Ambassador Kamil Abdul Rahim – Meet The Press – November 25, 1951 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Middle East. Going from simmering stew of discontent to a boiling pot of rage. The issue was around The Suez Canal and continued control of the waterway by Great Britain and France; two countries badly damaged by the War and systematically divesting themselves of colonial possessions.
But The Suez was an important waterway and maintaining control over it was vital to the interests of both France and Britain. Especially since it was feared The Soviet Union would jump at the chance to score points in the Middle East. And the thought of Cairo being aligned with Moscow to go along with its campaign of influence in Iran would put a firm stamp on the political fortunes of, not only the Middle East, but also Africa, despite the fact that a wave of Arab Nationalism was slowly gaining ground and the phrase “right of self-determination” was being spoken openly, and anti-British sentiment was spilling out on to the Cairo streets as well as Tehran.
It was a thorny issue, at least for the West. But rather than stick Washington in the middle to attempt at brokering some kind of settlement, it was taken up with The United Nations since it was unlikely Egypt would go to war with Britain simply because there was not enough equipment or troop strength to carry it off. But it was a dispute over land and Britain over-extending its stay in Suez.
To discuss this issue, Egyptian Ambassador Kamil Abdul Rahim was in New York and appeared on Meet The Press to answer questions.
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