278. Telegram From the Embassy in Egypt to the Department of State1

472. From Johnston.2 As result strong urging Egypt Government and overriding political considerations Arab world I have reluctantly agreed to postponement of meeting four Foreign Ministers concerned at Cairo until morning October 1 just prior to opening of Arab League Council (full report follows)3 this further delay presents serious problem in maintaining level of interest and receptivity which developed painstakingly and with difficulty over past weeks. Problem appears greatest in HKJ . . . . This confirmed yesterday by disturbing report that key officials Jordan Government including [Page 474]Prime Minister may be wavering in their support Jordan Valley program.4

Believe it essential that forceful British support be obtained HKJ if program to be carried through to successful conclusion. Am proceeding London Tuesday5 and wish appointment Wednesday or Thursday with Macmillan. Would appreciate support Department in setting up appointment and emphasizing importance vigorous British representations to HKJ at this crucial juncture.6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 120.1580/9–1655. Confidential. Received at 4 p.m. Repeated to London and Amman.
  2. Johnston returned to Cairo on September 14 and met with Fawzi and other Egyptian officials on that date; summary minutes areibid.,NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 254, The Fourth Mission—No. 21 (Negotiating File).
  3. See Document 282.
  4. Johnston reported in telegram 484 from Cairo, September 16, that he had met the previous day with Jordan’s Ambassador in the United States, Abdul Monem Rifai, who “painted somber picture of deterioration situation in Amman since our departure. Rifai states Prime Minister has grown increasingly reluctant make any decision during his tenure office which might be ‘politically dangerous’ and now questions] whether acceptance program politically practicable.” (Department of State, Central Files, 120.1580/9–1655)
  5. September 20.
  6. The Department so instructed the Embassy in London in telegram 1512, September 17. (Department of State, Central Files, 120.1580/9–1655) The Embassy reported in telegram 1094, September 19, that Johnston had an appointment with Macmillan on September 22. (Ibid., 120.1580/9–1955)