachi, Bombay,, Aden and Port  Sa'id..  We made an excursion to Cairo before going from Port Sa’id to Haifa where we took a train to Damascus and Beirut.

 

 

 

            It was on this trip that I first saw Port Sa'id and Cairo, where we were welcomed and helped by cur former educator, Mohammed ‘Abdul ‘Aziz.   I was greatly impressed by the cultural and historical riches of Cairo.  For the first time in my life I attended a theatrical production in Arabic and saw an Arabic operetta. I called on the well-known Iraqi poet,   Sheikh 'Abdul Muhsin al-Kadhimi, who was a close friend of my father's.  The poet had emigrated from Iraq and settled in Cairo where he put his talents at the disposal of the Egyptian movement for freedom end independence.

 

 

 

            As a student in the American University of Beirut I developed friendly relations with a number of Egyptian and Sudanese students including Mrs Ihsan al-Quossi , an Egyptian educator, 'Obaid 'Abdun Nour, a student educator, and Isma’il al-Azhari, who later became the President of the Sudanese Republic.

 

 

 

            As a student in the United States some years later I developed close friendship with the Egyptian educator, Dr. Ameer Buqtor, professor of Education at the American University of Cairo, and editor of the magazine, Modern Education. We continued to have very pleasant professional contracts over the years . On attaining my Ph.D. degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, I was asked by the Iraqi government to join the Monroe Commission which was to survey and make a report on education in Iraq. On our from the United States to Baghdad we stopped in Cairo and visited the American University of Cairo where I was asked to address an assembly of students on the topic, Modern Educational Trends. I spoke on the educational situation in Iraq and the need for education to serve the rural and tribal sections of the population which were the majority in the country .Education should prepare them for a richer and more productive life.  My words had an enthusiastic reception at that time.  In the course of my work in the Ministry of Education in Baghdad from 1932 to 1942 I had many contacts with men of learning and education in Egypt. In 1935 Iraq invited some prominent men in the legal field to come and work in Iraq. Dr 'Abdur Razzaq as-Sanhouri with a team of well-known professors of Law came to teach at the Law College. Dr Hameed Zaki, Dr 'Abdul Hameed al-Wishahi, Dr Mahmoud 'Azmi, Dr Othman Khalil Othman, Dr Mustapha Kamil and Professor Hasan Abu es-Su'ud all taught at the Law College of Baghdad.

 

 

 

            In the field of Arabic literature we had men like Drs. 'Abdul Wahab 'Azzam, Zaki Mubarak, 'Ali 'Abdul Wahid, Ahmad Hasan Zayat and others.  In the field of  Education and Philosophy we had Mrs Nazla al-Hakeem, Miss Farajallah, Professor Mazhar Sa'id, Dr Kamil Nahas and Dr Ahmad 'Izzet Rajeh.
 

 

            All these acted as cultural ambassadors from Egypt to Iraq, but they also acted as Iraq's ambassadors of Arab nationalism to Egypt. In those days Egypt was not thinking  in terms of Arab nationalism. Leading Egyptians spoke of an Egyptian nationalism having its roots in PharaoniC civilization. Some writers even turned their backs on the East and claimed a Western or Mediterranean culture. This was evidenced by the book, the future of the Culture in Egypt written, by the leader of thought and literature, Dr Taha Hussein.

 

 

 

            Through Iraqis cultural contact with Egypt a contribution was made to the growth of the idea of Arab nationalism in Egypt. The credit for this should first and foremost go to H.M. King Fasiel I of Iraq. For it was in his day that he invited the Egyptian singer, Mohammed ‘Abdul Waheb to come to Baghdad and sing his famous song ” O Sail moved by the wind of the Tigris “ Umm Kulthum, the best-known singer in the Arab world, was also invited to come and sing in Baghdad. It was also King Faisal I who encouraged the idea of a pan-Arab Conference for medical men which met in Cairo and Baghdad.   It was at one of these conferences that the famous Egyptian poet, 'Ali al-Jarim, recited his poem, which was later set to  music, "O Baghdad, the city of Haroun er-Rasheed, and the minaret of eternal glory."     ­

 

           

 

            In July 1941, after the anti-British Rasheed ‘Asli al-Gailani movement was crushed, the Ministry of Education delegated me to go to Egypt to engage Egyptian teachers of  both sexes for Iraqi schools and colleges.  I engaged over 400 teachers and professors.  During the two months I spent in Cairo I visited Egyptian schools of various types. I also delivered a lecture in the College of Arts of the University of Cairo entitles:” Abab University youth and their National Message".  I delivered another lecture to the Teachers  Association about, "Education in Iraq, its Goals and Problems".I had an instructive visit to Al-Azhar, the great bastion of Islamic learning, where I met with His EminenceSheikh Mustapha al-Maraghi, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar. We discussed the conditions of Islamic education and the need for achieving Islamic revival end Islamic unity through Muslim education. Sheikh Mustapha was an enlightened and progressive religious leader.  He told me about his plan to introduce the Shi’ite school of theology into Al-Azhar, in addition to the four schools of Sunni theology, so that Islamic unity might be served end the separation between Shi’i and Sunni Muslims could be overcome This I felt might prove to be a great progressive step in Islamic learning..

 

 

 

             That visit to Egypt provided me with an excellent opportunity to develop personal friendships with men of thought and letters I used to meet frequently with professors 'Abdul Razzaq as-Sanhouri, Ahmad Zaki, Ahmad 'Abdul Salam al-Kirdani, Isma'il al-Mohan and others.  I also came to know distinguished ladies in the Egyptian feminist liberation movement like Hude Shelerawi, Kareeme as-Salid, Ameene as-Sefid, Mme Mensour Fahmi, Nazla al-Hakeem, I used to visit the Egyptian Ministry of Education and sometimes I attended the technical and administrative meetings, taking part in the discussions as a member of the Educational family in Egypt.

 

           

 

            In 1942 I was delegated to Egypt again to engage more professors and teachers.  This time I dealt with Dr Taha Husein who had been appointed as Cultural Counsellor in the Ministry of Education. He should get the credit for the success of our negotiations and for drafting the first Educational and Cultural Treaty between Egypt and Iraq.  We also prepared a project for an Arab educational conference and another for establishing a cultural centre for Egypto-Iraqi cooperation and exchange in cultural affairs.  This centre was to undertake the implementation of the provisions of the Cultural treaty

 

 

 

            It was by the kind advice and arrangement of Dr Taha Husein that I enjoyed an excellent visit to Luxor and Aswan dam.  I really became convinced that no one could have a complete appreciation of ancient Egyptian glory and achievement in art and civilization without visiting Luxor.   I came to know Egypt's greatness in its true perspectives.  In fact, these visits developed my love for Egypt and Egyptians and I began to feel that Egypt was my homeland and that Cairo might well become a centre of Arabic unity and Islamic revival.

 

 

 
 

            In 1943 I was transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Iraq's policies with regard to Egypt were always inspired by a spirit of sincere brotherhood, cooperation and unity of purpose.  Sometimes differences between the two countries arose, however, concerning: (1) the method  of dealing with the Palestine problem, (2) prestige, (3) Syrio-Iraqi federation, (4) alignment with the West, and (5) Nasir's inflated ambitions for pan-Arab leadership. Throughout the period under discussion Iraq did its best to be positive and realistic in its relations with Egypt.


The San Francisco Conference

 

            I had no direct contact with my Egyptian brethren until I went to the San Francisco conference which drafted the United Nations Charter in 1945.  That Conference provided me with a precious opportunity to cooperate with our brethren in the Egyptian delegation headed by ‘Abdul Hameed Badawi Pasha., Egypt's Foreign Minister.  Two persons with whom I developed close ties of brotherhood and cooperation were Mohan ‘Abdul Hadi Pasha who later became prime Minister of Egypt, and Professor 'Awadh Mohammed 'Awadh of the University of Cairo.   Arab delegations worked together and consulted each other about the draft of the Charter, especially those Articles that touched upon Arab interests and the liberation of the Asian and African colonies.


