684A.85/2–2952: Telegram

No. 406
The Chargé in Jordan (Fritzlan) to the Department of State1


244. Re Tel Aviv tel 881, Feb 27. This morning had long conversation with Ahmad Tuqan, Jordan rep on MAC re conditions on Israel Jordan frontier. He informs me that in his opinion Israelis have legitimate grievance against large scale Arab infiltration, in some cases involving killing and marauding, which has taken place in recent months though he does not consider Israel reprisals warranted. In effort to rectify situation he and his Israeli counterpart agreed as of Feb 1 institute system whereby at nine points on frontier Jordan and Israeli police officers in control would confer daily re infiltration in effort take any necessary corrective measures. This system has worked surprisingly well and he hopes situation will be continued.

When queried as to whether he believed his improvement in conditions on frontier might lead to some larger degree of settlement he recounted statements attributed to him in reftel. He stated some three weeks ago Egypt papers Al Ahram and Rose Al Yusuf had written articles indicating Anglo-Egypt talks in prospect and these talks would probably contribute to settlement of outstanding issues between Israel and Arab states. He added these reports had been circulated in Jordan press together with Ali Maher’s statement [Page 900] that though Egypt would not make unilateral settlement with Israel, his govt would follow wishes of Arab states in matter. No adverse editorial comment had resulted. Tuqan indicated some time ago he had attempted convince PriMin Abulhuda that Jordan’s interest lay in broadening base of settlement with Israel if necessary without participation other Arab states. He stated Abulhuda had been receptive to consideration of idea and had stated he would have private talks with other Arab reps at Arab League Council meeting in Cairo.

Foregoing is of interest as indicating some improvement in Jordan–Israel relations and possibly some modification in Jordan Govt policy. However, Abulhuda is extremely cautious and slow to move. Moreover he is very sensitive of attitude other Arab states toward his policies.

  1. Repeated to Baghdad, Cairo, Jidda, Beirut, Damascus, Tripoli, Jerusalem, Paris, London, Ankara, and Tel Aviv.