THE MIDDLE EAST: Arab Federation?

Seven flags fluttered gaily atop the slate-grey Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo. In an ornate salon on the main floor, delegates from six of the seven Arab states sat on the brittle insecurity of Louis Quinze chairs, stalked haughtily across priceless Iranian rugs. They had met to draw up a constitution for a federation of all Arab lands, from the Nile to the Euphrates.

For the Middle East the occasion was momentous. Egypt's King Farouk was host. The delegates were Foreign Ministers or their equivalent. Trans-Jordan's Premier Samir el Refai Pasha underlined the Arabic character of the meeting. Though he...

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