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Iraq-Egyptian Cooperation on Palestine

 

            1n 1946, while I was Foreign Minister, I attended the Arab League meeting at Bluden near Damascus which was held to decide the attitude of the Arab states toward the Western powers approach to the Palestine problem and to decide what help could be rendered to the Palestinians. : In that meeting sharp contrasts appeared between the views of the Iraqi delegations and those of the Egyptian, especially with regard to spending for the defence of Palestine.  The Iraqi delegation was enthusiastic and ready for sacrifices including the rupture of the oil flow if need be.   This en­thusiasm was not shared by sister Arab states especially Egypt.

 

 

 

            After the Bluden conference, Ernest Bevin, British Secretary for Foreign Affairs called for a London Conference on Palestine. (See Palestine, pp). I must state that all the Arab delegations, including the Egyptian, worked in complete harmony at that Conference in London. I must also add that the Arab states, including Egypt, showed complete solidarity and unity in their stand when the problem of Palestine was referred to the United Nations Organization. When the armies of the Arab states entered Palestine in 1946 to defend the rights of their Palestinian brethren, new and bitter difficulties arose between Iraq and Egypt.  I was not in the government at that time.  In fact, I was on a visit to Iran and I did not know the inside story of what was going on between the Arab governments.

 

 

 

            On my return to Iraq I agreed to accept the post of Minister Plenipotentiary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A section of the Egyptian army was besieged by the Israelis at Falouja.   The Egyptians expected Iraq to help in raising the siege, but Iraq was not able to move or render any help. Prime Minister al-Pachachi asked me to go to Cairo, meet my friend, Egyptian Prime Minister Naqrashi Pasha, and put all the military potential of Iraq at his disposal.

 

 

 

            As soon as I got to Cairo I had a meeting with Naqrashi Pasha. No protocol or formalities between us.  I found him complaining and in despair. He was not convinced of the ability of the Egyptian army to undertake any serious war, for Britain had not permitted Egypt in the past to build up a fighting army.  The Egyptian army was formed merely for demonstrations and parades and not for fighting. This is why the Palestine war came as a serious predicament so far as the Egyptian army was concerned.  I explained the mission for which I had come and said that Prime Minister Muzahim al-­Pachachi was very much concerned about rendering help to the Egyptian army. (See Palestine, pp).  I stated Iraq’s proposals for mutual military assistance, but Naqrashi Pasha would agree to none of them.

 

            After that meeting I wired to Muzahim al-Pachachi suggesting that he himself should come to Cairo because of the seriousness of the situation. He came with his Minister of Defence, Shakir al-Wadi. An agreement was reached with Naqrashi Pasha that Iraq would offer three of its Fury planes to Egypt.  This decision was carried out.


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Iraq and the Egyptian Problem

 

 

            In those days ‘the Egyptian problem’ meant the relations between Egypt and Britain.  Egypt was persistently working to liberate her territory from British Occupation, including the British garrison base at Suez.  Besides,   Egypt maintained that Sudan belonged to Egypt and that King Farouq was the King of Egypt and Sudan.

 

           

 

            My knowledge of the Egyptian problem began in my youth when I was a student in Baghdad and Beirut.   I had read a novel in Arabic called, The Beloved of Mustapha Kamil.. In that book Mustapha Kamil, the Egyptian nationalist poured out sentiment and emotion for Egypt, the beloved one.  I also read his letters in French and Arabic in a bilingual edition.  Mustapha Kamil was a great patriot who aroused the reader's emotions for Egypt's liberation end independence.

 

 

 

            As a student I followed with emotion the political events in Egypt under the leadership of Sa’ad Zaghul Pasha ad the struggle of the Wafd Party to achieve Egyptian inde­pendence.   At the same time I was influenced in my Islamic thinking by the writings of Sheikh Mohammed 'Abduh and Mohammed Farid Wajdi, and in my social thinking by the writings of Qasim Ameen on the liberation of Muslim women..  Thus I developed sympathy, understanding and appreciation of the Egyptian problem and the Egyptian national revival. 

 

 

 

            Egyptian nationalism in those days was limited to the Nile Valley, and it included no plans for Arab unity.  Some Egyptian writers wrote about Pharaonism.   Others wrote about orientalism, and still others wrote about Pen-Islamism.   The concept of Arab nationalism in its modern sense did not begin to prevail in Egypt until after the Second World War and especially after the establishment of the League of Arab States.

 

 

 

            As I have said before, Iraq did-much to attract Egypt to the idea of Arab nationalism.  Iraq was helped in emphasizing the Arabism of Egypt by the leaders of both Syria and Lebanon after the Second World War.  Of course one must acknow­ledge the great cultural contribution of the Lebanese who settled in Egypt.  The founders of the Arabic magazine, Al-Hilal (literary), AI-Muqtataf (scientific) and Al-Ahram (a daily newspaper) were all founded by Arabs of Christian Lebanese origin. Thus Arabic thought and culture provided a sound basis for Arab nationalism.

 

 

 

            Iraq exerted definite efforts to support Egypt in her national struggle for independence and liberation. The efforts of King Faisal I and successive Iraqi governments were not limited by the boundaries of Iraq.  They always included the Arab world. I must put on record that the Iraqi government provided consistent support for Egypt’s demand for the evacuation of the British forces from Egypt. 

 

 

 

            I remember my mediation in 1947 between Ernest Bevin, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, and Naqrashi Pasha, the Prime Minister of Egypt I was a friend of both and they put their confidence in my mediation. I did my best to create an atmosphere of mutual understanding between Britain and Egypt which might lead to the British evacuation of Egypt and the unity of the Nile Valley.

 

 

 

            In my records I have notes on the following example of Iraqi Egyptian cooperation: 

 

In 1947 I led an Iraqi delegation to London to negotiate a settlement of the sterling balances, debts incurred by Great Britain during World War II.  On my way to London I stopped for a few hours in Cairo on June 1st and dined privately with Prime Minister   He expressed his impatience with the British attitude toward   He said, "The British wish to stay in Egypt. It is a comfortable, rich place. The British treat you Iraqis very gently, but in Sudan they have separated the southern Sudan and they do not permit a Muslim or an Arabic letter to reach that area.”   He complained that the British had not facilitated military training in Egypt and he spoke about the role of the British military mission.  He said, "We ask for British evacuation before anything else. It is only after evacuation that we can discuss a treaty with Britain end try to settle the question of Sudan.  I agree to a unified defence system, but the British intend to dominate and not to defend..  Egypt intends .to go to the United Nations Security Council and we will not lose anything by such a move.  Egypt is anti-British but it is not moving leftward.” He told me that the position of Iraq vis-a-vis Britain was much simpler, for the British army had not settled in the heart of Baghdad es they had done in Cairo.  In Iraq the British were in air bases far from the city.  He said that the United States did not interfere between Egypt and Britain.  King Abdul 'Aziz Ibn Sa’ud’s stand was one of good wishes for Egypt, but he had not been able to gain anything for Egypt from the British. He defended 'Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab and stated that 'Azzam himself always defended Iraq.  He told me that the results of Egypt's negotiations with the British on their sterling balances were not favorable and that  that he ­would telegraph the Egyptian Ambassador, 'Abdul Fattah Amr Pasha, in London instructing him to reveal to me all the Egyptian dealing with England on this problem.   This proved to be very helpful.

 

 

 
 

            When I reached London I did my best in the Foreign Office to plead the Egyptian case. Mr Bevin agreed to com­plete British evacuation from Egypt, but the problem of Sudan remained unsolved. The Egyptian government demanded the unity of the Nile Valley.  Mr Bevin accepted the idea that both Egypt and Sudan could be under the Egyptian crown, but said that he could not give away Sudan.   The Sudanese must exercise their right of self-determination.  Naqrashi Pasha would not accept such a formula in spite of my insistence that it would be a first step and that the unity of the Nile Valley might be realized at a later stage.  That could happen if Egypt won the hearts and minds of the Sudanese people by making them full participants in the affairs of the whole Nile Valley.  My efforts at mediation in this question bore no fruit.  The Egyptian government was insistent on British evacuation end the fulfillment of its national demands. The Arab governments wholeheartedly supported Egypt,   but did not went to alienate Britain. The question of Palestine was already occupying the minds end efforts of the Arab states who certainly did not deem it wise to antagonize Britain at that juncture.  But Egypt, having secured full Arab support for her cause through the Arab League, went to  the Security Council and lodged a complaint against Britain.   Syria was a member of the Security Council at the time and the wise statesman, Faris al-Khouri was their representative.

