255. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

106. Beirut for Johnston.2 Situation re two matters subject of Deptel 963 is reasonably satisfactory. Department’s guidance has been employed on both points.

Perhaps most remarkable achievement Johnston missions visit was conversion Jordanian unbelievers to view water negotiations are separate and economic in character.Johnston has convinced Prime Minister among others and given him means to establish the position in other councils.
Line taken throughout negotiations and follow up is: US recognized desire Jordan consult with Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt but hopes full dress Arab League consideration can be avoided and that HKJ will take a positive stand as most interested party and not [Page 443] merely submit passively to what others may propose. Prime Minister desires confine consideration to four interested states, wishes employ first occasion for such consultation, supposes, Cairo is place and September 6 probable beginning date. He considers Arab League Political Committee meeting provides the opportunity for but need not be the vehicle of consultation which could proceed informally. Prime Minister is personally courageous but Jordan is usually timid when consulting with other Arab States.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 120.1580/9–255. Secret. Received at 11:31 a.m. Repeated to Beirut and Cairo.
  2. Johnston arrived in Beirut on September 2.
  3. Telegram 96 to Amman, August 31, instructed Geren to emphasize to Mufti that Johnston’s negotiations were economic rather than political and to indicate that while the United States recognized Jordan’s desire to consult with other Arab states and saw no objection to informal discussion among the states concerned, it would be desirable to avoid discussion of the Jordan River at a formal political meeting of the Arab League. (Department of State, Central Files, 684A.85322/8–3055)