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Topic

compilation year

Release year

Summary

Conversations with a former Dutch minister

1949

1980

"..object was to size up for himself the present situation in the Middle East.. to see whether it would throw any light on how the Dutch should deal with the Indonesian Muslim population"


Secret letter from British Consul-General in Jerusalem to Eastern Department at FO B.A.B. Burrows:

Meulen stated 'his present object was to size up for himself the present situation in the Middle East, mainly to see whether it would throw any light on the problem of how the Dutch should deal with the Indonesian Moslem population'. To this end Meulen travelled to Cairo, Amman, Tel Aviv and talked to king Abdullah and Sharrett and 'other prominent Israelis':

Conditions in the ME very worrying 'he was clearly despondent about the future of the Arab countries in the Middle East'

Ibn Saud -'a great man, relative however to the standards of 'Old Arabia' and these standards fast disappearing. 'Death would reveal very little had actually been done to improve life for citizens and American money and exploitation was a corrupting influence'

Egypt - 'corrupt to the core', predicted 'Transjordan and Iraq would collapse as soon as our help was withdrawn'

Israelis - Meulen appealed to Israeli government to help Indonesian Muslims - Israelis refused as they were now 'an oriental people (and therefore) they felt bound to show sympathy with other Orientals/subject nations who were striving to get free. They would not however give any help to a people when they did not think they would be able to stand on their own legs'

Meulen urged Israeli government to take back larger numbers of Arab refugees 'Sharett rather excitedly said that this was quite impossible for security reasons'

PRO File: FO 371 10221  















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