 

 

 

            Among my papers is the following report about a meeting of the representatives of the Arab states held in Alay, Lebanon, in the house of Prime Minister Riyadh as-Sulh:

            Very confidential.

 

At 16 hours on the 25th of July, 1947, in the house of H.E. the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Riyadh as-Sulh, in Aley, the following people met:

            Jamil Mardam Beg, Prime Minister of Syria

            Fadhel Jamali, Foreign Minister of Iraq

            Fuad Hamza, Representative of the Saudi-Arabian government

            Riyadh as-Sulh, Prime Minister of Lebanon

            Hameed Franjia, Foreign Minister of Lebanon

 

            We discussed the question of Egypto-British disagree­ment and the complaint presented by Egypt to the Security Council and the stance which the Syrian delegation should take in the Security Council. We decided that the following telegram should be sent by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Faris al-Khouri, the Representative of Syria in the Security Council.

 

            'We have not received your answer to our telegram to you regarding the course which should be followed to real­ize Egyptian national demands in accordance with the de­cision of the (Arab) Lepgue Council. We took the opportunity of the presence of the representatives of the Arab states to the Palestine Inquiry Commission in Lebanon to discuss the question of Egypt's complaint before the Security Council.  In accordance with the several contacts undertaken by the British government in the various Arab capitals, we advise:

            ‘1. Fulfilling the Resolution of the Council of the Arab League by supporting the national demands of Egypt.

            2. The British think that, since Syria has already taken part in the Resolution of the Arab League, she has already become partial to one party, and we are afraid that this may lead to their demand for the non-participation of the Representative of Syria during the discussion of the Egyptian problem.

            3. Since you are acquainted with the conflicting cur­rents prevailing in the Security Council, it is your duty to warn the Egyptian delegation concerning the serious points and to work to achieve success, for any failure will have serious repercussions in Syria and other coun­tries. You should use the highest wisdom and tact for success.

            4. It is our great concern that Egyptian national demands should be realized.  We think that they should be achieved through amical means so that antagonism between Egypt and Britain will not reach the stage which might do harm to other Arab interests.

            5. If the Security Council should tend towards negotia­tions between the two parties, that might provide a way out of the impasse which has developed.

6. Keep us informed daily regarding developments of the situation.

 

            The Labour Party fell -and the Conservative Party came to power in Great Britain. I was kept informed of the continued efforts of Nuri Pasha Sa'id, who was cooperating with Sir Zafrulla Khan, the Pakistani Foreign Minister in trying to convince Secretary for Foreign Affairs Anthony Eden that Britain should evacuate Egypt.


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Strained Relations-between Iraq and Egypt

           

            The first problem to disturb relations between the two sister states, Egypt and Iraq, was the Palestine problem. The defeat of the Egyptian army by the Israelis in 1948 left a deep wound in the hearts of our Egyptian brethren.  They tried at the time to throw all responsibility for their failure on the two Hashemite Kingdoms of Iraq and Jordan. Egyptian press attacks and charges against the governments of Jordan and Iraq became cruel and excessive. Our Egyptian brethren, at that time, had heard nothing about the rotten arms with which they had been provided by their own govern­ment or about their own responsibility for their failure.

            To them, Iraq was the guilty and criminal one. The Hashemite family and Nuri as-Sa’id were considered the ones responsible for the failure of the Egyptian army.  In vain one offered proofs and arguments showing that this approach to the Pales­tine problem was both wrong and unjust. Egyptians would not take into account the fact that responsibility for Arab failure in Palestine in 1948 went so far and so deep into world affairs that it would not be fair to attribute to one country or one person the full responsibility for failure.

 

            Actually, inter-Arab confidence and cooperation were approaching the zero point. King 'Abdullah, who was Commander­ in-Chief of all the Arab armies entering Palestine, knew no­thing of the plight of the Egyptian army because Egypt had no confidence in him and consequently did not communicate to him any military secrets or movements. As he himself told me in 1949, he would ask about the military situation of the Egyp­tians and be told that everything was in good shape and they needed nothing. The same was true for the Iraqi army which had no direct information about the Egyptian plans and move­ments. Nor did the Egyptians seem to have had an exact know­ledge of the predicament of the Iraqi army.  In this muddled situation Egyptian press and radio were most vocal in their charges and attacks.  I become Iraq's Minister to Egypt

 

            It was in this stormy atmosphere between Iraq and Egypt that I was asked by Prime Minister Muzahim Pachachi to go as Iraqi Minister to Egypt, the reason being that I had personal friendships and connections with the Egyptian political leaders.  Although I had never in my life filled any diplomatic post, and, although I was not well enough off to lead a luxurious life in foreign service, I accepted  the post, motivated by national interest. The Iraqi govern­ment gave me a loan of 575 Iraqi dinars for the purchase of a Chrysler which would be suitable for the head of a diplomatic mission.

 

            There was an interesting hitch in the way of my going to Egypt.  Since I belonged to the Shi'ite Muslim community of Iraq, King Farouq asked if I would be willing to go to Friday prayers with him, a Sunni Muslim, as the former Iraqi Minister, Tahseen al-'Askeri used to do. Since I am a believer in the obligatory nature of the Friday prayer for every Muslim, I answered in the affirmative.  The reason for this question was that some Shiites do not consider Friday prayer required in the absence of the Hidden Imam or the one acting for him.

 

            Before I started on my mission, Muzahim Pachachi's government fell and Nuri Pasha took over. Nuri reaffirmed Muzahim’s plan that I should go to Cairo.  I travelled by land to Beirut where I took delivery of my Chrysler and sailed for Alexandria.  There I was met by the chauffeur of the Iraqi Legation and we traveled slowly to Cairo since my auto­mobile was in rodage. I was accompanied by Hashim al-Hilli, an official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs whom I had chosen to be the Secretary of the Legation. 

 

            On my arrival in Cairo I called on the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmad Khashaba Pasha.  To welcome me he opened a volume of Al-Ahani (The Songs) by Abul Feraj al-Asfehani and read an ancient Arabic poem in which one cousin complains to another for letting him down in the war and for not coming to his help.   This was a reflection of the Egyptian attitude to­wards Iraq.  They believed that Iraq had not done its duty towards its sister Egypt in the Palestine area.  I did my best to explain the Iraqi point of view, and, as soon as possible I went to the market and bought all the volumes of Al-Ahani,   I searched them until I found a poem which would be a suitable answer to the one I had heard. I carried it to His Excel­lency the Foreign Minister and read it to him at our next contest. Thus I started my diplomatic career with a literary contest   My main work in Cairo at that time was to tell the truth to the Egyptian people about the stand of the Iraqi government.

           

            While I was in Cairo the Egyptian army that had been besieged in Falouja was released and was triumphantly received by the public with greet jubilation end demonstrations.   The date for the presentation of my credentials to the King was delayed partly due to the sickness of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.   Seventeen days after my arrival I was escorted by official guards and a motorcade and motor cycles to the Qubbs Palace to present my credentials to King Farouq.  No speeches were exchanged and there was not much talking.  His Majesty welcomed me, and I said that I felt at home in Cairo and that I was with my own people.   His only comment was that I should take good care of 'Abdul Jalil ar-Rawi who was Chargé d’Affaires before my arrival and whom I presented as a member of the staff of the Iraqi Legation. I gladly concurred with His Majesty and praised 'Abdul Jalil.

 

            During my time as Minister in the Iraqi Legation, I received an Arabic newspaper mailed from England, but published in Israel.  It was Al-Ayam of 1/1/49.  It must have been a Zionist  paper in Arabic intended to propagate the Zionist point of view among the Arabs. The first item of news contained in that paper ran as follows:

 

            The Revised Project, Paris 31.

