At the Cabinet meeting this morning I spoke briefly to President Eisenhower with reference to the subject matter of his memorandum to me of November 13, 1957, annexed,2 dealing with Nasser. I said that we were giving this matter closest consideration. At the present time we had good relations with all the Arab States from Morocco to Saudi Arabia, excluding Egypt and Syria. We did not want in an effort to win good relations with Nasser to alienate those who had maintained good relations with us. There was danger that Nasser would be satisfied with nothing less than our willingness to treat with him as the leader of the Arab world; that was the position he coveted. But for us to accede to this would antagonize King Saud and the other Arab countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and so forth, which looked primarily to Saud and were somewhat fearful of Nasser.
The President felt that we could not of course be disloyal to King Saud or attempt to push Nasser into leadership ahead of Saud.