Washington, October 3, 1961, 11 p.m.
517. For Ambassador only. If in your judgment would serve useful purpose, you authorized urgently approach President Nasser or if Nasser unavailable highest level UAR official with access to Nasser and orally convey following message from President Kennedy:
“President highly pleased with Nasser’s friendly letter of August 22 and wishes continue development of fruitful relations on both personal and official plane. He understands problems which recent events in the Syrian region of the United Arab Republic have created for Nasser and appreciates Nasser’s efforts to stabilize the situation by peaceful means. President was especially impressed with Nasser’s statesmanlike address of September 29 in which he rejected resort to force or shedding of Arab blood as means of settling current dispute with Syrian insurgents.
President would be pleased receive any message Nasser may wish convey. He wishes to assure Nasser that decision on recognition of Syrian regime has not been undertaken and that we shall desire to consult with UARG on recognition question.”2
1 Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786B.11/10–361. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Barrow, cleared by McGeorge Bundy at the White House and by Collopy (S/S), and approved and signed by Rusk.
2 Earlier on October 3, Talbot sent a memorandum to Rusk conveying a draft of this oral message and recommending that it be discussed with President Kennedy. (Ibid.)