The French news agency has learnt from a prominent personality that the revised project of Greater Syria, brought by Dr Fadhel Jamali, the messenger of Nuri as-Sa'id, to the Arab capitals, includes the establishment of an Arab federation consisting of Iraq, Syria, Trans-Jordan,   Lebanon end the Arab part of Palestine.   According to this project King Faisal II shall be the King of the federation, and, until he reaches the age of maturity, a Regency Council shall be composed of King 'Abdullah, Messrs. Shakri al-Atli, Bishar Al-Khouri and Prince 'Abdul Ilah and three religious leaders like the Maronite patriarch, one Shi'ite leader and one Sunni leader.  This project is based on the recognition of the status quo in Palestine, 

 

            I need not, say that this was a Zionist fabrication without a word of truth, for I never carried such a project to Arab capitals. But, to my great surprise, a few days later I found the same words appearing in Egyptian newspapers without reference to their source. I called the attention of the Egyptian Prime Minister, my friend Ibrahim Pasha ‘Abdul Hadi, to the way Zionists could play in Arab politics and cause confusion without the Arab masses knowing the source of danger.

 

            According to Egyptian protocol a new Minister should request an audience with the King after the presentation of credentials.  I did so immediately. A whole week passed and I was not granted an audience.  On the eighth day I received a card from Prime Minister Nuri as-Sa'id asking me to come to Baghdad immediately and saying that I would be returning to Cairo in three days' time.  On receiving Nuri Pasha's message I booked a seat on a plane going to Baghdad the next morning.  After having made my reservation, I received a card from the Chief of Protocol of the Royal  Palace, 'Abdul Latif Tala'at Pasha, announcing that I was to have an audience with the King  two days later.  But I would not yet have returned from Baghdad. I telephoned 'Abdul Latif Pasha to explain the situation. He went to the King and came back to say that "Our Lord (Meulana) leaves it to your judgment as to what to do."

 

            I asked him, "What is the meaning of the answer?"  "It seems that you should postpone your going to Baghdad."  I said that I could not do that since I had received an urgent cell from my own government.  I rang the Prime Minister, Ibrahim Pasha 'Abdul Hadi to explain the situation to him. He said, "By all means go to Baghdad."  I also rang Hasan Yusuf Pasha, the acting-Chief of the Royal Diwan, explaining my predicament to him.   He also said, "Go to Baghdad by all means, and we will explain the matter to His Majesty and arrange the audience with him on your return."  On my arrival in Baghdad I found that I had again been appointed as Foreign Minister.  That put an end to my service abroad as a diplomat - a career of 25 days!   After a few days in Baghdad I returned to Cairo to settle up my connections with the Legation and to bid farewell to my host country.   I discovered that King Farouq was enraged by my going to Baghdad and he gave me no audience.  That being the case, I gave a statement to the Egyptian press expressing my sentiments to Egypt and my Egyptian brethren, and bidding farewell to King, government and people.  I packed my luggage and returned to Baghdad.

 

            I wish to describe very briefly my experiences during my 25 days in Cairo. In that short period I had no respite from work.  I had personal and diplomatic contacts with people day and night.  I never had a meal alone.  I was either a guest or the host at every lunch and dinner. I spent all my allowance and what money I had with me and became penniless before my return to Iraq.

 

            During my stay in Cairo I acquainted myself with His Majesty's public life. He had a royal chair in  every de luxe night club.  I saw him once spend late hours of the night in Auberge of the Pyramids and early hours of the morning in Auberge of the City where I lifted a curtain slightly and saw His Majesty surrounded by a number of women, joking and laughing. While in Cairo I was in close touch with my many Egyptian friends in education and politics. I took the opportunity to study Cairo end its surroundings as well as I could.

 

            I also enjoyed the friendship of the Syrian Minister, Dr Muhsin al-Barazi, who after became Prime Minister of Syria with President Husni az-Za'im. They were both shot in a Syrian coup. Muhsin al-Barazi was a charming friendly man and very well versed in both French and Arabic. Although of Kurdish origin, he was a fine poet in the Arabic language. I think it is one of the tragedies of the Arab world that such a fine human type should be wasted in a coup d'etat. Another distinguished friend was the Iranian Ambassador, Professor 'Ali Dashti who was one of the great literary men of Iran.  His brother, Mohammed Dashti, was my friend as a student at the American University of Beirut. The day I arrived in Cairo the doorbell rang and there was 'Ali Dashti coming without previous engagement and not waiting for the protocol which required that credentials be presented before exchange of visits. He come to see his friend and brother, Fadhel Jamali, with whom there should be no formalities or protocol.  I was greatly touched by his sincere sentiments.


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My visit to Egypt as Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

            In 1949 I went to Cairo again as Minister of Foreign Affairs carrying a message from the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nuri as-Sa'id, to the Prime Minister of Egypt, Ibrahim Pasha 'Abdul Hadi.   From Cairo I went to Beirut and Damascus on my way back to Baghdad.

 

            The main object of these visits was to dissipate the clouds hanging over the relationship of Egypt and Iraq due to the Palestine war of 1948 and to survey the political thinking and points of view of the  various Egyptian political parties. In Egypt I met the Prime Minister,  Ibrahim 'Abdul  Hadi Pasha; the Foreign Minister, Desuqi Abaza Pasha; the Secretary General of the Arab League, 'Abdur' Rehman 'Azzam Pasha; Mohemmed Hussin Haikal Pasha, 'Ali Maher Pasha,   Bayiddin Baraat Pashs, Salh Harb Pesha, 'Ali Shamsa Pasha,  Hafidh ‘Afifi Pasha, 'Abdul' Razzaq as-Sanhouri Pasha, and Mustapha Nahhas Pasha.

 

            Among the non-Egyptians I met Tawfiq Muharrij, a friend of Nahhas Pasha of Lebahese origin, 'Abdul Hameed Shumen, an Arab banker, Ibrahim esh-Shanti, a Palestinian journalist,  Mr Quilliam, correspondent of the London Times,  Mr Ravensdale, Oriental Counselor of the British Embassy, and Dr Philip Ireland,  of the American Embassy.   My report on the visit ran as follows:

 

Prevailing atmosphere in Egypt

 

            In Egypt I found a marked depression and disappointment regarding the inter-Arab relations and their impact on the Palestine problem.  I found a prevailing anger and resentment against Iraq and Trans-Jordan.  The propaganda with which the Egyptian people have been fed consists of the story that the Arab states let Egypt and the Egyptian army down.   They allowed the Egyptian army to fight all the Zionist forces by itself while the other Arab troops did not make any move. This reproach is especially addressed to Iraq which, according to propaganda, remained silent end inactive. Some Egyptian papers, especially the daily, Ez-Zemen, end some weeklies, blame Iraq, H..R.H. the Regent, and H.E. Nuri as-Sa'id, stating that the regent did not command the army to move,  and that the army did not obey the orders of the then Prime Minister, Muzahim al-Pachachi.   I did my best to present the Iraqi point of view regarding the position of the Iraqi army ad its inability to move alone without a unified plan. I put some of the responsibility for what happened on the non-acceptance by Egypt of a unified Command.  I denied what was attributed to His Royal Highness, namely, that he had no desire to fight, and that the Iraqi army did not obey.   My attempts left some impression so that two days before I left Cairo I heard that the press censorship had been instructed not to permit the press to publish anything containing attacks on Iraq and its great personalities.

 

            Although there has been for some time a flow of propaganda in Egypt against H.E. Nuri as-Sa’id, I found that not a few of those whom I met believed that he is the man of the hour in Iraq and that he is the one, who, more than any other, can come to an understanding with Britain, and that the Palestine problem at this critical moment surely needs complete and mutual understanding with Great Britain.   All those whom I met in Egypt expressed feelings of depression.  Some of them were apologetic for what had happened because the Egyptian army, recently formed, was inexperienced in modern warfare.  Some of them felt that this failure was only natural and that they would overcome it. 

