The Minister in Jordan (Drew) to the Department of State 1
51. In meeting with new PriMin Tawfiq Pasha Abul Uda July 31 held at his request he summarized gen govt policy and situation as fol:
- Assassination: Not over 100 persons mostly associates of murderer now in custody of which some 15 may be brought to trial by special court to be established at once. 50 additional persons detained for investigation have been released. Only persons killed in mosque were King and murderer plus 6 members Royal Guard wounded. PriMin assured me accuracy his facts which shld effectively refute greatly exaggerated rumors and reports abroad about reign of terror in Pal and mass arrests.
- Econ situation: Govt fears alignment Mufti org with Commies may capitalize on drought induced econ distress to create disorders which in turn wld be utilized by neighbors to intervene in Jordan. When new Parliament convenes Sept he will submit for its approval urgent econ relief program for which he will seek our aid. He asked me to notify Dept of forthcoming request but did not specify further. He was not impressed by my outline of pending legis for continuing refugee aid and MSP assistance which he welcomes for long range benefits but fears of no help in immed crisis.
- Israel relations: Govt will enforce strict observance armistice agreement but will not continue Abdullah’s policy of seeking bilateral settlement with Israel. It will join any collective step by other Arab state or wld follow Egypt’s lead in peace move. I reminded him our continuing interest in and support of restoration normal relations between Israel and Arab states. He hoped I cld help reassure Israel of his pacific intentions.
- Greater Syria: PriMin said govt will not perpetuate Abdullah’s Greater Syria policy for which he expressed personal distaste. When I recalled tripartite declaration he assured me Jordan wld never play aggressive role. He dismissed any idea of union with Iraq in near future but hinted at close relations with certain neighbors (probably Iraq, possibly Syria as well) and eventual union of Arab states by peaceful means.
- Royal succession: PriMin said constitutional procedures wld be followed; expressed loyalty to both Naif and Tallal and indicated guarded optimism re latter’s health which already benefited by removal of tensions arising from conflict with late father. He hopes in next three weeks Tallal’s mental condition may be clarified.
I was favorably impressed by serene and statesmanlike attitude of PriMin towards problems of future. He is determined to maintain Jordan sovereignty and independence but not afraid to break with personal policies of late King such as his … hostility to Arab League and Egypt in particular, and Greater Syria scheme.[Page 991]
He sought earliest possible mtg with me as he regards UK and US as foremost allies. His frank invitation to maintain close personal contacts and offer him advice on matters common interest augurs well for continuation of close assoc enjoyed with predecessor Samir Rifai.
If hostile or ambitious neighbors can be deterred from fishing in Jordan waters US and UK wld be justified in reasonable optimism that Jordan will continue friend of West and element of polit, mil stability in area. We shld begin thinking now however how we can contribute to bolster new regime which for long time to come will miss forceful if occasionally erratic, hands of Abdullah on reins of govt. I wld suggest utility policy level talks with UK either Washington or London to ascertain Brit views and future policy particularly re continued fin support Arab Legion, possibility major expenditure for expansion mil bases and bilateral econ aid.
- Repeated to Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, Jerusalem, London, Paris, Tel Aviv, and Tripoli.↩