August 8, 1956

SUEZ WAR: London, 6 – Despite repeated Cabinet meetings in Cairo and a number of meetings chaired by President Gamal Nasser over the past 48 hours, Egypt has not yet responded to a British proposal to a summit on August 16. A prominent Egyptian official said today that the government was «in no hurry to reply to the West.» Meanwhile, Great Britain continues to mobilize its military in a rather spectacular fashion. The US Sixth Fleet is continuing its exercises in the Mediterranean and a press report foreseeing a visit by the Soviet fleet on August 15 to Middle East ports has not been officially confirmed. Moreover, the Arab states have given Egypt their unreserved support. The Muslim Brotherhood announced that its members were «prepared to fight if Egypt is attacked.» Meanwhile, the Iraqi government has issued an declaration of support for Egypt and in it has proclaimed that the nationalization of the Suez Canal was the inalienable right of independent countries. Given that Iraq is a signatory to the (West-controlled) Treaty of Baghdad, this statement went down in London like a bombshell.

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