 

Dealing with the Situation in Palestine

 

            All thinkers agree on the following:

1. Complete understanding and good faith among the Arab states is the foundation for facing the Palestine problem. They all believe that it is more essential than anything else.

2. Reaching an understanding with Britain regarding her stand on Palestine. Some of them, including Beyaddin Baraket Pasha, 'Ali Maher Pasha and Hafidh Ramadhan Pasha,   emphasized the necessity of reaching an understanding with both Britain and the United States.

3. The Palestine problem cannot be solved except with force, but no war should be waged before preparing for it. That is why the military situation should be surveyed with all frankness end openness so that, if resumption of fight­ing is found possible, OK, well and good.  If not, we should wait until we are ready in the future. Finally some people believe that it was wrong to wage the Palestine war before adequate preparation.  Hefidh 'Afifi Pasha thinks that, if there had been sound thinking, we would never have entered the war. "What is the use of entering a war when the Great Powers will decide the results anyway?"   'Ali Shamsi Pasha thinks that we missed en opportunity by not entering into negotiations immediately after the first truce. At any rate, they are all united in thinking that past mistakes should be avoided, and no resumption of fighting should be permitted without preparation.

4. Since war  is not possible now, diplomatic  methods should be pursued and the Conciliation Commission should be presented with a unified agreed scheme for settlement, one agreed to by the Arab states.

5. The necessity for returning the refugees to their home­ and. 'Ali Maher thinks that no negotiations should be undertaken before their return.

6. Palestine Arabs are entitled to the right of self determination and there is no need for the All Palestine Government, formed outside Palestine and recognized by the Arab League which led to the Conference of Jericho.

7. The dangers of Zionism will increase in future.  That is why preparations should be made from now to face Zionism with a united plan.  Haikal Pasha spoke of the Zionist threat which uses opposition in the Arab lands.  They all agree on the need to combat the Zionist-Communist Fifth Column in all the Arab lands.   Propaganda machinery has done harm by exaggeration, too many statements, and improvized policies.  We were led by our sentiments and not by systematic thinking.  We were not frank with each other and we did not reveal to each other our military plans and objectives.

 

The Destiny of the Arabs of Palestine

 

            Basically the Palestinians should enjoy the right of self-determination.   Some people suggest that Palestine should join the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.   Both Hafidh Ramedhan Pasha and Saleh Harb Pasha expressed their preference that southern Palestine, including Ghaza, should be annexed by Egypt, now H.M King 'Abdullah has expressed his wish to annex the Arab parts of Palestine to the Hashemite kingdom.

 

Egypt and H.M King 'Abdullah


            Propaganda against H.M. King 'Abdullah is most severe in Egypt.  Sanhouri Pasha told me that Egyptians consider him a traitor. When I complained to Ibrahim Pasha 'Abdul Hadi about the Egyptian press attacking Iraq and Jordan, he told me, Jordan is none of your business."  I said, "But the Egyptian press always combine Iraq end Jordan.".   He complained that H.M. King 'Abdullah had wounded Egyptian feelings by sending a telegram of congratulations to Sayid 'Abdur Rahman al-Mahdi of Sudan for having held a Constituent Assembly.

 

            Many of those 1 met referred to the evacuation of Lydda and Remlih which were left to the Israelis without a fight. 'Azzam Pasha told me that there was no hope in King 'Abdullah, for a man could always reach him through the British.  I argued with Fikri Abadua explaining that the Hasemite Kingdom of Jordan, in comparison to its population and re­sources had achieved more militarily than any other Arab state in the Palestine war. Politically none of us can refute the argument of King 'Abdullah concerning Greater Syria, for it is unreasonable to have atomized, small states in this day and age. His Majesty's political objective admits no debate.  We may debate the method and the means, but, as for the aim, it is noble.  That is why I thought that propaganda in Egypt against His Majesty was not fair.   'Azzam Pasha was not convinced.

 

            I found a number of thinkers, like 'Ali Maher Pasha, Haikal Pasha and 'Ali Shamsi Pasha, justifying H.M. King 'Abdullah's policies. They call for coming to an under­standing with him at any cost and paying the price of that understanding.

 

The Arab League and Egyptian prestige

 

            I found that people generally were disappointed in the Arab League.  Egyptians have only recently adopted the concept of Arab nationalism.  They have tasted its sweetness international bodies end conferences after their assuming the position of leadership in the Arab world, but they did not expect its bitterness to come so quickly.   They had not thought of the dangers that might arise out of the Palestine problem.  That is why the Egyptian Prime Minister was critical of the League of the Arab States.  He told me,

            "I could not involve anyone in the Arab League from now on, for I am responsible before the King and the People!."

            I understood him to mean that he was fed up with the League.  The Egyptian thinkers I met were united on the need for unity and mutual understanding among the Arab states, and on the fact that future dangers could not be met except with union. There are two theories on this subject   'Ali Maher Pasha thinks that the League of Arab States should be stronger than it is now. It should be composed of Foreign Ministers and mutual defence should be the basis for its existence. 'Ali Shamsi Pasha, on the other hand, thinks that the League went ahead with excessive ambition among states that are neither close to each other or homogeneous in mentality and culture.  He thinks that is why the League should deal only with matters on which all can agree end leave serious problems to be handled by the Arab states concerned.  Sanhouri Pasha thinks that the Arab League should lighten its political burden and concern itself in the first place with the cultural and economic affairs of the Arab states. Nahass Pasha deems it necessary that the Arab states should meet and reach unified action in politics and defence.

 

            As for ‘Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League I found him depressed and despondent.  He cancelled a previously arranged press conference so as not to arouse public opinion which was against the League.  Nahhas Pasha thought that ‘Azzam Pasha was not suitable for the respon­sibilities attached to his position.  'Ali Shamsi Pasha complained of his too many statements.

 

Egypt and the West

 

            Most of the thinkers I met deem it necessary  to come to an understanding with Britain.  'Ali Maher Pasha  and Hafidh  Ramadhan Pasha think it necessary to come to an understanding with both Britain and the United States.  'Ali Maher Pasha thinks I that the Sidqi-Bevin Treaty should have been ratified while preserving the Egyptian Crown over Egypt and Sudan, and giving due consideration to strategic problems.  They are all united on the need to come to an understanding with Britain regarding Palestine, especially since Zionism is exploiting British-Arab differences and using them in spreading its propaganda in all Arab states. An understanding should be reached with Britain and the United States on the need to put an end to the Communist danger spreading by way of Zionism in Palestine.  I learnt that the Egyptian government refused British aid in the form of arms and planes when the Israelis violated the Egyptian borders.  The aid was refused in order not to recognize the existence of the 1936 Treaty.


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The Muslim Brethren

 

            Conditions were not quiet during my stay in Egypt.  There was an  explosion end some acts of violence attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Some think that Communism has infiltrated the organization and that Communism is respon­sible for the destruction and terrorism that is attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

The Palestinians in Egypt

 

            Both Messrs. Shuman and Shanti described to me the con­ditions of the Palestinians in Egypt.   The condition of the refugees is worsening and they are not being treated kindly.  They are in a desperate condition and there is some propaganda against them.  In some quarters I heard critical remarks about the Mufti of Palestine, Haji Ameen al-Husaini.  He is accused of withholding funds. The Palestinians empha­sized the need for Arab unity and the reaching of full understanding on the question of Palestine.

 

Conclusions

 

            During my visit to Egypt I found that sentiments were inflamed. While furious emotions and sentiments wanted to be rid of Palestine and the Arab League, responsible thinking considered unity and mutual cooperation among the Arab states a necessity in facing coming events.

 

Egypt's Seat in the Security Council

 

            In the autumn of l949 I led the Iraqi delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. In that session Egypt sought a seat in the Security Council, but she had held the seat before. Afghanistan was a candidate for the seat and it was not so easy for the Afghanis to yield. Dr Mahmoua 'Azmi, leader of the Egyptian delegation asked me if I could help them win the seat by using my friendly influence with the Afghani delegation. whose leader,   Prince Mohammed Na'im as my friend. I did intervene and my efforts had positive results.  Egypt got the seat.   Mahmoud 'Azmi reported my help to his government and gave a dinner in my honour.

