Relations with Nasser

April 14, 1965

Report Outline
Controversies in the Middle East
Nasserism in Revolutionary Egypt
Western Relations with the U.A.R.

Controversies in the Middle East

Worsening of relations between the United States and the United Arab Republic may soon be given concrete expression by refusal of new economic assistance to that country. Contemptuous comments about American aid by President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the burning of a U.S. Information Agency library in Cairo, and the U.A.R.'s open support of arms shipments to anti-Western rebels in the Congo have combined to make continuation of economic aid of any kind appear directly contrary to this country's interests.

After a dozen years in power, Nasser seems on the verge of abandoning his non-alignment policy to establish extensive ties with the Soviet Union and its satellites. Nineteen Communist delegations visited Cairo in a six-week period early this year, and trade deals were concluded with most of them. A key objective of American foreign policy since World War II has been to keep the Soviet Union from gaining a dominant position in the Middle East. What policymakers in Washington now have to decide is whether it is still possible to make foreign aid programs an effective counter to the influence of the Soviet Union in that highly strategic region.

The deterioration of U.S.-U.A.R. relations comes at a critical moment in the affairs of the hypertensive Middle East. Arab nations and Israel are at swords' points over rights to the waters of the Jordan River. Border skirmishes between Israeli forces and Syrian troops are reported in quick succession. In the past, Nasser has exercised a restraining influence over other Arab nations that want to drive the Israelis into the sea. But his increasingly bellicose stand against the West may signal a turn away from maintenance of the status quo in Israeli-Arab relations. The U.A.R.'s deep military involvement in the civil war in Yemen suggests the extent to which Nasser has departed from moderation in the conduct of foreign policy.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Israel, Palestine, and Middle East Peace
Jun. 21, 2013  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
May 2009  Middle East Peace Prospects
Oct. 27, 2006  Middle East Tensions Updated
Jan. 21, 2005  Middle East Peace
Aug. 30, 2002  Prospects for Mideast Peace
Apr. 06, 2001  Middle East Conflict
Mar. 06, 1998  Israel At 50
Aug. 30, 1991  The Palestinians
Oct. 19, 1990  The Elusive Search for Arab Unity
Feb. 24, 1989  Egypt's Strategic Mideast Role
Apr. 15, 1988  Israel's 40-Year Quandary
Mar. 02, 1984  American Involvement in Lebanon
Nov. 12, 1982  Reagan's Mideast Peace Initiative
Apr. 23, 1982  Egypt After Sadat
Jan. 04, 1980  Divided Lebanon
Jul. 20, 1979  West Bank Negotiations
Dec. 01, 1978  Middle East Transition
Jan. 13, 1978  Saudi Arabia's Backstage Diplomacy
Oct. 29, 1976  Arab Disunity
May 16, 1975  Middle East Diplomacy
Sep. 13, 1974  Palestinian Question
Dec. 12, 1973  Middle East Reappraisal
Apr. 25, 1973  Israeli Society After 25 Years
Aug. 19, 1970  American Policy in the Middle East
Apr. 25, 1969  Arab Guerrillas
Aug. 02, 1967  Israeli Prospects
Jul. 06, 1966  Middle East Enmities
Apr. 14, 1965  Relations with Nasser
Aug. 17, 1960  Arab-Israeli Deadlock
May 27, 1959  Middle East Instability
Jun. 04, 1958  Nasser and Arab Unity
Oct. 02, 1957  Soviet Threat in Middle East
Sep. 18, 1956  Suez Dispute and Strategic Waterways
May 09, 1956  Middle East Commitments
Apr. 13, 1955  Middle East Conflicts
Mar. 31, 1954  Security in the Mideast
Oct. 23, 1952  Israel and the Arab States
Jan. 30, 1952  Egyptian Crisis and Middle East Defense
Mar. 17, 1948  Palestine Crisis
Feb. 18, 1946  Soviet Russia and the Middle East
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Political Affairs: Africa
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia