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By Harry Bearse Ellis

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Extra resources for Challenge in the Middle East: Communist Influence and American Policy

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Internally, the United States foreign aid program was hav­ ing trouble in Congress at this time. Opposition to Ameri­ can aid for the High Dam had developed in the Senate, particularly among cotton state senators who foresaw more cotton-producing acreage for Egypt, and among Western senators who had dam projects of their own to advance. To some extent this internal factor weighed in Mr. S. would not help Egypt build the giant dam. ” Tone of the with­ drawal was sharp and its implication was that the arms deal with the Soviets had made the Egyptian economy financially unsound.

This referred to the Kurds of Iraq, almost one-quarter of the total population, whom the Soviets consistently have sought to make an instrument of Communist expansion. This part of the letter deeply disturbed Nasser, since it confirmed his suspicion that Moscow intended to concen­ trate on Iraq as a base for Communist penetration of the Middle East. R. were to cut off economic relations with the Soviet Union. And Nasser hoped that once Moscow became con­ vinced that the Nasser-led movement of Arab nationalism was stronger than Arab communism, the Soviets would have no choice but to cooperate with him.

Adding to this concern was Cairo’s dis­ quiet at Peking’s financial and moral backing of the Al­ 28 CHALLENGE IN THE MIDDLE EAST gerian nationalists fighting for independence from France, a cause which hitherto Cairo had considered peculiarly its own. R. secretary and his Communist colleagues. Tension was heightened in February, 1959, when Communist members pushed through a ruling that subsequent matters before the secretariat would be decided by majority vote. R. secretary found himself consistently outvoted, partly because several seats on the secretariat were vacant and partly because at least two other members of the group were sympathetic to the Soviet Union and Communist China.

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