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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1957

THE ISSUE OF SYRIA AND ITS UNION WITH IRAQ

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    Syria and Iraq reach an agreement, and elections loom in one week related to the establishment of a new Party. Chehab lists the objectives behind this Party.
    "The Issue of Syria and Its Union with Iraq," 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 12, File 175/12, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176096
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175/12

The issue of Syria and its union with Iraq

As a result of news and information coming Out of Iraq to the effect that Syria and Iraq have reached an agreement and that Khaled al-'Azm had met with the Turkish Foreign Minister, people and organisations favouring a union between the two countries have picked up the pace of their activities. Many toured popular circles and gatherings calling upon the people to send telegrams and messages of support to Khaled al-'Azm personally lauding his policies, and to Nouri al-Said in Baghdad to thank him for his position and for his lenient attitude, endorsing his policies, and urging him to finalise the projected union with Syria.

Instructions arrived from Damascus to Hameed Hameed Pacha confirming both the establishment of the new Party and that he will soon assume his responsibilities within it.

A meeting was held yesterday morning at the home of the above-mentioned individual attended by over 300 members from Hizb al-Ulema wal-Mashayekh; Hizb al-Shaab; and Hizb al-Watani; as well as by merchants, farmers, manufacturers, and the Iraqi Consul and his staff. Among the attendees were also youths from the PPS and and the Muslim Brotherhood; they agreed to set up a branch of the Damascus office, and form a Central Committee from that office.

Elections will be held in a week's time to choose the committee which will be entrusted with setting up this branch. Objectives behind the establishment of this Party are:

Working towards Arab unity starting with the union with Iraq;

Supporting the Turkish-Iraqi Alliance;

Calling upon Syria to join this alliance;

Supporting Iraq and Turkey's policies before they are subjected to the Zionist danger;

Total cooperation with Iraq, Turkey, and all the Arab countries;

The need to reach an understanding with the West against communism;

Securing the Fertile Crescent;

Attending to the countries' interest in general and to protecting religion and morals in particular;

Pursuing this policy until the end;

The participants swore to execute these resolutions by all available means.

The resolutions were sent to Damascus for approval, and a copy was sent to Iraq.

The military mission and the Egyptian officers

The delegation from the Egyptian College of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has arrived in Aleppo on a private visit; its members stayed there for two days only then left for fear of possible attacks against them. Chief Said Habbi, the local commander and commander of the northern region, did not leave the delegation's side a single moment, the army and police took appropriate and wide-ranging measures to protect them, and no incidents worth mentioning occurred.

The tribes and the army

The Government dispatched a military force with the committees to the Syrian-Iraqi borders to prevent possible clashes between the tribes as a result of the ongoing disputes between them.

In fact, the Government learned that foreign parties were trying to influence the position of these tribes and that the latter are not well intentioned. It stationed a large enough force on the frontier and in the regions of Deir Ezwr and al-Jazeera, and sent another force to the regions of al-Raqqa and Ras al-Abyad to prevent the tribes from contacting the Turkish frontier post and the officers there. News reaching the army confirms that foreign hands are playing a role in rousing the 'Anza, Afda'an, and Shammar tribes, mainly Khalil Jahem, one of 'Anza's tribal leaders.

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