183. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Egypt 1

2182. Deptel 2000 to Cairo.2 Dept agrees with Rifai (Amman’s 4463 and 452 ToDep4) that time has arrived for Arab decision on JVP and suggests you support in any way appropriate inclusion JVP for consideration at forthcoming Arab League Council meeting. Following points may be useful:

Since last Council meeting Lebanon has obtained loan from IBRD for Litani and Egypt has progressed far in negotiations High Dam. HKJ now entitled opportunity its development through Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers.
Consideration JVP at March Council meeting appropriate from standpoint Arab policy. Highly publicized March 1 date recommencing work Banat Ya’qub has passed without Israel action. Arab states maintained firm position, demonstrating to world their refusal bow to pressure. League can now take up question accordance decision last Oct acting own good time at regularly scheduled meeting of Council.
Final approval of JVP at Council meeting neither necessary nor expected. Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as countries directly involved [Page 339] sought advice League re JVP pursuant their desire coordinate policy with fellow Arab states. Logical next step for League Council to note findings Arab Technical Committee, recognize technical validity and economic soundness of plan and find that plan is consistent with Arab policies and consequently states directly concerned should approve it in accordance with their constitutional procedures. Remaining details could then be worked out with states concerned. Johnston prepared return area this purpose if desired.

FYI present thinking is Johnston’s return area would not be warranted unless Council finds at minimum JVP is not inconsistent Arab policy. End FYI

Advise British and French colleagues of foregoing.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A. 85322/3–1056. Secret. Drafted by Troxel; cleared with Bergus, Burdett, and Ludlow; and approved by Rountree who signed for Hoover. Also sent to Amman, Damascus, and Beirut. Repeated to Tel Aviv, London, Paris and pouched to Ankara, Baghdad, Jidda, and Jerusalem.
  2. Document 120.
  3. Document 138.
  4. Document 148.