 

            When I passed through London on my way home, the Egyptian Ambassador, 'Abdul Fatteh Amr Pasha expressed to me King Farouq's appreciation of my help in setting the seat and extended an invitation to visit Egypt and be received by His Majesty.  I thanked His Majesty but I could not avail myself of the honour at that time. I mention this as a sample of the cooperation of the Iraqi delegation with the Egyptian delegation in serving our common interests for I knew an Arab state in the Security Council would be of great service to the Arab cause if various problems, especially those of Palestine and North Africa, were submitted to the Security Council


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The Secretariat of the Arab League

 

            A matter of contention between Iraq and Egypt was the Secretariat of the Arab League. Iraq had worked hard to convince Egypt to join the League. Nuri Pasha, while Iraqi Minister to  Egypt, exerted his best efforts to win  Nahhas Pasha to the idea of establishing the Arab League. The Arab League was formed and it was Nuri Pasha who nominated its first Secretary General. 'Abdul' Rahman 'Azzam Pasha, a well-known Egyptian Arab nationalist and an influential man in Arab circles.   His father-in-law was the wise and brilliant Libyan, Khalid Bey Qarqani, a trusted advisor of King 'Abdul 'Aziz as-Sa'ud.   I assume that 'Azzam Pasha used his good influence to win Saudi Arabia to join the League. Iraq wanted the League to be a forum for Arab unity and cooperation on a basis of equality. She considered the League as a first step towards a larger and stronger Arab federation. Egypt, on the other hand, considered the League, with its headquarters in Cairo, as a forum through which Egyptian leadership of the Arab world could be exercised.

 

            The result was that the League divided the Arabs into two camps with Hashemite Iraq and Jordan on one side and Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the other.  Lebanon and Syria changed sides every now and then, but usually followed the Egyptian-Saudi line.  Yemen, on the other hand, stood neutral in any inter-Arab dispute. In this division 'Azzam Pasha very often took sides and defended the Egyptian or Saudi Arabian stand. A shrewd Iraqi scholar who was serving as Cultural Attache at the Iraqi Embassy in Cairo gave an accurate and fair picture of the League when he described it, at the time, as a branch of the Egyptian Foreign Office.  It was for this reason that Nuri Pasha came into direct clash with the Secretary General of the Arab League and I had, on several occasions, to represent and defend Nuri's point of view on the need for a neutral secretary General for the League.

 

Relations with the West

 

            A major point of difference between the government of Iraq and the government of Egypt was our approach to the West and to Britain in particular.  While Iraq’s political leader­ship was well known for its forward and open friendship with the West, the Egyptian government was often ambivalent.  Al­though Egyptian leaders believed, like the Iraqis, that their interests and destiny lay with the West, they sometimes lacked the courage to act on that belief.   Some of them had a sort of inferiority complex towards the British and a sort of weakness before public opinion which they had to placate by showing an anti-British Attitude.  One far-sighted Egyptian statesman was Ismail Sidqi Pasha, who, as Prime Minister in 1947, signed the Sidqi-Bevin Treaty which was later rejected by the Egyp­tians.  It aimed at solving problems standing between Egypt and Britain regarding the evacuation of troops and the settle­ment of the Sudan. It was to have provided the cornerstone for British-Arab defence of the Middle East. Had it been con­firmed, it might have changed the course of Middle Eastern history.

 

            Moving with the same spirit as Sidqi Pasha, Iraq signed, in 1948, the Portsmouth Treaty which is also known as the Jabr­-Bevin Treaty.  I was one of the signers of that Treaty which  aimed at e Middle East defence arrangement in which Iraq and Britain would take part as partners and equals. That Treaty was also rejected by the Iraqi people due to Communist-Zionist machinations which exploited the national sentiments of the Iraqi people.   The Portsmouth Treaty was rejected, and Mr Bevin’s policy of collaboration with the Arabs in Middle East defence fell through.

 

            But Egyptian-Iraqi cooperation with the West went on, and, as one cabinet succeeded another, Iraqis, including myself and Nuri Pasha, kept in touch by exchanging views and experiences with the Egyptian leadership concerning our relations with the West.  In 1951 the United Nations General Assembly met in Paris.   I was representing Iraq there, and Dr Mohammed Salaheddin Pasha, a distinguished personality and Foreign Minister in the Cabinet of Nahhas Pasha, was representing Egypt.  Our cooperation in dealing with Arab problems in the United Nations was genuine and constant.   We often met with other delegations of the Arab states to decide together the course to follow in the General Assembly.

 

            While we were in Paris the United States proposed a new scheme for Middle Eastern defence. A scheme in which the Arab states, and especially Egypt, would play a positive role.  We were asked by our governments to meet in Paris end discuss together our attitude toward Middle Eastern defence While I thought this was an excellent opportunity for the Arabs to strengthen their friendship with the West and to get all the military and economic help needed for their development, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Salaheddin Pasha balked and would not commit himself to any mutual defence agreement with the West.  

 

            Egypt's main concern at that time was to achieve British evacuation from Egypt and they thought that any mutual commitment to Middle Eastern defence might prolong the British occupation of Egypt. We, in Iraq, had full sympathy with the Egyptian desire for the withdrawal of British troops from Egypt, but, in our view, that did not preclude our friendly relations and cooperation with the West.  As a matter of fact,    Nuri Pasha, Prime Minister of Iraq and a personal friend of Sir Anthony Eden, British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, was doing his best, along with Sir Zafrulla Khan of Pakistan, to convince Sir Anthony that Britain should evacuate Egyptian territory and recognize Egyptian-Sudanese unity under the Egyptian crown

 

            In the month of January, 1952, while still in Paris,   I received the following letter from Nuri Pasha, Prime Minister of Iraq,.

            My brother Fadhel, Enclosed is a summery of the situation regarding our efforts to solve the Egyptian problem.   Najib ar-Rawi (Iraq's ambassador to Egypt) will leave tomorrow for Egypt carrying the summary and a copy of the instructions appearing at the end of this report.   Please show this summary and the instructions to Zafrulla Khan and please inform me of any suggestions or observations he may have regarding the process of negotiations.  I feel that it is possible to solve the problem of the Egyptian crown and Sudan without touching the right of the Sudanese to a referendum.  I especially request you to keep ell these matters completely confidential, for evil elements do not wish this matter to attain success and you yourself appreciate this more  than others.  Since yesterday a rumour has been circulating that Ibn Sa'ud is intervening in the metter of mediation by the way of Truman.  I believe that he must have sensed some signs of success and that he has sent a letter to the King of Egypt.   There is no harm in his joining at last. Please wire any idea or send by cable any opinion expressed by Zafrulla Khan.  Give him my greetings and do the seme for all our brethren.   We are occupied in settling the oil problem.   The Parliament has started its work.   I have Very little time and ask God for success.

            Baghdad 14/1/52.    Sincerely, Nuri Sa’id

 

            Not many of our Egyptian brethren know that Nuri Pasha did his best for Egypt and considered Egyptian problems as our own.

 

            In the same year the Egyptians, over-enthusiastic in their desire for British evacuation. came into clash with British in Ismailia where all the Egyptian police force number­ing over 40 were killed by British troops.   Large fires broke  out in parts of Cairo.  The Egyptian Cabinet had to resign.   Successive short-lived cabinets were formed after these inci­dents.   When Ahmad Nagib Pasha el-Hilali became Prime Minister I was asked by Nuri: Pasha to go to Cairo again.   This I did by traveling via Karachi and Beirut.

 

Proposed Meeting of the Heads of Muslim States

 

            The Governor General of Pakistan, Mhulam Mohammed, proposed a meeting for the heads of governments of the Muslim states to be held in Teheran. Iraq responded positively, but we decided to seek further elucidation end offer our services in promoting the idea.   The Governor General was my personal friend so I flew from Baghdad to Karachi and had full discussion with him concerning the conference and other matters of mutual concern, especially the problems of  Morocco and Tunisia being discussed in the United Nations.  

