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Secret Soviet Talks with Arabs Rumored; Report Possible Change in Moscow Policy

September 17, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The New York Times published a report from Faris today stating that Soviet Minister to Syria Daniel Solod, prior to returning to Moscow, conferred secretly with Syrian leaders. The dispatch said the clandestine meetings were reported by “British and French experts” in the Syrian capital.

Following the Russian envoy’s departure, the Times cable said, Soviet agents in Damascus began to spread “coordinated rumors” saying that Moscow is contemplating a new policy regarding the Arab world and that a plan is presently under discussion in the Kremlin whereby “bases might be granted to the Soviet Union in Syria in exchange for tacit assistance against Israel.”

Emphasizing that it is considered “most unlikely that these rumors are well-founded,” the Times correspondent, C.L. Sulzberger, pointed out that “nevertheless they can act as a threat to the United States, forcing Washington to dilute its assistance to Israel in order to maintain what is left of its position in Arab lands thus benefit ting the Soviet position at Tel Aviv.”

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