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By Nigel John Ashton

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Additional info for Eisenhower, Macmillan and the Problem of Nasser: Anglo-American Relations and Arab Nationalism, 1955–59

Sample text

Both appear to misinterpret certain critical events in the period fromJuly 1954 to April 1955, and, in particular, neglect the crucial shift in emphasis in American and British poliey during the period January to April 1955Y Returning to J uly 1954, the first eritical event was the AngloEgyptian Treaty providing for the staged evacuation of British forces from the Canal Zone Base. This marked the beginning of the end of the British strategy of focusing on the Base as the pivot of Middle Eastern defence.

9 Perhaps unsurprisingly, the British Government for its part remained lukewarm, not to say hostile, to Ameriean ideas about the Northern Tier. They stymied its attempts to seeure the renewal of some form of Suez Base agreement under the guise The Formation 01 the Baghdad Pact 41 of a broader Middle East defence plan, and also complicated matters in the Indian subcontinent, souring relations with India. Nevertheless, the US promotion of Pakistan in the region continued, and the February 1954 announcement of a mutual cooperation agreement between Turkey and Pakistan paved the way for an offer of US aid to Karachi under a formal Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement.

Sure enough, the Christian majority was gradually eroded in the post-war years, but the Christian sects remained opposed to the taking of another census which might reveal this shift, never mind to any alterations in the National Pact. Secondly, because the terms of the Pact were never formally spelt out it was ambiguous and therefore provided no definite point of reference in times of political tension. 14 Thirdly, the Pact put a premium on attachment to religious communities as the basis for politics.

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