 

            From Karachi I had a direct flight via Pan-American Airlines to Beirut. There I had a meeting with President Bishara al-Khouri, President of the Lebanese Republic.   I explained to him the significance of Lebanese participation in such a conference, for Lebanon, consisting of Muslim and Christian elements could act as a connecting link between the Muslim and Christian world and this was very much needed for international confidence and amity.    President al-Khouri   responded sympathetically and told, me that he would give due consideration to the question of Lebanon's joining the conference.


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My Visit to Cairo in 1952

 

            From Lebanon I flew to Cairo which was the main objective of the trip. I had three purposes in mind:  (1) to get a first-hand impression of the political situation in Egypt, (2) to see whether Egypt would take part in and encourage the pan-Islamic conference, and (3) to find out if there was a readiness for the removal of 'Azzam Pasha from his position as Secretary General of the Arab League.   I had a meeting with Ahmad Nagib al-Hilali Pasha, the Prime Minister.   I found him very reticent and formal. He would not give any clear and final decisions.   He would not expand on the woes and troubles of Cairo. He would not promise to take part in a pan-Islamic conference.   While indirectly asking him about his opinion about the Arab League I found him praising and upholding ‘Assam Pasha and that made me withhold my intended proposals.

 

            I had meetings with several Egyptian leaders. I asked Dr Mohammed Salaheddin Pasha, "What made Egypt come into clash with the British army on Ismailia?   What preparations and what calculations led them to do it?" He frankly told me that the masses had been so much fed with anti-British propaganda and demagogy had prevailed to such an extent that the government had lost its power of control and things had got out of hand.

 

            I heard many complaints about corruption in the circle surrounding the palace and Madame Nahhas Pasha.  I returned from Cairo quite depressed.  In the summer of the same year, 1952, the Egyptian Military Revolution took place.

 

My Visit to Cairo after the Egyptian Revolution

 

            Shortly after the Revolution, the Arab League met in Cairo and I led the Iraqi delegation to the meeting. On my first day in Cairo I made a courtesy call on Prime  Minister Mohammed Nagib to convey best wishes and hopes for better cooperation in the future between Iraq and Egypt. was deeply impressed by the man's modesty and sincerity.  The thing that attracted my attention in his office was the plaque bearing the name of Allah which had replaced the picture of King Farouq.

 

            After the removal of King Farouq, Egypt was ruled by a 'troika' consisting of Prince ‘Abdul Munim, Bahyiddin Barakat Pasha and Brigadier Rashad al-Muhanna. These three formed the Regency Council since King Ahmad Fuad, son of King Farouq, was a baby. I was told that Mohammed Rashad al-Muhenna was formerly a teacher of the Free Officers at the Military College, and that he had given his advice and blessing to the plans for the Revolution.

 

            I called on Mohammed Rashad al-Muhanna and found him to be a faithful Muslim with strong character and human sympathy.  We dealt at length with the situation of the Arab world, diagnosing many of our social, moral and political ills.  We agreed to move together along cleaner and clearer paths.  I had more than one meeting with Brigadier Mohammed Rashad al-Muhanna. He seemed sympathetic, understanding and well-meaning.   In my last meeting with him we agreed that the Arab League needed reorganization and that 'Azzam Pasha, having served to the best of his ability, should be replaced, especially because he had not been able to cooperate with Iraq.  Brigadier al­-Muhanna promised to undertake the replacement of 'Azzam Pasha.   We agreed that 'Abdul Khaliq Hassouna P­asha should be his successor and that I would undertake to nominate him at the Coun­cil of the League after the resignation of 'Azzam Pasha had been accepted.   This I did and the long-standing friction between 'Azzam Pasha and Iraq was terminated.

 

            While in Cairo I dined with Ambassador Jefferson Caffrey of the United States who related to me the process of  King Farouq's abdication and how the King had insisted that Ambassador Caffrey should be present at the moment of his departure from Egypt.   I asked Ambassador Caffrey if America had anything to do with inspiring and promoting the Revolution. He frankly said that it was completely an Egyptian affair, but that the revolutionary officers had contacted the American military staff in the Embassy before the Revolution.  I also asked him whether he thought that royalty would continue in Egypt or whether a republic would be declared.   He said that he certainly hoped that the royalty would continue, for he could not visualize Nahhas Pasha as President of the Republic and Madame Nahhas as the First Lady!  In general I found that Ambassador Caffrey was optimistic about the future of the Revolution. 

 

            Another distinguished personality whom I met was ‘Ali Maher Pasha who, as Prime Minister, helped the process of the revolution go through peacefully.   He related to me in detail how he convinced King Farouq not to resist and not to cause bloodshed among brothers, and how, by appealing to his patriotism, he convinced him to abdicate in favour of his son. The Prime Minister also arranged the King's dignified and peaceful departure from Egypt.

 

            'Ali Maher was one of Egypt’s strong and patriotic statesmen who stood for his own convictions. He certainly was influential in the peaceful transfer of power from the monarchial regime to the new one.   He was on the Egyptian delega­tion to the Arab League Council and that gave me ample opportunity to talk to him and come to know him.  With the purpose of bringing about a  Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement he invited me to lunch at his house with Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia who became King Faisal. (See Saudi Arabia, pp.)   Some years later I heard that 'Ali Maher Pasha had become disillusioned, and, while in Lebanon, was critical of what was going on in Egypt.

 

            Another personality with whom I often met while in Cairo was 'Abdul Razzaq as-Sahhouri Pasha who was a great Egyptian legal mind.  He was invited at different times by Iraq, Syria and Kuwait to preside over drafting the civil law of those countries in accordance with the Shari'ah or Islamic teachings which are well suited for modern times. He became Under Secretary for Education and later Minister of Education in Egypt Sanhouri Pasha explained the devolution and its aims and thought that the monarchy would go.   He was especially interested in having the Arab League establish a Higher Institute for Arab studies to which students would come from allover the Arab world to make a scientific study of Arab affairs. I shared his enthusiasm for such a project.  I attended a special meeting of the Arab League Cultural Committee at which .the project was defined and a request to the League Council was prepared for establishing the Institute.  I took the Committee's recommendation to the League Council and expedited its adoption.   The Institute of Higher Arab Studies was thus initiated and it has continued its work until the present day.

 

            We had a cordial meeting that night reviewing inter-Arab affairs and emphasizing the importance of Iraqi-Egyptian amity and cooperation.    I expounded the proposal which I was going to present to the Arab League Council, for a inter-Arab federation in order to start the Arab world towards the realization of a larger national union in the form of federation and confederation.   The project was very well received and full support was promised by my Egyptian brethren.  This led me to think that the meeting had been fruitful.  I was assured that Egypt’s new regime would always be behind Iraq and would work with Iraq in all its Arab national endeavours, including the promotion of the project for Arab federation which I was going to submit to the League.

  

            Iraq's relations with Syria were strained in those days, and, one evening at a party on a thahabiya or houseboat on the Nile, Mohammed Nagib appealed to me to be tolerant and lenient with Syria whose leader at that time was the dictator Adib ash-Shishakli.  In short, I returned to Baghdad cherishing high hopes for a new era of Iraqi-Egyptian brotherhood and cooperation.   Both Brigadier Muhanna and General Nagib impressed me with their religious zeal, sincerity and desire for amity and cooperation.


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My Visit to Cairo in 1954

 

            My next major visit to Egypt was in January 1954 while I was Prime Minister of Iraq.  It was on the occasion of the meeting of the Council of the Arab League and it was Iraq's turn to preside over the meeting. I had drafted a proposal for promoting the cause of Arab unity through democratic processes and by gradual steps to be taken by those Arab states who were ready to enter into closer relationships,   and I intended to present the project to the Arab League. (See Appendix A).

 

            The day we arrived Prime Minister Nagib invited the delegation to a luncheon at the Officers’ Club. There I was introduced to the young officer sitting next to me who was none other than Colonel Gamal 'Abdul Nasir.:. It was my first meeting with him. I later learnt that it was at his request that he was seated next to me so that he might come to know me personally.

