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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 09, 1955

MEMORANDUM OF A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO EGYPT D.S. SOLOD AND THE EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER G. NASSER

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    President Nasser discusses Western interference in the Arab world and describes Egypt as an island surrounded by imperialist waves. Despite this, he claims Egypt will remain independent and neutral.
    "Memorandum of a conversation between the Soviet Ambassador to Egypt D.S. Solod and the Egyptian Prime Minister G. Nasser," August 09, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, fond 087, opis 18, papka 37, delo 4, listy 19, 26-31. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Guy Laron https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112284
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… When the conversation broached matters of international politics, Nasser said that the Egyptian government was resolute in its decision to conduct a neutralist policy despite great difficulty. The Egyptian government was prepared to wage war in the Sudan, repulse the Anglo-American attempts to force it to join the military pacts and fight against the internal opposition, which the Western imperialists were using to undermine the current regime.

According to Nasser, Egypt was in a real predicament, being surrounded by many countries whose governments did not represent the people's will and would rather cooperate with the Western imperialists in order to keep the reigns of government in their hands. Egypt, Nasser said, was like an island stormed by imperialistic waves, since the Americans and the British understood that once they subdued Egypt, it would be easier to subdue the rest of the Arab countries.

The Egyptian government was certain that the Arab countries would always support [Egypt], whether the imperialists liked it or not. This was another proof of the importance of Egypt's continued independent stance and neutralist policy.

According to Nasser, the Egyptian government initially wanted to implement a neutralist policy only after the complete evacuation of British troops from the Canal Zone, that is, after 19 June 1956. However, circumstances forced Egypt to implement this policy much sooner. To begin with, the proclamation of an independent Egyptian policy was one of the revolution's main aims. But for this line to be taken, the imperialistic agents within Egypt would have to be crushed and the complete evacuation of the British troops taken place. Yet, the signing of the Turkish-Iraqi pact in February 1955, and Egypt's fear that the rest of the Arab countries might join in, left the Egyptian government no choice other than to proclaim a neutralist policy ahead of the allotted time and declare that it would not participate in any Western military alliances. The Anglo-Americans have reacted strongly and, at the time of [Nasser's] trip to Bandung, they started to prepare the ground for an anti-government conspiracy, using for that purpose a group of officers who wanted to cooperate with the West...