Syria crisis may spur Egypt withdrawal

LONDON, Dec.1, 1956 (UPI)-France and Britain were reported agreed today on plans for early withdrawal of troops from Egypt to speed the Suez Canal reopening and restore Western allied unity before a full Syrian crisis breaks. Soviet Russia kept the Middle East simmering by repeating its charges that the United States is carrying out a provocative campaign against Syria "in preparation of an armed attack." Syria also appealed to the United Nations to curb "aggressive anti-Syrian intentions of Britain, France, Turkey and Israel."

Diplomats regarded the Syrian problem as potentially more dangerous than the Suez crisis. They said it was virtually certain that Soviet "volunteers" would go into action if there is war between Syria and Turkey and Iraq. Authoritative sources said Britain and France had agreed to pull their infantry troops completely out of Egypt by the end of the year.


By doing so, they hoped to rebuild the shattered western alliance which both nations regard as necessary for their survival. But they still remain highly critical of American policy.

British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd goes before the House of Commons Monday to announce the Anglo-French decision.

Final details of the withdrawal plan were worked out yesterday in conferences between Lloyd and French Foreign Minister Christian Pineau. Pineau, before returning to Paris, made it clear Prance was not withdrawing without conditions. These include military precautions and political questions.


One of the main reasons behind the Anglo-French decision was that work on clearing the canal must be speeded up to save the West European economy. And Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser has said there will be no work on the canal as long as Anglo-French forces remain there.

While the Suez crisis was cooling from its former rapid boil, the Syrian situation flared hotly.

Particular attention was being paid to a serial of Moscow broadcasts which broke with full fury yesterday and continued today with charges of a U.S. "campaign of provocation."

The New York correspondent of the official Moscow Communist newspaper Pravda wrote an article headed, "A new step in the war of nerves against Syria." The article was broadcast by Moscow Radio.

"The U.S.A. has started new efforts to divert attention from the British, French and Israeli aggression against Egypt by starting a provocative campaign against Syria," it said.

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