 

            After lunch, Prime Minister Nagib invited me to a private dinner at his home in the evening .Col; Nasir was there and so was 'Abdul Latif al-Baghdad and the Iraqi Ambassador to Egypt, Najib, ar-Rawi.  We discussed my plan for Arab unity and Egypto-Iraqi relationships.  Before leaving I asked the group to come to dinner the next night at the Iraqi, Embassy Prime Minister Nagib said that he was engaged, but Colonel Nasir aid that he would come.    In the Iraqi Embassy Colonel Nasir and I continued the discussion of the previous evening on Arab unity, and I em­phasized Iraq's readiness to go ahead in the path of unity with its neighbouring Arab states and gradually to have all the Arab world in one federation, a policy which Colonel Nasir accepted while criticizing the previous policy of Egypt which, in the past, had stood against any move such as Syrio-Iraqi rapprochement. 

 

            Besides the subject of Arab unity we discussed the Arab stand in international affairs.  I explained to him that I was conducting negotiations with the Americans with a view to reaching a arms aid agreement.  I told him that I felt that Iraq. Being clearly anti-Communist was not receiving from the West the military aid to which she was entitled.   The United States government was quite sympathetic to Iraq's point of view, but the Zionists in the United States were obstructing the negotiations. I asked him what he thought of the idea of getting military aid from the United States, an aid to which no political strings were attached.  He expressed his encouragement and told me that he would be happy to see Iraq become stronger and that the strength of any Arab state would increase the strength of all.  Actually a few weeks later the negotiations for the arms aid were temporarily called off due to Zionist pressure in the Congress and the approach of midterm elections in the United States during which period Zionist propaganda exerted its influence. When negotiations were resumed Colonel Nasir was kept informed on the subject and he gave it his blessings.

 

            A third topic was raised that same night when Colonel Nasir produced from his pocket a copy of the New York Times.  He showed me a report in that issue which spoke of a  Pakistani mutual defence agreement.  The report said that an invitation would soon be issued for Iraq to join. He asked me if Iraq Pakistani agreement and that I sympathized with it, but that we had not yet been invited to join. If we were invited, I looked forward to joining such a defence agreement for Iraq's policy had always been one of friendship and cooperation with its Muslim neighbours. That Faisal the First, founder of the Kingdom of Iraq, and Iraq was already a member of the Sa'adabad Pact which included Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Nasir requested that Iraq should postpone joining the Turkish-Pakistani Alliance until Egyptian agreement with Britain over the British evacuation of the Suez Canal had been concluded.   I conceded to this request. Colonel Nasir told me that he wanted to show Britain that all the Arab states stood behind Egypt so that in bargaining he could speak in the name of all of them. While this argument had its appeal by making up for Egypt’s weakness vis-a-vis Britain, it later revealed the intention of Nasir to achieve a hegemony over ell the Arab states and make them fell in line with his political thoughts and designs. 

 

            After those dinner meetings I presented my proposals Egyptian press was quite favourable to my proposals. from the Cairo weekly, Akher Sa’ah.   Here are two quotations for Arab unity to the Arab League Council.

 

            Major Salah Salem made a statement regarding Egypt's Arab policy to Akher Sa'ah in which he said, 'Egypt welcomes any union between the Arab states and stands behind this with all its power on one condition, that this union shall be inspired by the wishes of the peoples emanating from their will and expressing their hopes.   The time has gone when Egypt (following the sentiments of the royal family which, through the mockery of destiny, ruled it for some years) used to oppose Arab blocs.  We do not believe in the old false theory which was afraid of strengthening Iraq, for example, because that would conflict with the interest of Egypt.  We believe that any tank which the Iraqi army procures is a tank for the army of Egypt, just as we believe that a gun procured by the army of Yemen is a gun in the hands of the national guard of our country.   We aim at creating one Arab state which brings together the torn pieces of the Arab states...

 

                        'I wish to say with a loud voice that Egypt does not expect leadership.  She does not ask for leadership.  What she wants is to participate in the construction of solid rock.  What is the value of building houses of cardboard and putting ourselves on the top of such houses, for the wind of events will come and make these cardboard structures fall with the high seats on which we had seated ourselves.  I say with my loudest voice that every Egyptian of the matter that there is one people living in this region end that this people, due to the facts on which its existence rests, is marching in the path of union no matter how gradual its march forward may be.  The statement by Salah Salem was followed by this comment:

           

                        The editor of the Arab political section of Akher Sa'ah learnt that this new spirit is the basis of all the contacts made during the present session of the Arab League Council, and that a new revolution has begun to penetrate the structure of the League.  The proposal made by Sayid Fadhel Jamali, Prime Minister of Iraq, regarding the unification of foreign policy, economics, defence and education among the Arab states is a clear and practical crystallization of this new spirit.   Sayid Fadhel Jamali said that his proposals ere based on the new trends which he sensed in Egypt. His proposal was the centre of practical discussions in many meetings of the Arab political circles during the last three days.  The members concentrated their dreams on the first steps toward achieving this project in the following manner:   unification of finance, foreign affairs, defence and education between Syria, Jordan and Iraq; unification of finance, foreign affairs, defence and education between Saudi Arabia and Yemen - unification of finance, foreign affairs, defence and education between Egypt, Sudan and Libya. The Arab League aims at removing the remaining obstacles and at helping rapprochement. 

 

            This is a sample of the press reports describing this new cordial atmosphere between Iraq and Egypt.  Several years later I read the report of an interview between an Indian journalist and Gamal 'Abdul Nasir in which the latter stated that his active interest in Arab unity started in 1954. This made me think that my proposals and our contacts at that time had something to do with Colonel Nasir's enthusiasm for Arab unity


 Hopes and Disappointments in Iraqi-Egyptian Relations

 

            I thought that it certainly cleared the atmosphere between Iraq and Egypt. I thought that from then on we would be entering a new era of brotherly cooperation.  It also showed that Iraq was maintaining its tradition of being the standard bearer of Arab nationalism in the path of liberation and unification, a policy which was established by the late King Faisal I and the Iraqi leaders who followed in his footsteps.

 

            But the atmosphere of euphoria did not lest long.   Only a few days after my return to Iraq the Egyptian press and radio, especially the broadcasts of Sawt ul-Arab, Voice of the Arabs, began to attack Jamali and Iraq, claiming that they secretly joined the Turkish-Pakistani Pact and thereby betrayed Arab unity and Arab interests.  Slogans were painted on walls and demonstrations were organized in Beirut against Iraq and against the rumoured Turkish-Pakistani Pact.   The students came into clash with the security forces.  One student was killed and another was injured in the spine. 

 

            Attempts were made to organize a demonstration in Baghdad also but, having heard of the plan I called the leaders of the opposition parties to my office and assured them that the rumours about Iraq having joined the Pact were false and when the time came for joining such a pact we would do it in the open where the whole issue would be discussed by the Iraqi Parliament before any official action would be taken.  As a result, no demonstrations were organized in Baghdad.

 

            The Egyptian machinations in 1954 were the beginning of Nasir's interference in the policies of other Arab states and his tactics of pressuring end intimidating Arab leaders in an attempt to make them follow his policies.   In Iraq, however, he met with solid resistance to his policies from the responsible ruling group represented by the throne, Nuri as Sa’id, Saleh Jabr, Fadhel Jamali,  Tawfiq as-Suwaidi, Arshad al­ 'Omari and others.  

 

            From then on a propaganda war on Iraq was declared by Egypt.  Iraq’s position was always firm and defensive.   We did not initiate any counter attack nor did we denigrate our Egyptian brethren.  We wanted truth and reason to prevail.  I called the Egyptian Ambassador, Mahmoud Qatamish, to my house more then once, and, in a brotherly way, I told him that the anti-Iraq campaign was in no one's interest and that there who could discuss matters and overcome difficulties in a brotherly way.  There was no need for unjust attacks on a friendly and brotherly state. While the Ambassador acceded to my view he could do nothing to improve the situation.  

 

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