Conference Diplomacy

August 11, 1958

Report Outline
Public Diplomacy in Middle East Crisis
Conference Diplomacy in Peace and War
Diplomacy at the Summit Since 1953
Special Focus

Public Diplomacy in Middle East Crisis

Big-Power Maneuvering on the Middle East

Soviet demands for a summit conference on the Middle East, discussed back and forth for three weeks in contentious correspondence between Premier Khrushchev and the heads of Western governments, have finally produced an extraordinary session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Neither the independent top-level parley originally sought by the Soviet Union nor a Western-favored meeting in the framework of the U.N. Security Council survived East-West jockeying for position in a public debate on conduct of the great powers in a crisis-ridden corner of the world.

Periodic conferences during World War II between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, with the later addition of Premier Stalin, proved an invaluable means of reaching mutual agreement on plans for war and peace. When the practice of summit diplomacy was revived at Geneva in 1955, the participants were deeply divided on the questions before them and no more than a semblance of agreement was achieved. Relief of cold war tensions was not the spur to harmony that had been provided a decade earlier by the drive for victory over a tangible enemy; diametrically opposed interests would not yield to genuine compromise.

Recent maneuvering to project the Middle East into the realm of summit diplomacy was hardly animated by a spirit of accommodation. When Khrushchev on July 19 proposed that President Eisenhower, British Prime Minister Macmillan, French Premier de Gaulle, and Indian Prime Minister Nehru meet him three days later at Geneva, he called the dispatch of American marines to Lebanon and of British paratroopers to Jordan “military invasion” and “armed intervention” and accused the United States and Great Britain of planning to intervene in Iraq. In replying on July 22, suggesting a heads-of-government meeting in the framework of the Security Council, President Eisenhower told Khrushchev that “The real danger of war would come if one small nation after another were to be engulfed by expansionist and aggressive forces supported by the Soviet Union.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S.-Soviet Relations
Sep. 14, 1990  The Western Alliance After the Cold War
Feb. 10, 1989  Soviet Trade: In America's Best Interest?
Nov. 01, 1985  U.S.-Soviet Summitry
Jul. 09, 1982  Controlling Scientific Information
May 25, 1973  Trends in U.S.-Soviet Relations
Apr. 05, 1972  Russia's Diplomatic Offensive
Feb. 09, 1972  Trading with Communist Nations
Mar. 10, 1971  Indian Ocean Policy
Apr. 21, 1965  Negotiations with Communists
Nov. 13, 1963  Scientific Cooperation with the Soviet Union
Oct. 03, 1963  Trade with the Communists
Sep. 11, 1963  Non-Aggression Pacts and Surprise Attack
Oct. 11, 1961  East-West Negotiations
Mar. 29, 1961  Russia and United Nations
Aug. 10, 1960  Challenged Monroe Doctrine
Sep. 02, 1959  American-Soviet Trade
Jul. 03, 1959  Cultural Exchanges with Soviet Russia
Aug. 11, 1958  Conference Diplomacy
Jul. 23, 1958  Limited War
May 14, 1958  Cold War Propaganda
Feb. 26, 1958  Military Disengagement
Feb. 20, 1957  Indirect Aggression
Jul. 25, 1956  Trading with Communists
Jan. 11, 1956  Economic Cold War
Nov. 26, 1954  Peaceful Coexistence
Dec. 01, 1953  Tests of Allied Unity
Sep. 18, 1953  Negotiating with the Reds
Jun. 17, 1953  East-West Trade
Apr. 12, 1951  Non-Military Weapons in Cold-War Offensive
Apr. 20, 1949  Mediterranean Pact and Near East Security
Apr. 28, 1948  Trade with Russia
Sep. 11, 1946  Loyalty in Government
Jul. 31, 1946  Arctic Defenses
Apr. 01, 1943  American and British Relations with Russia
Feb. 24, 1933  Soviet-American Political and Trade Relations
Nov. 03, 1931  Russian-American Relations
Feb. 14, 1924  Russian Trade with the United States
Diplomacy and Diplomats