MIDDLE EAST: Off the Fence

After seven days of friendly talk in Baghdad, Premiers Adnan Menderes of Turkey and Nuri es-Said of Iraq jointly announced last week their decision to sign a mutual defense pact. Washington and London were pleased: the joining of oil-rich Iraq to NATO member Turkey is the first major break in the log jam of Arab neutrality. But in Cairo, the news caused consternation.

Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, no friend of Communism, has nevertheless used his considerable prestige to keep the Middle East state uncommitted. In the quarrelsome and weak Arab League, neutralism is not hard to sell since it is negative:...

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