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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 10, 1957


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    Summary of a significant meeting of the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party of Syria, attended by Syrian Foreign Minister Salah al-Bitar.
    "Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party Meeting in Damascus," September 10, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 12, File 146/12, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford.
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Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party Meeting in Damascus

The Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party held a meeting at its headquarters in Damascus on Sept 10th, 1957.  This was an important meeting to which the Foreign Minister, Mr. Salah Al-Bitar was invited.  He was invited by the leaders of the party and he was charged with explaining the recent situation with the American efforts to facilitate a coup in Syria.  He was also urged to send a memo to the neighboring countries in which they had to specify their positions toward Syria.

The [party] also asked the Minister to immediately and constantly keep contact with Egypt, Saudi states and with friendly states; primarily Soviet Russia, China, East Germany and India.

Quick contacts were made to these countries represented by their embassies, and by official delegations visiting Damascus for the Fair.

The outcome of these meetings was to focus on the continued policy of provocation that the US was practicing against Syria based on the following events that occurred at the same time:

1- US military warships entering Syrian waters at Latakia and the two jet planes that flew over.
2- The arrival of American warplanes carrying weapons and military experts to Al-Mafraq Airport in Jordan.
3- Israel violating Syrian borders and killing one villager.
4- Lebanese army maneuvers in the form of heavy border activity and warships on the road to Damascus from the Beqaa Valley.
5- Turkish army activity on Syrian borders.

These events are what appeared in the two secret reports presented by Mr. Abdul-Munim Al-Rifa’ii, the Jordanian Ambassador to Lebanon and Sharif Hussein bin Nassir, the Jordanian Ambassador to Spain, regarding the outcome of negotiations between the American delegate, Henderson, and the Iraqi King Faisal and King Hussein, King of Jordan, in Istanbul.  Also with President Kamil Shamoon of Lebanon.  Other plans that were laid out [were in the reports], including activities by the US and the aforementioned countries. The [Ba'ath Party] requested that Mr. Akram Al-Hourani turn down the visit to Moscow to accompany the Foreign Affairs Committee that is to take place on the 15th of this month, and to remain in Syria to stay on top of the developments of the delicate situation in it.

The delegation will include the following delegates:

Ihsan Al-Jabiri, Akram Al-Hourani, Abdul-Karim Zuhour, Mudhir A-Sharbachi, Muhammed Al-Mubarek, Tawfel Ilias, and Adel Al-Kinihia.

For the occasion of the Foreign Affairs Delegates Committee’s trip, there were plans that a delegation of twenty Syrian delegates from different parties and political affiliations, especially those with political influence in Syria, travel to Russia and People’s China to visit the different areas and get better acquainted with these countries to strengthen relations between these two communist countries and Syria.  However, it was decided that, under the current circumstances, it was more appropriate to postpone these trips to lessen the appearance that Syria is aligning itself with global Communism.


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