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Diplomacy and Conflict • Negotiating Peace: Diplomacy During WWII

The Cairo Conferences were the two conferences held by British prime minister Winston Churchill and U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II in Cairo, Egypt. The conferences were held immediately before and after the Tehran Conference, which was the first meeting between all the major Allied leaders.

On November 22, 1943, Churchill and Roosevelt began the first Cairo meeting, which lasted until November 26. During the meeting, Churchill and Roosevelt discussed plans for the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The two leaders also met with Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek and drafted a statement, which they did not release until December 1, in which they agreed on continued operations to "restrain and punish the aggression of Japan." The statement declared that the Allies "covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion." They also decided to take back all the Pacific islands Japan had seized since 1914 and to return them—including Manchuria, Taiwan, and the Pescadores—to China after the war. The Allies also decided that "in due course Korea shall become free and independent" of Japan and swore to "continue to persevere in the serious and prolonged operations necessary to procure the unconditional surrender of Japan." The Allies, however, were not able to decide on specific military strategy.

Churchill and Roosevelt then flew to Tehran, Iran, where they met Soviet premier Joseph Stalin on November 28, 1943, to discuss the future of postwar Germany and Poland. The Tehran Conference ended on December 1, and Churchill and Roosevelt then flew back to Cairo for the second of the Cairo Conferences. At the second conference, which lasted from December 2–7, Churchill and Roosevelt lobbied Ismet Inonu, the president of Turkey, to join the Allied war effort. Inonu, however, remembered Turkey's strategic mistake of joining an alliance during World War I and decided to maintain his country's neutrality. Roosevelt also informed Churchill of the decision to have U.S. general Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe, lead the D-Day invasion, which would come the following June.

In an address to the United States from Hyde Park, New York, on December 24, 1943, Roosevelt stated: "At Cairo and Tehran, we devoted ourselves not only to military matters; we devoted ourselves also to consideration of the future—to plans for the kind of world, which alone can justify all the sacrifices of this war." 2–7,

Further Reading

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu; Sainsbury, Keith. The Turning Point: Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill, and Chiang-Kai-Shek, 1943: The Moscow, Cairo, and Teheran Conferences. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986; Yale University. http://www.yale.edu.

MLA Citation

"Cairo Conferences." World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2020, worldhistory.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/523659. Accessed 20 Jan. 2020.

Entry ID: 2171547

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