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Bowles Reports to Kennedy on Talk with Nasser; Raised Israel Issue

March 26, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Chester Bowles, special representative and adviser to the President on African, Asian, and Latin American affairs, reported this weekend to President Kennedy on his recent trip, including discussions in Cairo with Egyptian President Nasser, that covered Arab-Israel relations.

Mr. Bowles’ Cairo talks revealed improved Arab-American understanding on “a number of questions,” he later told the press. Mr. Bowles met for four days with Nasser and other leading Egyptian and political and economic authorities. He revealed that he personally pursued the Israel question with Nasser. The trip was part of a tour of many African and Asian nations at the personal behest of President Kennedy.

“Although I went to Cairo with no expectation of achieving miracles of good will, I believe my visit helped to eliminate certain misunderstandings,” said Mr. Bowles. “I came away with some hope that we may be entering into a period of calmer, more realistic and rational relationships,” He added, however, that “our relations with Egypt will continue to be conditioned by our deeply held conviction that Israel’s independence and integrity must be preserved.”

Mr. Bowles said that ‘if the leaders of the Egyptian Government come to see that their role in history will be determined not by what they say over the radio to the people of other Middle Eastern nations, but rather what they actually do about the aching poverty and misery that oppress the people of Egypt, there will be opportunities for constructive, peaceful cooperation between the American and Egyptian Governments. “

“In this event, tension may gradually be eased throughout the Middle East, and energies may increasingly be diverted from angry conflict to constructive development, ” said President Kennedy’s special representative.

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